One of the more
frequent questions that our customer service people are asked has to do
with the difference between gold filled and gold plated items.
We’ll explain the difference in this handy guide.
tackle the plated variety first. gold plated
jewelry has a very fine
layer of the precious metal electromagnetically bonded to it. The
thickness of gold (or silver if silver plated ) is generally only a few
microns thick, so care must be taken not to polish too vigorously or
the plating will wear more quickly. 18 or 22 kt gold is typically used.
BTW, the metal underneath the plating is a base metal that must be able
to conduct electricity for the bonding process to work. At Beadaholique
we use only brass or stainless steel as these metals contain no nickel
which many folks are allergic to. That was easy!
in quality a step we have gold filled
. Gold filled is made by fusing a
layer of carat gold to a suitable supporting metal (or alloy) using
equipment that carefully controls pressure, heat, and time.
Electroplating is not part of this process. The bond produced is a
permanent one and the thickness of the gold is a hundred times or more
thicker than that of gold plate. In fact a gold filled item must
contain a fifth (1/20th) of its weight in gold and will have a quality
mark that will identify its carat. For example, 14 carat Gold Filled
will be marked as 14/20, meaning that the outer 1/20th of the piece is
14kt gold. 18/20 means the outer 1/20th is 18kt, etc.
Like solid gold, filled jewelry is tarnish-resistant and safe for most
people with sensitive skin. It will not flake or peel and can be
treasured for years.
And now for our finale, vermeil . (pronounced vur-may)
produced by coating sterling silver with carat gold. A base metal is
never used. Sometimes referred to as gilded silver, vermeil is made
using the process of electrolysis — electricity and an acid bath — to
attach the gold to sterling. To be considered vermeil, the gold must
also be at least 10-carat and be at least 1.5 micrometers thick. This
layer of gold is thicker than that applied using the electroplating
process and will far outwear a gold plated item.
There you have it. Hopefully no one was hurt and everybody had a good time!
Come visit our website and find out why we have the highest feedback rating of any bead seller on Ebay.
Best prices, friendliest people and always honest~! Visit Beadaholique