Explained: 4 Different Types of Gold Jewelry

Posted by Murky Admin on

A crash course on what you will learn: The 4 different types of gold jewelry and it's differences.

Types of Gold Jewelry are...

  1. Solid Gold
  2. Gold Filled
  3. Gold Vermeil
  4. Gold Plated

Here at Murky Jewelry we only sell Solid Gold and Gold Vermeil

Solid Gold: As the name implies, solid gold jewelry is created entirely of gold (no base metals are used in its construction). The amount of alloy versus gold is based on the many different karats of gold. In order to give jewelry its strength and durability, pure gold (24k) must be alloyed with other metals because it is too soft and pliable to be worn as jewelry. While 18k solid gold consists of 18 parts gold (75%) and 6 parts alloys (25%), 14k solid gold is made up of 14 parts gold (58.3%) and 10 parts alloys (41.7%). Due to the usage of less gold, the lower the karat, the less expensive it is. To wrap it up, Solid Gold is the best quality and the most expensive out there, great for everyday usage, and is hypoallergenic. 

Gold Filled: A solid outer layer of gold that is mechanically connected to a base metal that is not gold. According to US regulations, the gold layer must make up 1/20th (or 5%) of the jewelry's overall weight. Gold filled can be produced using either 18k,14k or 12k gold, however 14k is most popular. For labeling purposes sometimes, a gold filled jewelry item will have a designation that reads 1/20 14K GF or 1/20 14K. Compared to gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry contains roughly 100 times more gold. Unlike gold-plated jewelry, the gold is mechanically bonded by applying pressure and intense heat to the base metal rather than being plated, making it almost impossible for it to rub off. It has the same benefits of real gold jewelry at a fraction of the price and is waterproof and tarnish-resistant, making it ideal for daily wear. Gold filled jewelry is fantastic for those who are allergic to metals.

Gold Vermeil: Sterling silver coated with 2.5 microns of gold vermeil. According to US regulations gold vermeil needs to have at least 2.5 microns of gold to be plated over sterling silver (which is 92.5% pure silver), however other nations, like Canada, only call for 1.0 micron. People with metal allergies can wear it because it is hypoallergenic. Because the coating is so much thicker on gold vermeil, it lasts significantly longer than gold-plated jewelry and can be worn for everyday use. Gold vermeil can be cleaned easily with warm soapy water and a simple polishing cloth. Cleaning gold vermeil regularly (every few weeks) ensures it to look new and keep the shine and color.

Gold Plated: Gold-plated jewelry is made by plating a thin layer of gold (0.05% or less actual gold) over a base metal (typically brass or copper). The gold can easily wear off because the gold plating is very thin. Additionally, it is more vulnerable to tarnishing when in contact with any liquids or chemicals. Gold itself does not corrode when in contact with sweat, lotion or perfume but brass or copper does. Due to the use of a very little amount of gold on top of a base metal, gold plated jewelry is far less expensive than other varieties of gold jewelry. If you only need jewelry for a special occasion or to experiment with new outfits, gold-plated jewelry is a good choice. 



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