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This article was written by Michael Fox, owner of Fox Jewelry, a business dedicated to the sale of Masonic Rings, Masonic accessories and other fraternal jewelry. Fox Jewelry offers the largest selection of Masonic Rings and other Masonic Jewelry anywhere.
Exactly What Does Gold-Plated Mean?
In the event you have ever acquired jewelry in the past, you could have noticed the term gold-plated, also referred to as gold-plate. This is usually a method of overlaying another kind of metal by using a very delicate, very nearly microscopic, film of pure gold by electroplating it. Many business refer to gold-plated jewelry as gold overlay, nonetheless, these are generally basically the very same things.
Among the many major advantages that gold-plated items have is the fact that it is quite durable. Gold is basically very soft and delicate metal, and it is easily susceptible to nicks, dents, and bending. Gold plating can provide a gorgeous finish to a piece that needs to be sturdy and durable. The challenge would be that the gold finish on items can start to chip and wear away as time passes. In addition, some gold-plated items can be susceptible to tarnishing.
Exactly What Does Gold-Filled Suggest?
Gold-filled jewelry is much more valuable than gold-plated. As a matter of fact you will find almost 100 percent much more gold in gold-filled things compared to what can be found in gold-plated items. Similar to how gold plated jewelry is plated with gold, gold-filled jewelry is plated with gold as well, however, there is a large difference involving the ways such jewelry is produced.
Gold-filled items possess a significantly heavier layer of gold on them and the gold is a much higher quality. As a matter of fact, it is only a step down from solid gold, when it comes down to quality and value for your money. With regards to solid gold, pure gold is very soft and is often not a great choice for jewelry; that is why an alloy is almost always used for gold jewelry items, worth a considerable sum of money.
Gold-filled items also use a gold alloy that can be really strong dependent upon the karat of the gold that is used. Understand that the lower karats of gold tend to be a little bit stronger, 14 karat gold being an example. A greater karat of gold affirms a higher purity, and while that means the gold piece by itself is significantly more valuable the metal will be a little softer. As a frame of reference, remember that 24 karat gold is pure gold and therefore, the softest type of gold obtainable. Customers that are looking for a more durable piece of jewelry will want to opt for a lower karat.
You would not need to be worried about gold-filled jewelry tarnishing, and even if you have an allergic reaction to certain metals, you won’t have to worry about allergies from metals such s nickel. You can’t say the same about gold-plated jewelry.
Determining Whether an Item is Plated or Filled.
Perhaps you think it’s quite easy to find out if a piece of jewelry is gold filled or gold-plated. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy to find out if a piece of jewelry is gold-filled or gold-plated. Some people will use stamps, markers, and other identifiers on the gold item. One of the things that the US Department of Commerce requires is a stamp; nonetheless, this is only refers to gold-filled items produced in the US. If this stamp is present, it will indicate how much pure gold is in the piece of jewelry. For instance, the bare minimum quantity in order to be regarded as gold-filled is 20 percent. This item would have a stamp that looks like 1/20. You might also see 1/50, that in fact demonstrates that the item is 50 percent pure gold. This might seem to be a fool proof way to figure it out but it’s not.
First of all, the marking process is only done in the US. Jewelry is made of gold throughout the world, and this is not a standard that other countries follow. As with all product, gold jewelry comes from all over the world, so only if you know for certain it is from the US, you might not see this stamp. In addition, other countries and producers may stamp their own jewelry, but you might not really know what it indicates, or it could be stamped on gold plated jewelry in order to get more money for it.
There are two fool proof ways to test an item so as to ensure it is gold filled instead of jewelry that is gold plated, but both of them require you to see a jewelry professional. The very first is to have the piece electronically tested utilizing a device that will tell you how thick the gold is on the piece of jewelry. This is a very reliable method, but not all jewelers will offer it as this piece of equipment to test is very expensive. The standard method of testing for gold is to do an acid test. Using this test, a small amount of acid will be placed on the jewelry and will indicate gold plating as it will dissolve the plating quickly. Just a minimal amount of the plating will dissolve, but you will definitely know what type of jewelry you have…
Gold-Plated Jewelry or Gold-Filled Jewelry?
Now having been told about the difference between jewelry that is gold-filled or gold-plated, you may be wanting to know which the best choice is when it comes to you. There will be certainly be advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of jewelry.
Gold-filled jewelry has a much higher amount of gold in it and is much more valuable. This is a durable piece that will not tarnish or chip. It is also safe for those with metal allergies.
Gold-filled jewelry is more expensive that plated jewelry and will last longer; however, it does have a life span of about 10-30 years, unlike pure gold pieces that will last forever.
Gold Plated jewelry is very affordable and looks just like real gold. The piece will be very strong and durable in most cases as the gold will be plated over a stronger material. The amount of gold is minimal in this type of jewelry, and this leads to a much lower value. This type of jewelry can also tarnish, chip and flake away.
The decision is yours. If your budget is of concern and this is a piece of costume jewelry that you do not intend to wear a lot or for a long time, then gold-plated is the way to go.
If you intent to wear this piece of jewelry for a long time and you have a bit more money to spend, then I would go with pure gold or gold-filled.
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