What is gold-filled jewelry, and how is it made? Is Gold-filled real gold? Is gold-filled good quality? Will gold filled jewelry pass acid test?
Keep reading to find all the answers to this mesmerizing jewelry creation process.
So, first things first, you guys need to understand the fundamentals of gold-filled jewelry. Let’s dive in.
What is gold-filled jewelry?
Gold-filled is the term used to describe jewelry made of non-gold metal but covered with a thick gold layer. The jewelry is also referred to as rolled gold, rolled gold plate, or gold overlay jewelry. As a result of the process that yields the gold-filled jewelry, this jewelry is cheaper than any solid gold jewelry made of the same karat gold.
Gold-filled jewelry features a solid gold layer, and the gold added to the metal base often makes up 5% of the item’s total weight. The gold layer is bonded mechanically to the metal base material, which could be sterling silver or some other metal.
Note that the use of the other terms like the gold overlay or the rolled gold plate is used in the same context as gold-filled jewelry legally, but often relates to where the layer of gold used is a little less than 5% of the total item’s weight.
For the high-quality gold-filled jewelry pieces, you will notice that the jewelry in question looks a lot like the high-carat gold pieces. Note that the advantage of the gold-filled jewelry is that the jewelry can last for more than 10 years, in other cases, they’ll last for up to 30 years, and the reason for this is that the gold layer covering the base metal is substantially thick.
There’s one catch, though; the gold layer eventually wears off, and it exposes the metal underneath. It’s also worth noting that the gold layer present in the gold-filled jewelry is 5 to 10 times thicker than the layer of gold in the gold-plated jewelry. Gold-filled jewelry is also 15 to 25 times thicker than the gold layer from the electroplated jewelry.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, gold-filled jewelry in the US must have a GF stamp. For instance, if the gold layer is 12Kt or higher, then the minimum karat gold for the item with the GF stamp must be at least 1/20th the weight of the item. 14k gold-filled pieces will be marked as 14K GF or 14/20GF.
Note that gold-filled jewelry is the same as gold fill jewelry, and these terms are often used interchangeably. If the gold-filled jewelry you are buying doesn’t have the karats specified, it often means that the jewelry is 14k gold-filled.
This is the case throughout the US, where up to 95% of all the gold-filled jewelry/ gold products are 14k gold.
How is gold filled jewelry made?
As per the definition of gold-filled jewelry above, you now know that gold-filled jewelry isn’t pure/ solid gold jewelry. It is, however, gold jewelry whose core/ base material is made of either nickel or brass, with a gold sheet wrapped around that base metal.
So, how is the fusion done?
Essentially, fusing the gold layer to the base metal takes place mechanically, where heat is applied to allow for the fusion. It is a mechanical bonding process.
The gold layer in the gold-filled jewelry is 5% the weight of the item in question, and the gold used is either 10K gold or higher.
Is Gold-filled real gold?
The gold layer in gold-filled jewelry is without doubt real gold, but you need to bear in mind that the resultant jewelry isn’t solid gold, but gold-covered jewelry with a base material made of different metals.
The gold-filled jewelry will have a thick layer made of solid core, and in most cases, a brass core. 14k gold is the most common gold used in gold-filled jewelry, and this 14k gold is the same good-quality gold as what you’d get if you were looking at a 14k solid piece of gold.
Is gold-filled good quality?
In terms of good-quality gold jewelry, gold-filled jewelry is one of the most valuable forms of gold jewelry, and it’s largely resistant to tarnishing thanks to the comprehensive mechanical process used to fuse the thick layer of gold to the base metal core.
While the gold layer will naturally wear out with time, proper care of gold-filled jewelry will prolong the life of the piece in question significantly, as it is quite durable.
Unlike gold-plated jewelry that would have to be re-plated after one or two years, depending on use, gold-filled jewelry is known to last for 10 – 30 years.
The other reason why we regard gold-filled jewelry as good-quality pieces is that the gold won’t flake or even turn your skin green, which means that gold-filled jewelry is ideal for persons with sensitive skin.
Then there’s the durability part. Gold-filled jewelry lasts a really long time, and some pieces from the Victorian Era have been shown to be in good condition, more than 100 years later.
Of course, the longevity of the gold pieces depends on how they are taken care of, and also how often they were used. Gold-filled jewelry will not tarnish easily, and they don’t rust.
Here, we also cover this topic: How Long Does Gold Filled Jewelry Last? if you want to learn more in details, click here to read.
Will gold filled jewelry pass acid test?
Besides the GF stamp on gold-filled jewelry, one of the best ways for you to test the authenticity of jewelry has always involved an acid test. But will gold-filled jewelry pass the acid test?
Generally, the extra thick gold layer on gold-filled jewelry means that the jewelry will pass the nitric acid test, if genuine.
One reason behind this rationale is that the high-quality gold-plated jewelry whose gold layer isn’t as thick as the gold-filled jewelry passes the nitric acid scratch rest when only the surface layer is tested.
It, therefore, means that the gold-filled jewelry would pass this test. Be careful not to make a deep cut into the jewelry because that would result in more damage to the jewelry.
Gold-filled jewelry is higher-quality gold pieces that cost more than the gold-plated and heavy gold-plated jewelry pieces because the gold layer in the gold-filled jewelry is bigger.
It’s more, durable; it doesn’t cause skin allergies as it’s free or nickel and the gold-filled jewelry will last a long time.