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Jewelry facts & Questions

What is the difference between gold plating, gold fill and solid gold?

This is one of our most common questions in store, so we thought we would take a moment to share the difference between gold plated jewelry, gold fill jewelry, and solid gold jewelry, and why there is such a price gap between them:

Gold Plated: A piece of jewelry that is gold plated usually has less than .05% gold content and is the least expensive alternative. This means the piece is a base metal (like brass or silver) and then using a process called electroplating, the base metal gets coated in a very thin layer of gold. Although this is the most cost effective option, the gold plating can be easily scratched or worn off, which is why we do not carry this type of jewelry in our store.

Gold Filled: A piece of jewelry that is gold filled consists of 5% solid gold that is mechanically bonded to the base metal (bronze/brass). This mean that gold fill jewelry has up to 100 times more gold that gold plated jewelry. Gold fill is a quality option that wont break the bank, but still offers a decent lifetime for the piece. It is more durable than plated jewelry and won't tarnish as badly. This is what most of our items are that are out on the floor in store- the prices for gold fill jewelry usually range from $15-$75. It is good to note that there are limitations to this metal, and often cannot be used for fine jewelry like engagement rings or complex designs.

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Distinctive and Bold

Solid Gold: Solid Gold jewelry is made entirely of gold - inside and out! There are various Karats of gold which is the percentage of 24k gold in the jewelry piece. It is the most expensive, but most durable. We carry a good amount of solid (10k, 14k, 18k) gold pieces, which are the pieces you see in our cases. These prices usually start at around $100 and go up from there, based on the size of the piece and karat of gold used.

To really share the difference in price, take the simple stacking ring in the picture above- made in 14k gold fill, this ring is around $35. In solid 14k gold, it would be around $135. Each ring would take around the same time for someone to make, but the cost of gold is much higher in a solid gold piece.

We hope this helps explain the quality of jewelry we stock, how they wear over time, and why certain metals more more expensive than others. If you have further questions, feel free to email us at

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