The Difference Between Gold Plated Or Gold Filled

February 04, 2020 - Jewelry & Luxury Items

At surface glance, the distinction between gold filled and gold plated isn’t noticeable.

But, it can make all the difference.

Understanding the gold game can be a huge asset to you financially. One of the first steps in getting there is understanding gold filled vs gold plated.

Whether you’re pawning off your old jewelry pieces or looking to buy quality pieces, understanding gold can help!

What does gold filled mean? Is gold plated jewelry still valuable? What about gold plated vs. solid gold?

Learn the ins-and-outs of gold plated vs gold filled below!

The Key Differences Between Gold Plated and Gold Filled

Amount of Gold

The biggest distinction between gold plated and gold filled jewelry is how much gold is used.

What Does Gold Plated Mean?

In gold plated jewelry, there is a thin layer of gold that is electroplated onto another metal. This gives the appearance of gold jewelry without the expensive cost.

What Does Gold Filled Mean?

Gold filled jewelry is legally required to contain five percent gold by weight. Although gold filled jewelry is still another metal covered with a layer of gold, it has considerably more gold than gold plated jewelry.

Wear and Tear

The gold layer in gold plated jewelry will wear and tear over time. As the gold wears away, the metal beneath it will begin to show through. This gives jewelry an aged and cheap look.

Gold filled jewelry, on the other hand, will last much longer.

Gold Filled Is More Valuable Than Gold Plating

Because of the higher gold content, gold filled jewelry is more valuable than gold plated jewelry.

Gold Filled Vs. Solid Gold

Gold filled jewelry is not to be confused with solid gold. Solid gold is one hundred percent gold. This means that it will never tarnish and reveal another metal below it.

Solid gold is often used for wedding bands and other high-quality jewelry.

Is Solid Gold Pure Gold?

Not necessarily.

There are three common kinds of gold used to create solid gold jewelry: 14k, 18k, and 24k.

24k is the purest form, however, it scratches easily. 14k and 18k are mixed with other metals. These types of gold provide much more scratch-resistant and long-lasting pieces of jewelry.

Tiers of Value for Gold Jewelry

When comparing the three, solid gold is the highest quality and most valuable. This is followed by gold filled. The least valuable is gold plated due to its low gold content.

How Can I Tell the Difference Between Gold Plated, Gold Filled, and Solid Gold?

The easiest way to tell the gold content of a jewelry piece is to take it to a jeweler who can perform an acid test.

Know the Difference, Know the Value

Knowing the difference between gold plated, gold filled, and solid gold is key in knowing the value of gold pieces. This is important whether buying or selling!

Looking to sell your gold jewelry? PawnGuru lets you pawn or sell your jewelry to make cash quickly. Fill out the easy selling form here.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

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