What Is The Difference Between Solid Gold & Gold Plated Jewelry?

What Is The Difference Between Solid Gold & Gold Plated Jewelry?

If you have a piece of gold jewelry that you are trying to determine the value of, one of the first things you should consider is whether it is solid gold, gold plated, or gold filled. Solid gold jewelry is exactly what it sounds like: it is jewelry made of 10K, 14K, 18K, or 22K gold through and through, meaning that it is actually “worth its weight” in gold. Alternatively, gold plated or gold filled jewelry is jewelry that is made out of a base metal like brass, copper, or even silver, and is then “covered” in gold. If you have any questions about your gold jewelry or if you would like to find out how much your jewelry is worth for a pawn loan or sale, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Empire Loan!

What Is Gold Plated Jewelry?

Gold plated jewelry is jewelry made out of a base metal that is then “electroplated” to cover it with a microscopic layer of gold. Essentially, the base metal is put in water along with a piece of solid gold and is then electrified, allowing the gold molecules to attach themselves to the base metal, making the base metal appear to become gold in color. This layer is so thin that it can only fool the naked eye, not the acid test that places like Empire Loan use to determine the value of a piece of jewelry. While it’s often beautiful in appearance it does not have any value. This thin layer of gold is easily damaged and can even rub off eventually.

What Is Gold Vermeil Jewelry?

Gold vermeil jewelry is similar to gold plated jewelry, but the base metal underneath the thin layer of gold is made of sterling silver. Sterling silver is made of 92.5% pure silver, with the leftover 7.5% being made of other metals like brass or copper. The thin layer of gold on gold vermeil jewelry will still wear down, but it will expose the sterling silver underneath rather than the brass or copper that would be exposed on worn-down gold plated jewelry.

What Is Gold Filled Jewelry?

Gold filled jewelry contains more solid gold than gold plated and gold vermeil jewelry. While gold filled jewelry is similar in composition to gold plated jewelry in the fact that they are created by putting a layer of solid gold around an inner core of base metal (typically brass or copper), gold filled jewelry must contain at least 5% solid gold, while gold plated jewelry usually contains less than 1% solid gold. This is very similar to gold leaf that you may find on plates and picture frames, or even the Massachusetts State House dome. Again, it does not have any value in jewelry beyond aesthetics.

Contact Empire Loan!

If you have any questions about the pawn loan process, please do not hesitate to  contact our team at Empire Loan! With eight locations across Massachusetts and Rhode Island, we’re proud to be New England’s most trusted & reliable pawn shop! Contact us today at our store that is closest to you or call us toll free at +1 (800) 375-PAWN!

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