Gold Plated Or Gold Filled jewelry? Which is better? 

Have you ever been confused about what type of jewelry to buy? Do you think gold plated or gold filled jewelry is better? 

Gold Plated Or Gold Filled jewelry

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What is gold filled?

Gold-filled jewelry is a layer of gold bonded to brass, and the surface must contain at least 5% gold by weight.

The most common method used to clean gold-filled jewelry is to use ultrasonic and steam cleaners, as well as cleaning cloths and dips that are specially designed for this purpose. Due to the nature of the material, polishing may be necessary from time to time with cloth or dip solutions specifically formulated for fine metals like gold.

What is gold plating?

Gold plated jewelry is a thin layer of gold applied directly to the core metal. The gold layer is usually very thin, and therefore this type of jewelry is not as durable or long-lasting as other types of jewelry. Gold plating will eventually wear off and needs to be reapplied in order to maintain its original appearance. It may also tarnish quicker than other types of gold jewelry.

The Price Difference?

  • Gold filled jewelry will be more expensive than gold plated jewelry because the gold layer is much thicker.
  • Gold filled is around 5% gold or 1/20 of the total weight, whereas gold plated is less than 1%.
  • The purity of the gold in the metal alloy used for your gold filled jewelry will depend on its quality: cheaply made jewelry can be 10K, but generally you’ll find 14K or 18K.

How do you look after your gold plated and gold filled jewelry?

  • Take jewelry off before sports or swimming.
  • Store jewelry properly in a safe, clean place.
  • Clean gold plated/filled jewelry regularly to remove dirt, soap residue, and sweat buildup.
  • Don’t shower wearing your gold plated/filled jewelry.
  • Don’t spray perfume or apply cosmetics while wearing gold plated/filled jewelry, it can cause damage to the surface of the piece.

What does the term “Gold Plated” mean?

When you see the term “gold plated”, this means that a thin layer of gold is covering an inexpensive metal base such as copper or brass. It is just what it sounds like: a very thin layer of gold is applied over another metal.

What does the term “Gold Filled” mean?

Gold filled items are made with a solid layer of gold that is mechanically bonded to a base metal such as brass. It has the same appearance as 14K gold, but it is much more affordable and tarnish-resistant.

The Benefits of Gold Plated Jewelry

Gold plated jewelry is a great option for those who love the look of gold and don’t want to pay for solid gold.

The Benefits of Gold Filled Jewelry

The benefits of Gold Filled jewelry are that they are tarnish-resistant and much more valuable than gold plated jewelry.

Gold Filled is also 100% more real gold than gold plated items which means it’s perfect for people who have skin allergies because it’s hypoallergenic!

How to tell if your jewelry is gold plated or gold filled

To tell if your jewelry is gold plated or gold filled, one of the most surefire ways is to look for markings on the item.

If no markings are present, you can always do an at-home test using a needle or knife. If this item easily scratches the surface of your piece of jewelry and creates a mark, it’s probably plated. If it doesn’t leave a scratch and barely leaves a mark, it’s likely gold filled.

And there you go! Now you know how to tell if your jewelry is made from real precious metal!

Gold Plated and Gold Filled have significant differences in quality

Gold plated jewelry is much cheaper than gold filled since it’s a thin layer of gold on the surface. A thinner layer of gold means that it will wear off faster, and doesn’t have the same quality as gold filled.

Gold Filled is higher quality than Gold Plated. Gold Filled has 100x more gold alloy than gold plated, making it much more valuable and tarnish resistant. It won’t break, rub off, or change color. In fact, anyone who can wear gold can wear gold filled without fear of developing an adverse reaction to the jewelry. It will last for many years if taken care of properly!

The best way to explain this is that Gold-Filled items have a much thicker layer of actual karat (14k) GOLD mechanically bonded to the base metal core using heat & pressure compared to Gold Plating which only uses an electrochemical process and therefore may contain NO actual karat GOLD at all in some cases!

What is the difference between the two?

In a nutshell, gold plated jewelry is a thin layer of gold on the surface of base metal. A thick layer of gold is applied to a base metal in gold filled jewelry. Gold filled jewelry has the appearance and feel of real gold.

Gold plated jewelry can be worn for only a short time. Within days after you start wearing it, the thin layer of gold will wear off and turn your skin green or blackish. You might see black dots in your sink from where you washed your hands and rings with soap, water, and dishwashing liquid!

Gold filled jewelry can last for years! It is made by bonding a thick layer of 14k-24k real gold over the top of another metal (usually brass). The process used to make this type of jewelry ensures that the resulting product has an incredibly durable bond between the metals involved, making it perfect for everyday wear even by those with sensitive skin.

So what’s better – Gold Plated or Gold Filled? We would say Gold Filled every time!


Gold filled jewelry is better than gold plated, but it’s also more expensive.

Those who are looking for jewelry that is long-lasting and of high quality should consider gold-filled jewelry. This type of jewelry is made of a solid layer of gold, which is bonded onto an inner core made from base metals such as copper, brass, or silver. The two materials are tightly bonded together by heat and pressure to create a strong bond, which cannot be achieved through gold plating alone.

Related Blog: How to Clean Gold Earrings?

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