Here at Kind Karma, all of our jewelry is made with either 14kt gold-filled or 925 sterling silver materials. Like many others, you may be wondering "what does gold-filled mean?" And how does it compares to other materials? Read below to find out!
What does "gold-filled" actually mean?
Gold-filled jewelry is made by permanently bonding either 12KT or 14KT gold to a core metal (usually jeweller's brass) in two to three layers. Since these layers of gold are on the surface, gold-filled jewelry is considered hypoallergenic and the permanent bonding process ensures that the piece is both tarnish and fade resistant so you can wear it all day, every day! All Kind Karma pieces are also nickel-free so even though we are exposed to nickel everywhere else, you can rest assured, you won't find it in our jewelry.
Is "gold-filled" the same as "gold-plated"?
Gold-filled jewelry actually contains over 100% more gold than gold-plated jewelry! Most gold-plated jewelry has a miniscule layer of gold on a base metal although nowadays, there are companies that will produce gold-plated items with a thicker gold plating so they can also wear well (more on that below!). Your typicaly gold plated "costume" jewelry, however, only has a thin layer of gold which explains how quickly it typically tarnishes.
What is "gold vermeil"?
Gold vermeil is actually a form of plating that bonds gold over sterling silver as opposed to a base metal (i.e. brass or copper). Typical costume jewelry has a gold plating that measures 0.5 microns thick (one micron equals 1/1000 of a millimeter) - so in other words, not very thick! In order for an item to be considered gold vermeil, the plating has to be at least 1.0 microns (double the thickness!) in Canada and 2.5 microns if you purchase jewelry in the US.
Can "gold-filled" tarnish?
Gold-filled pieces can still tarnish but it takes extreme circumstances for that to occur. So although gold-filled jewelry is not solid gold, it has the same desired look and properties of solid-gold. This is why the material works perfectly for jewelry or meaningful gifts as it can last through everyday wear and tear. After all, what's the use of jewelry if you can't enjoy it as much as you'd like?!
Click here to check out some of our favorite gold-filled pieces and stay tuned to learn more about sterling silver in an upcoming blog post!