Gold-filled is a layered gold product that is gaining popularity throughout the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Gold-filled jewelry is jewelry composed of a solid layer of gold (typically constituting at least 5% of the item’s total weight) mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal. It consists of 2-3 layers of solid gold (bonded or pressed) with other metals a brass, silver, or other base metal. These layers of solid gold can have different karatage (10K, 14K, 18K, and 24K).
The related terms “rolled gold plate” and “gold overlay” may legally be used in some contexts if the layer of gold constitutes less than 5% of the item’s weight. Gold-filled is legally required to contain 5% or 1/20 gold by weight. This 5% is then described by the karatage of the gold alloy. Jewelers create gold filled jewelry by pressure bonding an actual layer of gold to another metal.
Gold-filled jewelry is typically a better alternative to gold-plated jewelry. Most high-quality gold-filled pieces have the same appearance as high carat gold, and gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last 10 to 30 years through the layer of gold will eventually wear off exposing the metal underneath. It is a quality material that is common in all types of jewelry. It won’t tarnish and it’s much more durable than gold plated jewelry. Gold Filled is suitable for fashion jewelry that has a limited life span.
Like gold-plated jewelry, some gold-filled jewelry has a thicker layer of gold than other gold-filled jewelry. The layer of gold on gold-filled items is 5 to 10 times thicker than that produced by regular gold plating, and 15 to 25 times thicker than that produced by gold electroplate (sometimes stamped HGE for “heavy gold electroplate” or HGP for “heavy gold plate”, which have neither of them any legal meaning and indicate only that the item is gold plated). The process involves a high amount of heat and pressure and the resultant gold-filled piece is typically more durable than a gold-plated piece. Although the layer of gold in gold-filled pieces varies depending on the manufacturer it is in all cases significantly thicker than regular gold plating. The product is easy to care for and will usually maintain its golden shine for a lifetime. Gold-filled accessories can be worn even daily without fear of fading or rubbing off for many cases as long as 30 years.