There are 4 basic tiers of gold jewelry. Solid gold, gold-filled, gold vermeil, and gold plated.
- Solid gold is gold through in through and can be melted down and formed into any shape (since it is not bonded to a base metal). Its composition makes it rather expensive and unrealistic for the average consumer. By USA standards, gold-filled jewelry contains 5% solid gold by weight, while gold plated contains about 0.001% solid gold in weight.
- Gold Filled is the closest relative to solid gold jewelry. Gold filled jewelry has a thick layer of solid gold bonded onto the base layer, usually jeweler's brass. While gold plated jewelry usually has a thin layer of gold "painted" on the base metal (which can wear away easily), gold filled jewelry has a thick layer of gold bonded to the base metal using heat and pressure. Therefore, gold filled jewelry is not only affordable, it is durable and water/sweat resistant for years to come.
- Gold Vermeil jewelry is one step above gold plated jewelry, because it contains a sterling silver base. This renders the jewelry hypoallergenic and perfect for those few who may have a sensitivity to the base metals of gold plated jewelry. Our gold vermeil jewelry utilizes 3 microns of gold over the sterling silver base. 3 microns of gold is the highest and most durable standard of vermeil plating. Our gold vermeil jewelry is very affordable and may last years if properly cared for.
- Gold Plated jewelry is typically costume jewelry you may find in most clothing stores, on Amazon, etc. Be warned, some jewelry brands will try to sell gold plated jewelry for hundreds of dollars. Gold plated jewelry is a thick brass or nickel base with a thin, barely-there layer of gold flash painted on. This jewelry is not water resistant, and often irritates the skin for individuals sensitive to nickel. The only gold plated pieces we carry have a thick E-poly coating on top of our extra thick gold layer and are nickel-free, to ensure our customers do not react to these pieces.
Read our in-depth jewelry care article here!