Are you looking to treat yourself with a pair of gold hoops? There are so many types of gold referenced in jewellery shops, it's easy to get confused right? Misleading titles like solid gold, gold-filled, gold plated, vermeil gold, even gold-dipped...where does it end?
In this post, I will help you to understand the differences between various types of gold jewellery, and how to pick the gold earrings that will last you a lifetime.
First thing first, let's have a look at all these technical terms and do they actually mean?
Solid Gold Jewellery
Solid gold jewellery is the highest quality gold jewellery you can find, as it does not discolour or tarnish with repeated wear. Unlike plated, vermeil, or filled jewellery, solid gold jewellery can be worn daily for decades without tarnishing. As an added benefit, solid gold jewellery increases in value over time, and is a true investment that you can wear! Most solid gold jewellery will come with a hallmark indicating it's purity which is usually a good sign that's it's made from real gold. Gold purity is measured by karats and indicates the percentage of Gold in jewellery.
"333" - 8ct or 33.3% purity
“375” - 9ct or 37.5% purity
“585” - 14ct or 58.5% purity
“750” - 18ct or 75% purity
“916” - 22ct or 91.6% purity
Gold plated pieces have a thin layer of gold bonded to a base metal such as copper or brass. The gold content in jewellery made using this method is less than 0.05% so the colour can wear off fairly quickly over time.
Gold vermeil jewellery
While the process is similar to gold plating, the underlying materials used in gold vermeil jewellery is sterling silver. The silver is then gold-coated at a thickness of 2.5 microns. Gold vermeil jewellery may last longer than gold plated jewellery, but will eventually wear off.
Gold-filled jewellery is created through a process that binds a thicker layer of gold to another metal, usually brass or copper. Gold-filled jewellery will last longer than plated or vermeil but will discolour and tarnish over time. The gold content is usually 5%.
So what should you buy? Well, it really depends on what you are looking for. Solid gold jewellery is a perfect choice if you are looking for a more special buy or to treat someone special. It also makes a great investment as it retains its value and will last you a lifetime without ever fading away. If you want to buy real gold earrings without breaking your bank account, then I would recommend looking for 9ct gold jewellery. It's has a lower concentration of gold but is more durable and an excellent choice for your first gold jewellery. There are many misleading titles and products descriptions but usually, if the gold earrings are cheap they are most likely not made from real gold or have very little gold in them.
Gold-filled or gold plated although not as valuable as solid gold, can be a good option if you are looking for a bargain and don't mind jewellery wearing off over time.