Have you ever come across two pieces of gold jewellery that look exactly the same but have a huge price difference and wondered why? Have you ever purchased a "gold" piece of jewellery just to have it turn colour, chip, peel or wear off on you?
“Solid gold” and “gold plated” jewellery are two worlds apart. When shopping for jewellery, it is essential to understand the difference between the two so that you know which option would be most suitable for yourself. Consequently, you will know exactly what you are getting in return for your money. The truth is that you’re going to initially invest a little more for solid gold jewellery. But it will stand the test of time, and in the longer term, you will be getting better value for money.
What is Gold Plated jewellery?
Most costume jewellery is manufactured from gold plated brass as it is not only more affordable, but also very durable and practical when it comes to manufacturing jewellery. Gold plated jewellery is an excellent option if you want to buy pieces that are on-trend or are on a much smaller budget.
The gold plating process starts with a piece of base metal, usually brass or silver, which is cleaned and prepared, ready to be plated with a thin 0.5 micron layer of gold. At first, gold plated jewellery can possess an almost identical lustre to solid gold pieces and may appear indistinguishable to the untrained eye. Unfortunately, gold plated pieces will eventually lose their lustre and wear off over time, and contact with water and chemicals can speed this process up. Moreover, once it has tarnished or worn off that’s it! It is likely that the cost of replating the piece would cost more than what you originally paid for.
Plated jewellery requires a little more care. If you are worried about your jewellery tarnishing or wearing off, and you want to invest in a piece that you can wear everyday and for every day activities, such as showering, then gold plated jewellery may not be the best option for you.
What is Solid Gold jewellery?
Solid gold is the most valuable form of gold. Within the range of solid gold available, there are different levels of purity, with 24k being the purest. 24k Solid gold is almost orange in colour, easily scratched and extremely soft, making it a poor metal for jewellery. This is why alloys such as silver, zinc and copper can be mixed with gold to give it strength and durability and ensure that it is structurally sound – find out more about this precious metal here.
At With Bling, we lovingly craft our solid gold jewellery out of 9k or 14k gold, so it will not only look and feel luxurious, but will also stand the test of time, making them perfect for everyday wear. Solid gold is hence an ideal option for piercings that are harder to change on a daily basis, for example: tragus, forward helix, rook, conch, daith and helix piercings.
How can you tell the difference?
Since 1973, any piece of gold jewellery weighing more than 1.0g must be hallmarked by law. The hallmark records the percentage of real gold in the metal which makes up your piece.
With Bling solid gold pieces are lovingly crafted from 10K or 14K gold. You will find a ‘10K’ or ‘14K’ stamp on every piece of our solid gold jewellery, and a ‘9K’ or ‘14K’ full hallmark on our heavier pieces over 1g. Seeing a little row of stamps or an engraved mark is your assurance that your new piece of jewellery is everything you expected.
Example of our 925 Sterling Silver Hallmark
More information on Hallmarking can be found here.
Which option should you choose?
Now that you are savvy on all things gold plated and solid gold, it’s decision time. What’s it going to be?
With Bling jewellery is designed with the intention to suit everyone. We offer our bestselling designs in both plated and solid gold options so that everyone can enjoy our jewellery, no matter what your budgets or needs are.