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The best alternative to luxurious solid gold jewelry is gold-plated jewelry. What if we told you that you can have the best of unique handcrafted designs in high-quality gold plating? We have here a curated selection of stunning handmade designer gold-plated jewelry for you, from some of the best designers and brands in the world.

• Learn more about gold-plated jewelry
• Real gold or gold plated?
• Types of gold plating
• Affordable luxury styles in gold-plated jewelry

What is gold-plated jewelry?

In earlier times, buying authentic gold jewelry was a privilege mainly afforded by the nobility or the wealthy. In 1805, an Italian chemist—Luigi Brugnatelli—invented the process of plating silver with gold. Jewelry designers have not looked back since then! Some of the best designs in handcrafted and sculptural jewelry come in gold-filled and gold-plated categories.

Is gold-plated jewelry the same as real gold?

No, gold-plated jewelry is not pure or solid gold jewelry. Gold plating of jewelry involves electroplating thin layers of gold over less expensive metals, such as copper, brass or sterling silver.

The purity of the gold layer may range from 10K to 24K. The purer the gold used, the brighter yellow it shines, and the closer its resemblance to gold jewelry.

Types of gold plating in rings

Jewelry made from silver or brass can be plated with a layer of gold in varying purities. High-quality gold plated jewelry has a 2-3 micron thick layer of gold plating on hallmarked 925 silver. Other plated jewelry may have from 1-1.5 microns thick plating on brass.

Gold Vermeil jewelry

Gold-plated silver jewelry, also called gold vermeil is best quality in the luxury fashion jewelry lines today. Silver is a precious metal that is more affordable than gold and makes an excellent base for gold plating because unlike other metals it does not require a nickel coating. 22K or 18K gold vermeil jewelry has a solid 925 sterling silver base that helps to keep the plating shiny for longer. Such jewelry could change colour over time, but proper care can slow this down.

Plated jewelry with white gold and rose gold finish

You can have any hue of gold in plated jewelry. However, white gold plating is rhodium plating on the base metal. Rose gold plated jewelry has a copper alloy of lower-karat 10K-18K gold.

Gold-filled or gold-bonding

Next to solid gold jewelry, gold-filled jewelry has more gold than gold-plated jewelry. Bonded jewelry is created by fusing a layer of gold to a metal core. Gold-filled jewelry lasts longer than plated jewelry.

Gold coating, flash plating, gilding

Gold-coated jewelry has a thin layer of gold over other metals. The coating is a minimum of 0.175 microns thickness. Jewelry coated with less than 0.175 microns of gold is called flash-plated or gilt jewelry. Thinly plated gold jewelry is more affordable if you love trying new jewelry styles every season. However, these are not long-lasting.

Shop for the best gold-plated jewelry

What is the best gold-plated jewelry for you? It depends on your budget, how long or often you wear it, and how well you can take care of it. If you are looking for rings or chains for daily wear, we advise gold vermeil jewelry. Buying from a reliable designer jewelry brand also ensures that the plating and materials used are durable and authentic.

To shop for premium gold-plated accessories, like earrings, bangles, necklaces and rings, always choose gold vermeil with gold hallmarking. This ensures good quality for the price you pay for the jewelry.

How long will gold-plated jewelry last?

Jewelry plated with a lower karat gold is best for durability. Plus, the thicker the plating, the longer it will last. The price of good quality gold-plated jewelry items will be more and last about two years.

But here's the good news: if the gold plating on your favourite jewelry items begins to wear off or look dull, it can be re-plated and restored. However, this is only possible if the earrings, rings, or other accessories have no fine detailing, texturing, or gemstones.

Gold-plated jewelry care

As with all jewelry, gold-plated jewelry requires some TLC. Here are a few pointers:

♥ Take them off first and put them on last
♥ Wipe your gold-plated jewelry with a soft cloth after every use to remove sweat or chemical deposits. And clean the occasionally with mild soapy water.
♥ Store plated earrings and rings in clear, separate pouches or slotted boxes to avoid friction with other jewelry items in your collection.

If you fancy jewelry with a luxurious look without the hefty price tag, you are on the right page. You don't have to be limited to sale prices and discounted imitation jewelry. You can shop for gold-plated designer jewelry to your heart's content and add as many designs and styles to your personal jewelry collection!

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* When you sign up for our newsletter you give consent for The Jewellery Room to contact you via email and text message. Please see our privacy policy for more information **Not all designers are included in this offer and the minimum purchase is 700 DKK / 95 EUR / 80 GBP / 100 USD. You can't use the welcome discount with items on sale or other discount codes.