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Article: What does “gold-plated” actually mean exactly?

was bedeutet vergoldung

What does “gold-plated” actually mean exactly?

Gold jewelry & gold-plated jewelry in comparison

Gold – for thousands of years it has been a symbol of beauty, wealth and elegance. So it's no wonder that pieces of jewelry made from the precious metal have always been in great demand. But what is gold plating actually all about? What does “gold-plated” mean exactly? And what are the differences between solid gold jewelry and gold-plated jewelry pieces? fejn knows the answers to these questions and reveals the mysteries surrounding gold plating .

This is what lies behind the term “gold-plated”

When something is gold-plated, it sounds like pure luxury and elegance. But what does the term mean and what does “gold-plated” actually mean? Gold plating is a process in which a piece of jewelry is covered with a thin layer of gold. This usually involves parts made of metals such as copper or silver. The gold plating is applied to the metal pieces using various techniques.

Gold plating is usually done by electrolysis or comparable chemical processes. Electrolysis uses electricity to plat gold. To do this, the metal pieces take an electrolyte bath. This contains a solution with tiny gold particles. The result? Pieces of jewelry that at first glance look as if they were made of solid gold. In reality, gold-plated jewelry is simply covered with gold.

Already knew? The micron value provides information about how much gold plating your jewelry piece receives. The higher the value, the thicker the gold layer. We use a gold plating between 1-2 microns, which supports the longevity of our jewelry.

“What does gold plated mean?” – you now have an answer to this question! But what does hard gold plated mean? Hard gold plating describes a special gold plating process in which a particularly thick layer of gold is applied to the base metal - it is up to ten times thicker than with conventional gold plating. The thicker gold layer increases the longevity of the gold-plated piece of jewelry because it wears out less quickly.

Is gold-plated jewelry worth anything?

The answer to this question is clearly: yes! Gold-plated jewelry is undoubtedly valuable because the layer used for gold plating is - clearly - made of high-quality gold. And the base materials used in the gold plating process, such as copper or silver, also have a certain inherent value. However, the value of gold-plated jewelry varies compared to solid gold jewelry . The gold layer on the gold-plated piece of jewelry is usually rather thin. Despite this fact, gold-plated jewelry offers the opportunity to enjoy the full shine and beauty of solid gold at a significantly lower price. High quality included!

How do I tell whether a piece of jewelry is made of gold or gold-plated?

Truth be told: Distinguishing between gold-plated jewelry and pieces made of solid gold can quickly become a challenge with the naked eye. This is because gold-plated jewelry can look like solid gold jewelry at first glance. It is often just as shiny and appears just as elegant. One way to tell the difference is to use the stamps on the piece of jewelry. Here is an overview of all the differentiating options:

  • Markings and stamps:
    Most pieces of jewelry made of solid gold have a fineness stamp that provides information about the fineness of the gold used in carats. For example, the embossing 750 stands for 18 carat gold. If the number 585 can be read on the ring, it is 14 carat gold. The latter is the variant that we use for the fine pieces of jewelry made of solid gold. In addition to fineness stamps, gold jewelry can also have manufacturer or country stamps. These contain information about the jewelry producer (for example in the form of logos, initials or names) or indicate which country the gold used comes from.

  • Color differences:
    The gold coating wears off over time, especially on older or frequently worn pieces of jewelry. Color changes on the edges are an indicator of gold-plated jewelry.

  • Weight:
    Because gold is a dense material, solid gold jewelry is heavier than gold-plated pieces of the same size. The weight can be determined precisely using a precision scale.

  • Allergic reaction:
    Some people may be sensitive to the base metals used, which lie beneath the gold layer. If you notice allergic reactions such as skin rashes or redness when wearing the piece of jewelry, it could be a gold-plated piece.

  • Consult experts:
    If, despite all the indicators, you are unsure whether your piece of jewelry is made of real gold or gold-plated, you can ask for help at a jewelry store. With trained eyes and acid, X-ray or magnetic tests, the experts there determine whether it is solid gold or a gold coating.

    You can find out more about how the term real jewelry is actually defined and how you can recognize real gold in our blog article on the topic.

Is gold-plated jewelry also stamped?

All the details about gold hallmarks as an indicator of real gold raise the question of whether gold-plated jewelry also has hallmarks. After all, real gold is used to make them. Here comes the answer: Yes, gold-plated jewelry can also be stamped.

As a rule, however, the information on the stamp refers to the base material of the jewelry. Here at fejn about 925 sterling silver. However, those interested can find information about gold plating in the descriptions on the product pages in the online shop or find out more about gold directly from your trusted (online) jeweler. Questions like “What does 24 carat gold plated mean?” What does 18K gold plated mean? And what does 14k gold plated mean?” will definitely soon be a thing of the past.

Some manufacturers also stamp the gold content of the gilding. For example, a typical stamp applied to gold plated jewelry might be 14KGP. In this case, 14K stands for 14 carat gold, the abbreviation GP stands for gold plated. By the way, this is also the type of gold plating that we use for the pieces in our the glamourus collection .

The difference: gold and gold-plated

We note: The main difference between gold-plated jewelry and jewelry made of solid gold lies in the production and the amount of gold used. While solid gold jewelry is made of solid gold, gold-plated jewelry is refined using a thin layer of gold.

Decisions, decisions... Whether you choose solid gold or gold-plated jewelry depends on your personal preferences and budget. Both types of gold jewelry have their place in the world of jewelry and can offer you real elegance and unique gold shine - albeit in different ways. Compared to solid gold, gold-plated jewelry is slightly less durable because the gold layer wears away over time and through frequent wear. Nevertheless, they can offer a great everyday alternative to higher-priced real gold jewelry and elegantly enhance your everyday looks.

Whether gold-plated jewelry or timeless accessories made of solid gold: There are a few things you can do to ensure that your golden piece of jewelry shines for as long as possible. You can find our tips for cleaning gold jewelry in our article on the topic.


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