about jewelry metals

What’s the difference between “GOLD PLATE” and “GOLD FILLED”

Many people are not aware of the differences between "gold-filled" and "gold-plated" jewelry. Gold filled is a higher quality than gold plate and is tarnish resistant.

GOLD PLATE also referred to as GOLD TONE is the process of lightly plating gold over another metal. In this case the plating is over solid brass. This finish will tarnish over time and can be cleaned using a soft polishing cloth.

GOLD FILLED is a process where high heat and pressure is used to bond a thick layer of gold to a base metal. The gold layer on gold-filled wire is approximately 100 times thicker than gold-plate. Gold filled wears and looks like solid gold because its outer surface is solid gold.

1/20 14k or 12k means that 14k or 12k gold is bonded to the base metal and 1/20th of the piece (5%), by weight, consists of real gold. This finish is tarnish resistant and under normal wear it requires the care you would give any precious jewelry.

What’s the difference between “Silver-Tone” and “Sterling Silver”

SILVER-TONE is the process of lightly plating silver over another metal, usually nickel. This finish will tarnish over time and can be cleaned using a jewelry polishing cloth.

STERLING SILVER is most often 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The sterling wire that I use is called Argentium® Sterling Silver and contains the 92.5% fine silver legally required for sterling, but replaces about 1% of the normal copper content in sterling with germanium making it tarnish resistant. Some of the other components I use are standard sterling silver and will tarnish over time. Both types of sterling can be cleaned using a jewelry polishing cloth or a silver dip product.


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