Saturday, April 28, 2012


14k Gold Fill Chain & Parts and 16k Gold Electroplate Calla Lilies
14k Gold Fill jewelry parts are created by heat-and-pressure-bonding several thin layers of REAL 14k gold over another metal such as brass or copper.  It depends upon the manufacturer, but normally the 14k gold is applied in many layers allowing for much slower wear when interacting with the skins natural oils and salts.  For example, the inside shank of a gold fill ring may wear off after about 3 years of constant wear, but will continue to look beautiful with the 14k gold shine on the outside for years.  

Gold-plate is often a thin layer or gold or most often a gold colored metal that has no karat quality at all and will wear off very quickly – sometimes after wearing just a few times.  Gold electroplate will last longer than gold fill, particularly if it is 14k gold electroplate.

Gold Vermeil is normally 18k or 22k real gold chemically electroplated over real sterling silver.  Most gold vermeil made, and that I purchase is made by Bali in Indonesia.  The gold is much thicker than gold plate.  My supplier of gold vermeil in Indonesia describes their gold vermeil as:  “We use the process of electrolysis, electricity and an acid bath, to attach the gold (22K) to sterling. Electrolysis is also called electroplating or just "plating" for short. A layer of approximately .003 inch of 24 karat gold stand up to normal wear.”

14k Gold fill jewelry parts are normally much more expensive to purchase than real sterling silver.  For example a gold or silver plate toggle clasp may cost $2 to purchase, but will be $8 to $10 in sterling silver, $12-$14 in Gold Vermeil and $20 to $25 in 14k gold fill.  For this reason, most 14k gold fill parts are much more dainty and smaller in order to reduce costs down to keeping jewelry made with them more affordable. 

In any case, gold-filled and/or gold vermeil is a much more durable product than gold-plate.  Gold-filled jewelry is economical, and enjoys the rich look of gold at a fraction of the cost.

You will find all types of metals in my store because I think it is important to have all price ranges to accommodate all kinds of pocketbooks and needs, but it is important also to educate yourself on the difference.  The set shown uses 14k gold fill chain, gold vermeil findings and 16k gold electroplate calla lily findings.