Most of us have heard the terms 'gold filled', 'gold plated' and 'solid gold' tossed around, but what do they mean? What are their benefits? How should you take care of our jewelry?
Let's start with pure gold.
Gold is an element, like silver, or oxygen. When you hold a piece of gold, you're holding only gold atoms. Gold is known to be soft and malleable. Jewelry is often not made with pure gold, because it loses it's shape. If there are stones, they may fall out.
10k, 14k, 18k and 10k Gold
Alternatively, jewellers make a gold alloy which involves a combination of two metals, typically being silver, or copper. During this processes, both metals are melted down and combined, to make the gold durable, so it can be worn by the consumer and have lasting value. To determine how pure the gold is, a karat system was developed. 24 karat indicates pure gold, with no metal mixed in;18 karat has 75% gold; 14 karat 58.3% and 10 karat, 41.7%.
Gold (10k and above) is a great option if you're looking for pieces you can wear everyday. Because it's a solid metal, its safe to wear in the shower, when you sleep, when you work out, etc. Gold is a worthwhile investment if you're someone who prefers longevity and practicality.
Solid Gold Favourites
One of Suetables' favourite solid gold piece, is the 10k Bethany Thick Hollow hoops (34mm x 2mm). Because they're gold, they have a beautiful lustre and shine. They're also hollow, so they're a great weight to be wearing all day and don’t feel heavy, or tug on your ear lobes. These earrings are the perfect piece to elevate your daily look. They also come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 14mm-50mm in diameter.
Investing in a gold chain is also a great idea because it offers a piece for you to wear everyday, along with versatility, as you can change the pendants you string on it. For instance, you could group charms together to celebrate loved ones or special pendants - both old and new. Rather than buying multiple chains, you might opt for a solid gold chain and look for different pendants to pair it with. My personal favourite Suetables solid gold chain, is the "10k Thick Curb", recently seen on Megan Markle.
Gold dipped/plated jewelry
Gold plated or gold dipped jewelry is achieved through a process called "electroplating". This involves one metal being coated with a thin layer of another (typically silver or copper). There are different levels of coating - the least expensive is flash. Suetables products always have 1mm or more of coating to increase it’s durability.
You may have also heard the term "vermeil". This is a form of plating where the base metal covered in gold, is silver. At Suetables, all of our plated jewelry is vermeil.
What makes gold plated jewelry so attractive to the consumer, is it's gold appearance, yet cost-effectiveness. However, as the jewelry is only plated with gold, its colour will wear off over time. Although, there are some things which you may do to prolong the plating of the piece:
1. Do not get the jewelry wet (i.e. not washing hands, showering, swimming, etc.)
2. Do not wear jewelry when applying perfume/cream
3.Wear it! The oils from your skin help to preserve the metals
4. When you are not wearing plated jewelry, store it in a sealed plastic bag, or soft cloth to minimize air exposure
Gold Plated Favourites
A staff favourite plated piece is our "Camilla", coming in three lengths: 16", 22" and 34". This piece makes a beautifully bold statement, with its chunky and modern vibe. If you're someone who prefers a more subtle look, fear not! The Camilla also comes in a "Whisper" style, which is thinner and more delicate, but maintains it's sense of modernity. Either pieces may be nicely layered with the "gold Twisted Slice choker", another very popular plated piece.
Gold-filled, like gold plated jewelry, is not solid. Rather, it is created by taking multiple sheets of gold and wrapping them around a base metal under intense pressure and heat. So, it's as if the gold is "filled" with something. Legally, for something to be considered "gold-filled", 5% of it's weight must be gold. In other words, gold-filled pieces have a much higher content of gold, than gold plated jewelry.
What people love most about gold-filled jewelry is that, unless mistreated, it will keep it's colour and shine. Therefore, you are paying a fraction of the price of gold, for something which you can wear everyday and not worry about its condition fading.
Gold Filled Favourites
We love the "gold filled Sun Cuff". You can confidently wear it, knowing it won't tarnish. We often pair it with other solid gold bracelets, which is an economically friendly way of stacking "gold ".
Gold filled rings are great to invest in because you can wear them throughout the day and not have to worry about taking them off to wash your hands, put on cream, etc. One of our most popular gold filled rings is the "Jay ring". It's simplicity and elegance is what makes it so beautiful. Try pairing it with our gold filled "Chelsea chain ring" to create the perfect stacked look. If you're looking to make more of a statement, the gold filled Coin Ring is perfect to place on your middle, or index finger.
Gold-filled is a great alternative to solid gold. The jewelry does not fade and is still very accessible to the consumer.
In the end you can't go wrong with either solid, plated or filled gold jewelry. It simply depends on your preference and style. Hopefully this blog has helped you understand the terms better, so you can make the most educated decision when shopping!