You’ve probably come across jewelry that is described as hollow, but do you really know what this kind of gold piece means or what makes them different from other kinds of gold jewelry, say solid gold jewelry? And more importantly, is the hollow gold real gold, or would it be considered fake gold?
Keep reading to learn all about the hollow gold.
What is hollow gold?
Unlike solid gold jewelry, hollow gold can be defined as the kind of gold jewelry or pieces that have some hollow space incorporated in the design.
The hollow gold isn’t, however, durable when compared to durable solid gold, and this means that hollow gold is not only less valuable than solid gold, but also, the value of this kind of gold decreases significantly over time.That said, the space that surrounds the hollow pieces of gold jewelry is actually made of solid gold.
As a result, the hollow gold jewelry will have the same kind of stamping as that of the solid gold pieces. In other words, both the 10k, 14k, and 18k gold stamps will be on the solid and hollow gold pieces, with the only differences between the hollow and the real gold being the space between the exterior of the hollow pieces, unlike the solid gold pieces whose entire volume is made of the pieces of gold.
The hollow gold is, therefore, much lighter than solid gold because it is hollow, unlike solid gold which is, solid.
Hollow gold making process
The process of making the hollow gold and hollow gold jewelry is based on the industry’s need for the reduction of the cost of manufacturing items, and in all these, the karat gold jewelry has not been left out.
There is also the fact the demand for high-quality gold jewelry is always at a high, but the prices remain high, which means that the demand for hollow gold pieces is also very high.
In a bid to reduce the cost of gold manufacturing, the one common technique applied is often mass production, which often employs various established techniques like electroforming.
But this is not the only technique that is commonly used – the other that is becoming the preferable route in metallurgy and gold jewelry production is the crafting of jewelry out of the same high-quality gold pieces but using thinner material. With this regard, you will come across very thin 0.1mm gold pieces that are made out to be very hollow, weighing less than 1g – which is quite impressive, really.
Unfortunately, the decreased thickness of the gold through the creation of hollow gold means an increase in the fragility of the same hollow gold. So, how are hollow gold chains created?
Generally, these chains go through a considerable amount of pressure and deformation during the manufacturing process. As a result, the hollow gold chains would need a stronger core for more support.
The manufacturing process for the hollow gold chain is as follows:
- First, the carat gold alloy is cast and rolled for stripping.
- The form is then stripped around the base metal’s core with the use of special dies. It is then rolled and drawn with composites for a finished size of the wire.
- Next, the wire is converted into the chain through an electronic chain machine or even by hand. The newly formed chain will then have the chain links soldered on before the base metal core used is then dissolved.
There are many complexities in the production of the hollow gold chain, though. For instance, selecting the appropriate core can be challenging, as is the process of aligning the composite wire to keep the folded edges remaining in the chain links and also out of view.
Also, making good the gold’s soldered joints given the thinness of the hollow gold is challenging, as is the process of dissolving the base metal, which is crucial for the hallmarking of the hollow gold.
For the production of the hollow jewelry from the formed strips, there are several machines that are used to form both the strip and the tube in different sections and shapes while also impressing different patterns on the surface of the hollow jewelry pieces.
There is also the spiraling or twisting of the tubes and sections on the mandrels, as well as cutting off the strops into hollow bracelets, bangles, earrings, and necklaces.
In the case of the more complex patterns and items, the core of the hollow gold is necessary to add extra support during the design and manufacturing processes. So, to create the hollow and complex components, the following steps are followed:
- There are continuous strip/cast rods and flat-rolling of the pieces into the desired finished thickness on the continuous roll train.
- Next, the strip gets annealed in the continuous strip using an annealing furnace.
- The strip is then slit or cut for the correct width and to ensure forming. This is essentially the starting point when the jewelry manufacturers prefer buying the strips instead of having to make them in-house.
- The next step is to feed the gold strip through the tube-forming machine. The strip is then folded, passing through a series of casting dies, which is the machine that introduces the metal core, and like the hollow chain wire, the strip gets folded around the core while it’s drawn into the dies.
- The next steps involve annealing the lengths of the hollow tubes, winding and spiraling the tubes, patterning the imprints, and spiraling the wound sections. Next, the hooks, clasps, and fasteners are made, and the final product is cleaned and well-polished.
Is hollow gold real or fake?
The hollow gold is real gold, just hollow. Keep reading more about the pros and cons of hollow gold below!
Does hollow gold break easily?
Unlike solid gold, hollow gold is extra-lightweight, and it will break easily because there is space in the gold wires that make the gold thin, light, and less durable. Too much force will break the hollow gold pieces easily.
Is hollow gold jewelry good?
Well, good is subjective when it comes to jewelry, especially for hollow gold jewelry. That said, the hollow gold pieces of jewelry are much cheaper than the solid gold options, and they look just as good as the real thing, which means they will not last as long.
As a result, not everyone finds the hollow gold jewelry options good or great.
That said, if you are on a budget and still want real gold jewelry, hollow gold jewelry would be a good option for you to try out.
Pros and cons of hollow gold jewelry
- The hollow gold jewelry is inexpensive
- The jewelry is ideal for casual wear
- The jewelry is lightweight and feels quite comfortable on the skin
- A large variety of jewelry options to choose from
- You can swim in the chain
- Ideal for everyday wear
- The hollow gold jewelry is not as durable
- Breaks easily
Is hollow or solid gold better?
Solid gold is generally a better and preferable option to hollow gold. It is durable, unlike solid gold, because solid gold has no space, which would mean that it is not susceptible to breakage the way hollow gold is.
And though the solid gold pieces cost more than the hollow gold pieces, the solid gold options are the ideal long-term investments, and ultimately, worth the higher price tag.
Can you shower with hollow gold?
Technically, you can shower with hollow gold jewelry, but we don’t recommend showering with hollow gold jewelry or any other kind of jewelry, for that matter.
Hollow gold is real gold and not fake because the gold used for the hollow gold is actual gold, just thin and hollowed out. As a result, it is cheaper than solid gold and an ideal option for someone looking for good quality gold on a budget.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.