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Gold Fill Vs. Gold Plated

14k gold fill jewelry

There are so many different terms when it comes to gold jewelry. You will hear terms like solid gold, gold plated, and gold fill. So here are some basics to help you know more about gold fill jewelry and why it's an excellent alternative to solid gold! 


Understanding karats, is important to understanding various types of gold jewelry. Karats (K) is the unit in which gold alloys are measured. If you were to buy a 24K gold ring, that means the ring is 99.9% pure gold. Here is a breakdown of different karats and the corresponding percentages:

10K = 41.70%
14K = 58.30%
24K = 99.99%
However, just because 24k gold is more valuable, it doesn't mean you should always aim for the purest gold jewelry. Pure gold is actually very soft and is easily scratched and damaged. For jewelry that will last, you will want to aim for lower karat gold, such as 10K, 12K, or 14K gold.

What is Gold Fill?

Gold-fill jewelry is very different from gold-plated jewelry. Gold-fill jewelry is the second most valuable type of gold, next to solid gold. Gold fill has a thick layer of gold that is pressure-bonded to a core of quality jewelers brass. Gold fill contains and contains 5% gold by weight. That’s 100x more gold than gold-plated! If taken care of properly, gold-filled jewelry won't fade, wear away, or chip off. Read about how to take care of your gold fill jewelry HERE.

Similar to solid gold, gold fill can also be worn in natural water, you just want to avoid harsh chemicals- like those found in pools and hot tubs. Also similar to solid gold jewelry, you will also want to avoid harsh chemicals found in everyday products (cleaning products, perfumes, hair products, etc) that can cause the alloys in the metal to tarnish. If your jewelry does come into contact with one of these chemicals, it is important to clean it. Read about how to clean your gold filled jewelry HERE.

Our 14K gold-fill jewelry is also lead and nickel free, which are the most common materials to cause allergic reactions to jewelry. So even those with sensitive skin can enjoy wearing our 14K gold fill jewelry!

What is Gold Plated?

Gold plated jewelry is the least expensive option when it comes to gold and contains 0.5% gold by weight and is often called "costume jewelry" due to its low cost. Gold plated jewelry is created through a process called electroplating. This process uses electric current to reduce dissolved metal cat- ions so that it forms a thin coating over the core of brass, copper, nickel, or silver. 

With gold plated jewelry- it is important to take it off when sleeping and to avoid getting it wet. Because the layer of gold is so thin, it is common for it to easily chip and rub off. On average, it's common to only get a year's worth of wear from gold plated jewelry. Also, a gold filled and gold plated necklace can look the exact same at first. But time will tell, if the color fades then you know it was probably plated.

Solid Gold

Solid gold jewelry is exactly what it sounds like, it's a piece of jewelry made entirely from gold. While there are benefits to solid gold- there are also some things to note.

Similar to gold fill jewelry, solid gold jewelry can worn in natural water. Unlike gold fill, 24K gold (99.9% pure gold) can also be worn in chlorine, but only 24K gold. Anything that is less than 24K pure gold, cannot be worn in chlorine. Chlorine is known to have very damaging effects on some of the other precious metals that are used to alloy gold to the various gold karat values commonly used. But, as we mentioned earlier, 24K gold is very soft and easily damaged. So, it might not be the best option for a swimming accessory.

Why We Recommend Gold- Fill

We know that in some ways, gold fill is not the same as solid gold. But, if you are looking for a more affordable gold jewelry option, that is also durable and can be worn in natural water, and last you a lifetime, you need some Megen Gabrielle Jewelry in your life!

There is no question that gold fill is significantly better than gold plated jewelry. Gold plated jewelry won't last. So, if you find something that you love and would like to enjoy for years and years, look for a gold fill option!

Due to the fact that gold plated jewelry wears off and tarnishes easily. It's also not suitable for those with sensitive skin due to the inconsistent core materials. With Megen Gabrielle Jewelry, all of our gold fill material is free of nickel and lead! 

We can't recommend gold fill enough! Send us a message if you have any questions! 

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