Gold Filled vs Gold Plated Jewelry

English: Crystaline Gold
English: Crystaline Gold (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometimes it can be a bit confusing when we read descriptions such as “gold plated necklace or gold filled necklace”. We may notice that the two products look alike but differ in price and we wonder why. Today, we will be sharing a very simple explanation on the difference between these two terms.
What is Gold-Filled?
The term “gold-filled” is a bit of a misnomer. Gold-filled jewelry does not actually have gold in the middle, nor is it a mixture of gold and base metals. It is some base metal such as brass with gold pressure-bonded on the outside to produce the look of gold at a more reasonable price.
Gold-filled products are resistant to tarnishing because the outside layer is actually gold and is thick enough to prevent oxidation of the inner material. The gold content must be at least 1/20th of the total weight, where the gold itself is no less than 10 karat in purity
What is Gold Plating?
Gold Plating is a method of depositing a layer of gold onto the surface a metal through an electrochemical process as a result, gold platted jewelry has a smaller percentage of gold. Nickel could be used as a layer between sterling silver and gold to strengthen the bond. Because of the lower gold content, gold-plated items are generally less expensive than similar gold-filled products.
Caring for Gold platted/filled Jewelry
Care should be taken when cleaning gold-filled and gold plated jewelry to protect the layer of gold from being worn away or nicked.
  • Do not use abrasive compounds to clean jewelry.
  • Gold filled and gold plated jewelry can get dirty through the oils from your skin, so they need to be gently cleaned off periodically with a jewelry polish/cleaning cloth. (Note: Some polish cloths aren’t designed for gold platted jewelry so look out before you purchase)
  • To reduce or slow down the tarnish rate of gold platted jewelry, always remember to apply all cosmetics before putting on your jewelry.
  • Allow lotion and  perfume to absorb completely into the skin before putting on jewelry.
  • Remove jewelry after use & wipe down with a soft clean cloth before storing away
Hopefully, you now have a clearer understanding of the difference between gold filled and gold platted jewelry. Happy Shopping!


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  1. Thanks Oyindoubara for this information. I really needed to know the difference.

    • Hi Jasmine! Thanks for stopping by. I used to get confused by the term gold filled so after a little research I discovered the difference. Now when I shop for gold products, depending on what I’m looking for & my budget, I can decide if gold plated is good enough or I am better off with gold-filled.

      Feel free to stop by anytime for more awesome jewelry/fashion related topics.

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