June 14, 2007
Everyone knows about solid gold, 14K, 24K etc. In addition to solid gold there is gold plated and gold filled also called rolled gold. Which ones best, how are they made, and how do they hold up?
The difference is???
The differences between the 3.
Solid Gold: Solid gold is a precious metal that comes out of the earth it is of course to soft in this state to be used in jewelry and is usually mixed with copper or silver to increase it's strength. 14K gold will have more copper or silver mixed in 22K will have less. It is by far the most expensive.
Gold Plated: Gold plated metal has a thin layer of gold deposited over a base metal such as copper or silver. This plating is made by electrically charging the gold to the base metal and is done by placing the base metal into a solution that contains gold and electrically charging it for just an instant. This results in a very thin layer, usually 1/1000 to 3/1000 of an inch, of gold being applied that will eventually loose it's brightness and color the more it is worn. This type of metal is the least expensive.
Gold Fill: Gold filled metal is made by bonding a layer of gold, usually 50-100 times thicker than plating, to a base metal, usually sterling silver or brass, using high heat and pressure. This results in a metal that is very durable and does not flake off or rub off. It is much less expensive than solid gold.
ex. a gold plated watch is typically finished with around 196-787 micro inches of gold, a gold fill watch is typically finished with 1968-4724 micro inches of gold
How durable is this stuff?
Ack! My skins turning green!Most of us have had the dreaded experience when we take a piece of jewelry off and find that the skin underneath has turned this lovely shade of Shrek green with a hint of Smurf blue. You can expect this from anything made with gold plating. It happens as the plating wears off leaving the base metal exposed. It usually take 3 days for a plated ring to turn my finger green, but I've had some do it within a few hours.We of course know that solid gold will absolutely not turn your skin green, unless you have some weird allergy that it! Gold fill metal doesn't turn your skin green either and it wears just like solid gold. If taken care of properly it can be passed down as family heirloom. Like solid gold, gold filled metal will eventually tarnish. To clean it you just need to use a polishing cloth or soft soapy water.
What I think
My personal observations and morePersonally I've never been much of a gold person, the gold plated stuff turned my skin green, never mind the rash I get, and solid gold is way out of my budget. Finding gold fill has changed my opinion of that and I now have a pair of gold fill earrings that I made and wear every day. They cost much less to make, look great with no icky Shrek green or allergic reaction.So if you like the look of gold but can't afford solid gold and hate having your skin or your customers skin turn green consider gold filled beads and findings.