Types of gold jewelry. Gold jewelry is coming back into style in a way that’s bigger than ever. Gold jewelry is associated with the “that girl” and “clean girl” aesthetic that developed on social media sites like TikTok, and young jewelry wearers are eating it up! Like most trendy jewelry though, there are different levels of quality in the pieces.
Some pieces are bought from fast fashion sites and tarnish easily while turning your skin green. Other gold jewelry is real gold and is found in jewelry shops and expensive department stores.
If you are interested in gold jewelry but don’t know what type to buy or what is best for your skin and lifestyle, keep reading! In this article, we will dive into the different types of gold jewelry, how to tell them apart, which types to buy, and which types to steer clear of.
Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold plated jewelry is one of the many types of gold jewelry on the market. Gold plated jewelry is the cheapest form of gold jewelry.
This type of gold uses a metal, often brass or copper, and plates it in a gold-colored foil. Gold plated jewelry is 0.05% real gold or less, so essentially it’s only gold in color and not in the build.
Since the gold layer is so thin, it also can rub off very easily, which is why gold-plated jewelry can look like silver after a while.
Gold plated jewelry is more likely to tarnish than other types of gold jewelry. It is not meant to be worn at the beach, in the pool, or in the shower depending on the type of water used.
For example, hard water will tarnish jewelry quicker than other types of water. Gold plated jewelry will generally tarnish quicker than other types of gold jewelry and can irritate sensitive skin.
This is the type of gold jewelry that people may notice leaves a green tint on their skin. This green tint is just from oxidization and will easily wash off your skin when scrubbed with soap and water.
Gold plated jewelry is also the cheapest in price. Gold plated jewelry generally only costs between $15-$20 per pound. Generally, you can think of gold plated jewelry as metal that is painted gold. It is great to use for costume jewelry but not suitable for everyday wear.
Gold Vermeil Jewelry
Like gold plated jewelry, gold vermeil jewelry is very affordable. However, unlike gold plated jewelry, it is unlikely to tarnish and is more suitable for everyday wear.
It is also mostly hypoallergenic, so it should not irritate sensitive skin unless you are specifically allergic to that type of jewelry.
Many people consider gold vermeil jewelry one of the best substitutes for real gold in regards to price and quality. To be considered vermeil, the piece needs to be made mostly of sterling silver and then coated in a layer of gold.
The layer of gold coat must be at least 10 karats to be considered vermeil. Like other sterling silver jewelry, tarnishing only occurs when the piece is sitting untouched for a long period of time.
If you are wearing the piece consistently or at least cleaning it regularly, you should not have an issue with tarnishing.
Gold Filled Jewelry
The next most prestigious type of gold jewelry is gold filled jewelry. Gold filled jewelry is essentially the next best thing to solid gold.
This type of gold jewelry is covered by a solid layer of gold that is bonded to another metal, usually sterling silver or copper. You can get yellow gold or white gold filled jewelry, with white gold being a little cheaper.
White gold jewelry is silver in color. Gold filled jewelry is also commonly referred to as Jeweler’s Brass.
While gold filled jewelry is cheaper than solid gold, it actually is preferred by some in terms of durability. Since there is a solid metal at the base, the jewelry is harder than regular gold, so it will not get tarnished or dented as easily.
It is just a stronger form of jewelry in general. Gold filled jewelry is also very similar to gold plated jewelry in terms of build. Essentially they are both other metals covered in a layer of gold.
However, to be considered gold filled, the layer of gold on top is thicker, making it more durable and more expensive.
Gold filled jewelry can also be pretty expensive but is still significantly cheaper than solid gold. You can wear gold filled jewelry regularly as well as in the shower.
The biggest draw to gold filled jewelry is definitely its convenience and durability.
Solid Gold Jewelry
Solid gold jewelry is just that, solid gold. This type of gold jewelry is not mixed with other metals and is composed entirely of gold.
With this in mind, it is also the most expensive type of gold jewelry! Today in the United States, one ounce of solid gold is worth about $1,100.
While it does come at the highest cost, solid gold jewelry arguably has the best quality. It is hypoallergenic and will not irritate even the most sensitive of skin.
It is also great for everyday wear, including in the shower or beach. You should not have to worry at all about solid gold tarnishing or turning colors.
Solid gold jewelry also has an extremely long lifespan. You can expect solid jewelry to last up to 30 years or more with the right care.
Oftentimes, family heirlooms are passed down solid gold jewelry because the metal lasts so well. Since civilizations first started creating jewelry, solid gold jewelry was used, so it clearly can stand the test of time!
There are many types of gold jewelry on the market, some gold in color and others gold in structure. The best gold jewelry is obviously solid gold, but gold vermeil and gold filled jewelry are also great alternatives to the real thing.
If you do opt for a cheaper option like gold plated, make sure you take good care of the jewelry so it will still appear nice and shiny rather than tarnished and dirty.