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Gold Filled vs Gold Plated

As a jewelry designer, who’s been designing jewelry for over a decade, I’ve heard this question a lot:


“What’s the difference between gold filled and gold plated?”

To start, gold filled jewelry has 100x more gold than gold plated jewelry, making it 100x more durable, and longer lasting. Buying gold filled jewelry is the next best thing to buying solid gold, as it will last you 10-35 years without losing it’s brilliance. Gold plated jewelry, on the other hand, consists of a very thin layer of gold, over a base metal. Gold plated jewelry is nowhere near as long lasting, and that thin layer of gold eventually, completely wears off, leaving you with nothing more than a piece of base metal jewelry.

* Gold-Filled Jewelry is jewelry composed of a solid layer of gold (typically constituting at least 5% of the item's total weight) Most high quality gold-filled pieces have the same appearance as high carat gold, and gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last 10 to 30 years. The layer of gold on gold-filled items is 5 to 10 times thicker than that produced by regular gold plating, and 15 to 25 times thicker than that produced by gold electroplate. (via Wikipedia)


* Gold Plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver. Gold plating of silver is used in the manufacture of jewelry. Like copper, silver atoms diffuse into the gold layer, causing slow gradual fading of its color and eventually causing tarnishing of the surface. This process may take months, maybe a few years, depending on the thickness of the gold layer. (via Wikipedia)

To sum it up, gold filled jewelry is the best alternative to solid gold. It’s much less expensive than solid gold, and will last you many years, even with daily wear. At Lush Jewelry, our pieces are made with high quality materials. In addition to 14k gold filled, most pieces are also available in 9.25 sterling silver, and rose gold filled!

Hopefully this article has cleared things up, but don’t hesitate to do your own research. We want you to love your jewelry, whichever type you decide to buy!

Thanks for reading!

- Barbara

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Lush Jewelry

San Diego, CA

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