Shopping for gold jewelry can get confusing when there are so many different types that range in price and quality. Here's a quick guide that breaks down the difference between gold-filled, gold plated, gold vermeil, and solid gold (spoiler alert: you already know which one is our favorite!).
Gold-filled jewelry consists of a base metal, such as brass or copper, and a thick layer of gold – it's legally required to contain at least 5% or 1/20th of the jewelry’s total weight.
All of our jewelry is gold-filled, and it’s our favorite for many reasons. Gold-filled jewelry contains 100x more gold than gold plated, which means it’s more durable and cost-efficient. With proper care and storage, you can wear your pieces every day and they’ll last you forever. It’s also great for those with sensitive skin, as the layer of gold is so thick you won’t have to worry about it wearing off and exposing your skin to the base metal.
Gold-filled is of higher quality than gold plated, with similar properties to solid gold – without the high price tag! Gold-filled jewelry is perfect for those wanting to step up their jewelry game without breaking the bank.
Gold plated jewelry consists of a base metal, such as brass or copper, and a thin layer of gold – usually 0.05% or less. When comparing gold plated to gold-filled or solid gold, this type of jewelry is inexpensive.
With such a small amount of gold, the plating will eventually tarnish and wear away. Once the base metal becomes visible, your skin could be exposed to allergens if you are sensitive to certain types of metals.
Wearing gold plated jewelry in the water is a big no-no, which means you can’t shower or wear them in the ocean for long periods of time. This type of jewelry is best for pieces you won’t be wearing all the time or want to try out a new trend.
Gold vermeil jewelry is similar to gold plated, except the base metal is sterling silver and the layer of gold is thicker. It’s also more long-lasting, but it can still tarnish if exposed to water or other harsh chemicals.
Gold vermeil is hypoallergenic due to the sterling silver base metal, meaning those with metal sensitivities can wear them safely.
Solid gold is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the best quality of gold you can buy, which means it also has the highest price tag. The purity is measured in carats or karats, with the purest form being 24K.
Solid gold is naturally soft, so it’s often mixed with other metals to make it more durable and long-lasting for jewelry making. It’s great for everyday wear, as it won’t tarnish or fade. It’s also hypoallergenic, so it's safe for all skin types.