Gold-Plated vs. Gold-Filled – 5 Key Differences You Need To Know

Multiple golden bracelets

Gold Plated vs. Gold Filled

There are numerous options to pick from when it comes to jewelry. You can combine traditional gold, silver, or platinum or mix things with colorful gemstones. However, have you ever thought about using gold-plated or gold-filled jewelry? Here are the fundamental distinctions between these two categories of jewelry. 

What is gold plating?

Gold plating is the process of coating an object with a thin layer of gold. The objects that are typically gold-plated are made of metal, and the gold is applied using an electrical current. Gold plating is frequently utilized as decorative accents since it may make an item appear opulent. 

However, it can also be used to protect against corrosion or to provide electrical conductivity. When used for these purposes, the gold is often applied in a much thicker layer. In some cases, multiple layers of different metals may be gold-plated to create the desired effect. Gold plating is a flexible procedure that can be used for decorative and practical reasons.

Golden necklace inside a box

What is a gold filling?

Gold-filled jewelry is made by wrapping the base metal in multiple layers of solid gold sheets (usually brass). Gold-filled jewelry, as opposed to gold-plated jewelry, has a significant amount of gold. Solid gold sheets are adhered to create jewelry that won’t tarnish, peel, chip, or change color over time. Your gold-filled jewelry may typically be cleaned with a moist cloth if the color has changed because of dirt accumulation.

5 Main Differences Between Gold-Plated and Gold-Filled

There are many various sorts of jewelry that can be purchased on the market. Jewelry that is gold-plated and gold-filled are two of the most popular choices. While both types of jewelry can provide a beautiful and luxurious look, there are some key differences between them. Here are five key distinctions between gold-filled jewelry and gold-plated jewelry:

  • Layer of Gold
  • Cost
  • Lifespan
  • Tarnishing
  • Cleanliness

1. Layer of Gold

Jewelry that has been “gold-plated” has another metal’s surface covered with a thin layer of gold. In contrast, a thicker layer of gold is fused to the gold-filled base metal in jewelry. They are both made with metals, but the construction is different.

2. Cost

Gold plating is typically more economical than gold filling, making it a better choice for people on a tight budget. They both have a similar appearance, but gold-plated jewelry will be less expensive.

3. Lifespan

The lifespan of gold-plated jewelry is typically shorter than that of gold-filled jewelry. This is due to the fact that the thin layer of gold can wear away over time, exposing the base metal beneath. Gold-filled jewelry is more durable due to the thicker layer of gold that covers it.

Multiple golden rings and neckaces

4. Tarnishing

Gold-plated jewelry is more susceptible to tarnishing than gold-filled jewelry. Tarnishing occurs when the surface of the jewelry reacts with oxygen in the air, resulting in a dull, discolored appearance. Gold-filled jewelry’s thicker gold coating helps it to be more tarnish-resistant.

5. Cleanliness

When cleaning gold-plated jewelry, it is important to use a gentle cleaner and avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives, as these can damage the thin layer of gold. Gold-filled jewelry is simpler to maintain because it is more durable when cleaned.

How to take care of your Gold-Plated and Gold-Filled jewelry?

Any jewelry that contains gold, whether gold-plated or gold-filled, must be cared for properly if you want it to last. Here are a few tips on how to take care of your gold jewelry:

  • Store your gold jewelry in a cool, dry place. The gold may tarnish if it is stored in direct sunlight or in a humid climate.
  • Make use of warm water and mild soap to wash your gold jewelry. Avoid using corrosive cleaners or harsh chemicals since they can harm the gold. Gently rub the jewelry with a soft cloth until it is clean.
  • Avoid exposing your gold jewelry to excessive heat or cold. Extreme temperatures can cause the gold to crack or break.

By following these easy instructions, you can help guarantee that your gold jewelry will look stunning for many years to come.

How long does gold-filled jewelry last?

Gold-filled jewelry is a popular choice for people who want the look of gold without the high price tag. But how long does gold-filled jewelry last? The answer depends on a number of factors, including how often you wear it and how well you take care of it. Gold-filled jewelry is created by joining a layer of gold to a base metal, such as brass.

With the right maintenance, a piece of jewelry made using this procedure will last for many years. However, the gold layer can become worn over time, especially if the jewelry is not stored properly or exposed to harsh chemicals. Avoid wearing your gold-filled jewelry in the shower or the pool, and store it in a cool, dry location to increase its lifespan. Your gold-filled jewelry will remain stunning for many years if you take good care of it.

Does gold-filled tarnish in water?

Many people are familiar with the fact that gold is a very durable metal. It does not corrode or tarnish over time, which is why it is often used in jewelry and other decorative items. However, some people may not know that gold-filled jewelry is also very resistant to tarnishing. A layer of gold is bonded by applying pressure and heat to a base metal to create gold-filled jewelry. 

The resulting product is much cheaper than solid gold, but it still has many of the same properties. In particular, gold-filled jewelry is unlikely to tarnish, even when exposed to water. So, gold-filled jewelry might be the way to go if you’re seeking something that will maintain its luster for years to come.

A man trying to grab a golden jewelry

How can you clean gold-filled jewelry?

Gold-filled jewelry is a beautiful and affordable option for those who want the look of solid gold without the price tag. However, over time, gold-filled jewelry can lose its luster and become dull and tarnished. Luckily, it is relatively easy to clean gold-filled jewelry at home. The first step is to create a gentle cleaning solution by mixing warm water with a mild soap or detergent.

Next, gently scrub the jewelry’s surface with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Abrasives and harsh chemicals should never be used since they can harm the gold coating. Finally, carefully dry the jewelry with a soft cloth after rinsing it in clean water. Your gold-filled jewelry will remain in brand-new condition for many years if you take good care of it.

Bottom Line

Gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry are beautiful and affordable options for those who want the look of solid gold. However, it is important to take proper care of these pieces if you want them to last. Be sure to store your gold jewelry in a cool, dry place and avoid exposure to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures. When cleaning your gold jewelry, use only mild soap and warm water. With proper care, your gold jewelry will look beautiful for years.