Difference Between Gold Filled and Gold Plated
You've seen gold filled and gold plated used quite often in jewelry but do you know what the difference between gold filled and gold plated actually is? Don't worry. You're not alone if you answered no. In fact in our completely unscientific poll of friends and family it turns out nobody actually knows the difference between gold filled and gold plated. So lets start from the beginning.
Gold Filled is actually not what it sounds like. Gold filled doesn't mean that its solid gold. Gold filled is actually composed of a layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure to another type of metal such as brass. Many high quality gold filled pieces actually look like solid gold. In order to actually be marked as Gold Filled or GF an item must actually be at least 1/10th gold. So you say this sounds like gold plated. If gold filled or rolled gold is actually not solid then what is the difference between gold filled and gold plated then anyhow.
Gold Plated is actually far more common than gold filled and you may be more familiar with this type of process. Gold plated is actually the process of applying a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal which is often silver or copper. This process is done through a chemical treatment. There are actually a number of different gold plating types that are used in various different industries depending on the use of the product being manufactured or produced. We will spare you the details of these different processes however in jewelry most items are silver or brass metal covered with a layer of gold plating. We have several pieces of beautiful gold plated jewlery.
A less well known option but popular in jewelry is Gold Vermeil. Gold Vermeil is actually the combination of gold, sterling silver as well as other precious metals. In order for items to be considered vermeil they have to have gold thats a minimum of 10 carats and have a minimum thickness of 2.5 micrometres. (about a quarter of a strand of your hair) Although previously referred to as silver gilt, the french term vermeil became popular and ultimately was used as the alternative in america in the 1800's.
Summerizng the Difference Between Gold Filled and Gold Plated
So now that you're not completely confused and have any better understanding of the differences, lets summarize. Gold Filled is generally a substantial amount more of gold than the gold plated alternative. While neither of them are actually solid gold they both make for extremely popular jewelry options and ultimately both offer a gold outer layer which provides the cosmetic look we are going for. So the next time someone asks you what the difference between gold filled and gold plated is, you can answer confidently...."They both look great."
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