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Herkimer Hoops

Hoops with flattened end with a delicate herkimer quartz.

14k gold filled or sterling silver

What's the difference between gold, gold filled and gold plated??

In today’s jewelry industry, we now have terminology such as solid gold, gold filled, and gold plated items. So what’s the difference between them all? Well, in short: solid gold jewelry is the highest quality, thus it’s the most expensive. Gold filled jewelry is a cheaper, yet still a valuable alternative to solid gold. And finally, gold plated jewelry is usually the cheapest and most accessibly since it aesthetically looks like quality gold. These same principles apply to rose gold.



Solid Gold Jewelry is a piece of jewelry made entirely of gold -- inside and out. It’s the most expensive and durable among the other types of fine gold jewelry. Solid gold items can be either 10K, 14K, 18K, or 24K. Karats (K) are percentages of actual gold in the jewelry piece.




Gold Filled Jewelry consists of 2-3 layers of solid gold (bonded or pressed) with other metals a brass, silver, or other base metal. These layers of solid gold can have different karatage (10K, 14K, 18K and 24K). Gold filled jewelry is a typically a better alternative to gold plated jewelry. It won’t tarnish and it’s much more durable than gold plated jewelry. However, after about 20-30 years, you can begin to see some slight fading of the color.



Gold Plated Jewelry is the least expensive alternative when it comes to jewelry. However, by paying less you are also sacrificing quality of the jewelry piece. Gold plated jewelry is made from a process called electroplating. It’s a process that uses an electric current to reduce dissolved metal cat-ions so that they form a thin coherent metal coating. This process normally uses brass, copper, nickel or silver as a base.Then, a super thin layer of either 14K, 18K or 24K gold is applied with electrolytes on that base. Ultimately, it doesn't even really matter what the karat of that gold plating is. It's so thin (less that 1% of the total weight of the item) that it can be easily scratched off from the base. Essentially, it doesn't have a real gold value.

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