Is Gold Filled Jewelry Worth Anything? What is gold filled jewelry made of? Is gold filled jewelry worth buying? benefits of gold filled jewelry? You’ve been shopping and come across jewelry described as “gold-filled.” Based on the price, it is significantly cheaper than its gold counterpart, but you’re not sure if you should get it.
That’s a common dilemma when buying jewelry that has the word “gold” and an accompanying adjective in it. It is not immediately clear what it means, and how much gold there is on the said item. One has to do some digging to know if the jewelry matches the market price.
Here, we are going to look at what gold-filled jewelry means, whether it is worth anything and if it’s something that you can consider buying. Let’s dive in.
First things first, you guys need to understand:
What is gold filled jewelry made of?
Gold-filled jewelry refers to a solid layer of gold that’s mechanically bonded with a base metal. The base metal varies.
When it is less than that, then it’s referred to as having a gold “overlay,’ or ‘rolled gold plate” for legal reasons.
The gold that goes on top of the base metal does vary, between 10k, 12k, and 14k. It rarely goes above for practicality purposes; 18k gold is somewhat delicate and would wear off faster, leaving the bottom metal expose as compared to something with 12k gold filling. The sheet placement of the gold on the item does matter too.
There are two types of gold-filled items: single-clad and double-clad. When it is a single clad, 5% of the gold rests on top of the metal underneath.
When it is double-clad, 2.5% of the gold rests on top, and 2.5% of it rests on the bottom. For the former, for example, when you’re working with a ring, the top part of the ring will have the gold filling, while the inner part of the ring has the base metal exposed.
Is Gold Filled Jewelry Worth Anything?
The worth of the gold-filled jewelry is based on the karat gold used on top of the base metal. When an item is gold-filled, based on the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, it will have a G.F. stamp on it, along with the karat gold.
The weight of the gold does need to be 1/20 of the total weight of the item. Therefore, to know that a ring is authentically gold filled with 12k gold, look for the “1/20 12kt G.F.” stamp. There are those with 14k gold filling, but the most common is 10kt.
Pro tip: When you see the stamp “R.G.P,” that’s an indication that the item has less gold in terms of thickness, and it is a gold overlay and thus not gold filled jewelry.
That said, if you’re looking to resell the gold, then it’s not worth much. You’re perhaps better off saving up more and purchasing gold jewelry.
If it does fade and you have to refill it, that would be a better way to keep it with you if it contains some sentimental value.
At the pawnshop, you’ll only perhaps get the price of the base metal, which costs next to nothing.
Alternatively, you can get rid of the item and get a new one, hoping that years on, you’re able to purchase an actual gold piece.
Pros and cons of gold-filled jewelry
Let’s look at factors that make gold-filled jewelry favorable and what don’t.
- It is more affordable as compared to gold
- People can’t tell if the jewelry is gold-filled only by looking at it, mainly if it’s in good condition
- It lasts longer when compared to gold plated or gold overlay pieces
- The gold surface will eventually tarnish, leaving the base metal exposed
Is gold filled jewelry worth buying?
Gold-filled jewelry is worth purchasing if you’re looking to have an item that’s as close as it can get to real gold. You might not have the money to buy a 14k, 18k, or even 24k gold jewelry, but a sterling silver ring that’s been gold-filled can suffice.
You can then have something with a substantial amount of gold in it and be content. It is also cheaper than gold made from the same karat.
The other practical thing about gold filled jewelry is that even with only a minimum of five percent gold constituting the total weight, it lasts a long time.
When taken care of, it can last between 10-30 years before you have to go get it refilled. With that in mind, remember to confirm that the item is gold filled and not gold plated.
When it filled, it lasts anywhere between five to ten times longer than when it’s plated. If you get something with an overlay, you’ll be disappointed. Gold-filled jewelry lasts 15 to 25 times longer in that regard.
With that, gold-filled jewelry is worth purchasing. However, even with these optimistic projections, how long the item lasts before the base metal is visible varies.
For example, a gold ring worn daily with no precautions to standard care might last for three years before it fades, depending on the karat gold used.
However, a necklace that’s not worn daily might last almost a decade before it requires a trip to the jewelry.
Knowing what gold-filled jewelry is to help to determine its worth to you.
People have a value that they place in things. Some might think that gold-filled items are a steal and get them, others might consider that actual gold is what matters.
Make a choice based on what’s practical in your context and what will make you happy.
For more jewelry metal, please visit this page for more. We write a lot of content for jewelry metal. Or visit our homepage for most posts.