Gold-Plated Jewelry FAQ
What is gold-plated jewelry?
Gold-plated jewelry is created through a process where a layer of gold is either electrically or chemically bonded to a base metal or metal alloy. The quality of the base metal will determine the durability of the gold plating. Lower-quality base metals tend to break down more quickly over time, causing the gold plating to wear away sooner. However, base metals like sterling silver, stainless steel, and brass will provide the most durability for longer-lasting gold plated jewelry.
What is gold vermeil jewelry?
Gold vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is a common term used to describe gold-over-silver plated jewelry. Silver is an excellent base metal for gold plating; however, the quality of the metal is an important factor. Pure silver is extremely soft and is typically alloyed with other metals to create a more stable product for jewelry making. Sterling silver is a metal alloy comprised of 92.5 percent pure silver, making it a quality choice for gold plating.
What is gold-filled jewelry?
Gold filled jewelry, also known as gold overlay, features a base metal plated with a layer of gold. The gold must constitute at least five percent of the jewelry’s total metal weight to be considered gold filled. The gold plating is mechanically bonded to a base metal to create a weighty piece of jewelry with a smooth luster.
What is gold alloy?
Gold alloy is a mixture of pure gold and other metals. Instead of plating a base metal in gold, the metal is combined with the gold to create an alloy. For example, rose gold jewelry features an alloy of pure gold with copper, which creates a reddish hue. White gold jewelry is an alloy of gold and another white metal like silver, palladium, zinc, or nickel.
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