What Exactly is the Difference Between 14k Gold vs 24k Gold and Gold Filled vs Solid Gold vs Gold Plated?
Have you ever wondered what exactly 24k, 14k, solid gold, gold filled, and gold plated actually means? Allow us to clarify some commonly used, and commonly misunderstood, jewelry terms that we are asked about from time to time.
24k solid gold is 100% made of gold. Anything below 24k, is an alloy (mixture) of metals and gold. Usually these metals are harder than pure 24k gold, so this makes an alloy harder to bend. 14k is a popular option due to it being more affordable, as well as harder than 24k gold. Calling a piece of jewelry 14k gold means it is made from 14 parts of 24 parts gold (14:10 gold ratio). We carry 24k, 22k, 18k, 14k and 10k in our store!
Gold plated (aka electroplated or gold tone) means that there is a very very thin layer of gold over another metal. We do NOT typically carry this type of jewelry because the gold tends to wear off during heavy use, and are thus not lifetime pieces.
Gold filled has a base metal as well, but has about 100x thicker layer of gold than gold plated, and is generally considered a lifetime piece because the gold tends to not wear all the way through. Solid gold, as mentioned above, is either 100% gold (24k) or a gold alloy (22k, 18k, 14k, and 10k), but there is no base metal in the inside. The gold, or alloy, goes all the way through the metal to the center. We work with both solid gold and gold filled in our studio.
Hope this helps you make informed purchases in the future!
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