There are a number of different types of gold plating options which cover different markets; from costume jewellery to demi-fine jewellery. Gold plating is a more affordable offering which allows the wearer access to a luxury product.
Gold plating comes in varying levels of quality depending on what type of jewellery you’re looking for.
What is gold plated jewellery?
The process of plating is when a piece of jewellery is covered with a layer of another metal. Jewellers use gold plating to offer more affordable collections in comparison to using pure gold.
What types of gold plating are there?
There are three types of gold plating options, varying in quality and durability.
Gold vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is a thick gold plating on top of sterling silver. It is the highest quality jewellery you can buy that isn’t solid gold as the gold plating in vermeil is 5 times thicker than gold plated jewellery and so is that much more durable.
Available in different carats of gold, most commonly used in 14 and 18ct.
It is available in different thickness of layers but to count as gold vermeil, it has to be a minimum of 2.5 microns thick.
At ANUKA, we use Fairmined gold vermeil plate.
Gold filled is a solid layer of gold that is mechanically bonded to a base (commonly brass), opposed to being plated on. It is more affordable than gold vermeil as a lower quality base metal is used.
Gold plated jewellery is a very light layer of gold (0.5 microns) - 0.05% actual gold or less - on top of a base metal (usually brass or copper). It offers a very affordable option however, the plating is very thin and so, the gold can rub off quite easily.
What are the pros of plated jewellery?
Plated jewellery is less of an investment than solid gold jewellery but has the same appearance.
What are the cons of plated jewellery?
Due to the nature of plating, gold plated jewellery may tarnish over time and is less water resistant and durable than solid gold.
This means at some point you will need to look to have your piece re-plated. Make sure you find out from the jeweller or brand you are purchasing from whether they offer this.
Above all be sure to ask where the metal in your plated jewellery comes from, is it recycled, Fairmined or Fairtrade.