If you love jewellery, you know that the allure of gold is captivating. How often have you wished you could buy a gold bracelet or necklace, a pretty pair of earrings or a ring made of gold? Yes, we know many hands will be up for this one. You want to buy gold jewellery, but the price tag puts you off. Or, it simply might happen that you would like a new set of jewellery in a trending style but don’t want to spend a ton of money on it. There is a super-cool solution to this quandary that will let you indulge yourself without going broke. We have a curated collection of handmade designer gold-plated jewellery which you will love to browse.
• Learn more about gold-plated jewellery
• Real gold or gold plated?
• Types of gold plating
• Affordable luxury styles in gold plated jewellery
What is gold plated jewellery?
Gold plated jewellery is affordable jewellery within reach of more people.
Back in the day, buying authentic gold jewellery was a privilege mainly afforded by the nobility or the wealthy. Then, in 1805, an Italian chemist—Luigi Brugnatelli—invented the process of plating silver with gold.
Whether you want simple, designer pieces or luxury demi-fine jewellery from well-known brands across Europe, you will find gold-plated jewellery is the pocket-friendly version of pure gold jewellery.
Is gold plated jewellery the same as real gold?
No. Gold-plated jewellery is not pure or solid gold jewellery. Only a tiny fraction of gold is deposited on the surface of an item made of sterling silver, brass or copper, in the making gold plated jewellery.
Pure gold is of 24-karat purity. Solid gold is usually alloyed with copper or silver to make it durable and easier to shape or draw into strings; thereby reducing its purity to 22k, 18k, 14k or 10k.
Gold-plated jewellery has a coating of 22k or 18k gold on the surface, but the solid metal inside might be sterling silver or brass. Gold plating of jewellery involves adding thin layers of gold on less expensive metals such as brass or silver. The purity of the gold coating in gold-plated jewellery may range from 10k to 24k. The purer the gold used, the brighter yellow it looks and the closer its resemblance to jewellery made of solid gold.
Types of gold plating in jewellery
Gold-plated silver, gold vermiel, gilded jewellery or 24 karat gold plated jewellery! These are so many kinds of plating thicknesses you can choose from.
Solid silver gold plated jewellery
Solid silver gold plated jewellery is all the rage in the luxury fashion jewellery lines today. Silver is a precious but more affordable metal than gold and is an excellent base for gold-plating. 22k or 18k gold plated silver jewellery has a solid 925 sterling silver (92.5% silver) body. Sterling silver bases tends to keep the plating or coating and the shine for longer. Such jewellery could change colour over time, but proper care can slow this down.
24 karat gold plated jewellery
Gold, in its purest form, is of 24 karats. The best gold-plated jewellery is sterling silver plated with 24-karat gold or gilded with thin layers of 24 karat gold for a gold-leaf finish. Jewellery plated with pure 100% gold is brighter and shinier than jewellery plated with gold of lesser purity. Please note that 24-karat gold is very soft and tends to get scratched easily. Therefore, 24-karat gold plated jewellery must be used and handled with care.
Gold vermeil or 18 karat gold plated jewellery
Gold vermeil is top quality gold-plated jewellery. Gold vermeil jewellery is sterling silver with a thick gold plating of 10-18 karat purity (higher the karatage the better). High quality gold vermeil is usually coated with pure 18k gold.
Vermeil jewellery is more long-lasting since the gold plating is thicker than other forms of gold plated jewellery. Vermeil is also favoured because it is hypoallergenic and can be safely worn by those who are allergic to other metals.
You need to be aware that, the definition of vermeil jewellery varies. For instance, in the US, a piece of jewellery must have at least 2.5 microns of gold plating on silver to pass the test of being vermeil. However, in countries such as Canada, 1 micron gold plating will pass the test for vermeil. The best brands get their vermeil pieces gold-plated in trusted electroplating units where the thickness of the gold plating on the sterling silver can be measured.
Gold coating, flash plating, gilding
Gold-coated jewellery has a thin layer of gold over base metals such as silver, copper, brass, nickel, or their alloys. The coating ranges upwards of 0.175 microns in thickness. Jewellery coated with less than 0.175 microns of gold is called flash-plated or gilt jewellery. Thinly plated gold jewellery is great for affordability and when you want to buy jewellery in new styles very often. However, they will not last long.
Best gold plated jewellery you can buy
What is the best gold plated jewellery for you? That depends on your budget, how long or often you wear it, and how well you can take care of it. Quality gold-plated jewellery has 2.5 to 3 microns of gold layer. Suppose you are looking for rings or chains that you will use daily. We advise gold vermiel, or 24 karat gold plated pieces—they are longer-lasting while being attractively affordable.
If you want the best gold-plated jewellery, buy from reputed brands to be sure that you are getting the quality for which you are paying. We have curated the best collections of gold plated rings and earrings, chains and necklaces, bangles and bracelets to satisfy even the most discerning jewellery buyers.
How long will gold plated jewellery last?
The thicker the gold plating, the better its quality and longer it will last. Good quality gold-plated jewellery will of course cost more and as a rule of thumb, it will last about two years, provided you take care of it.
The good news is this: if the gold plating on your favorite piece of jewellery begins to wear off or look dull, it can always be re-plated to restore it to its former beauty, provided its design is plain, without fine detailing or texturing and gemstones.
Gold plated jewellery care
As with all jewellery, gold plated jewellery requires some TLC. Here are a few pointers:
• Remove your gold-plated jewellery before taking a bath or going to sleep
• Wipe your gold-plated jewellery with a soft cloth after every use to remove chrome, sweat or chemical deposits
• Keep them away from harsh chemicals and put them on only after spraying perfume to prevent tarnish.
• Store jewelelry in separate cases/puches or slotted boxes to avoid friction with other jewellery items.
• Clean your gold plated or vermiel jewellery with water and gentle soap from time to time.