The Difference of Gold Plated, Gold Vermeil, Gold Filled, Karat Gold

1. Gold Plated   

Extremely thin layer of gold applied to base metal

Gold plating is a miniscule layer of solid gold applied to a brass or silver base. The plating does not compose any measurable proportion of the products total weight. It is estimated to be 0.05% or less of the metal product. Gold plating will generally wear off rather quickly and expose the base metal inside. It does not stand up to heat, water or wear over time.

2. Gold Vermeil   

Thick layer of gold applied to Sterling Silver

Also called Silver-gilt or gilded/gilt silver, sometimes known in American English by the French term vermeil, is silver (either pure or sterling) which has been gilded with gold. Most sporting trophies (including medals such as the gold medals awarded in all Olympic Games after 1912) and many crown jewels are silver-gilt objects. Apart from the raw materials being much less expensive to acquire than solid gold of any karat, large silver-gilt objects are also noticeably lighter if lifted, as well as more durable (gold is about as heavy as lead and is highly malleable and easily scratched). Compared to objects made of ungilded sterling silver which have intricate detail like monstrances, gilding, which limits oxidation of the underlying metals, greatly reduces the need for cleaning and polishing, and so reduces the risk of damage to them.

3. Gold Filled

Very thick layer of gold permanently bonded to alloy

Gold filled jewelry is composed of a solid layer of gold (typically constituting at least 5% of the item’s total weight) mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal. The related terms “rolled gold plate” and “gold overlay” may legally be used in some contexts if the layer of gold constitutes less than 5% of the item’s weight.

Most high quality gold-filled pieces have the same appearance as high carat gold, and gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last 10 to 30 years though the layer of gold will eventually wear off exposing the metal underneath. The layer of gold on gold-filled items is 5 to 10 times thicker than that produced by regular gold plating, and 15 to 25 times thicker than that produced by gold electroplate (sometimes stamped HGE for “heavy gold electroplate” or HGP for “heavy gold plate”, neither of which has any legal meaning and indicates only that the item is gold plated).

4. Karat Gold

Pure gold mixed with metal alloys

Solid gold is an alloy that is described with the karat of pure gold. Pure gold is 24kt. However, it is much too soft to hold its shape or wear well. Therefore, it is mixed or alloyed with other metals to make it harder and easier to work with. karat refers to the alloy’s purity. Karats measure the parts per 24, so that 18 karat =18⁄24 =75% and 24 karat gold is considered 100% gold.

Post time: Oct-17-2018
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