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Gold Filled vs Solid Gold: Which is Good for Your Jewelry?

Ever wondered if your gold jewelry is made of real gold or not? Very often, people mistake gold filled jewelry for real solid gold. If you have seen gold filled jewelry, you will know that it can be tricky to differentiate between them. This article will clear the most common doubts people face regarding gold filled jewelry and find out which is better for your jewelry – gold filled vs solid gold. 

What Is Gold-Filled Jewelry? Is Gold Filled Real Gold?

Between gold filled vs solid gold, those looking for longevity and durability go for gold filled jewelry. And since gold filled jewelry has very little gold content in it, it is more price-sensitive and affordable for many people. 

Gold filled jewelry is made by bonding real gold to a base metal via fusion. This gives it the appearance of genuine gold. The fusion process involves a high amount of heat and pressure applied to the jewelry so that the gold sits on the surface of the base metal. The resultant gold-filled piece is typically more durable than a gold plated piece. 

You will find that the gold filled jewelry comes with some markings or stamps. The most common of these are 1/20 12kt GF and 1/20 14kt GF, and it signifies the karat value of gold used and the overall quality of the gold filled jewelry. 

One difference between gold filled and gold plated jewelry is based on the quantity of actual gold used. In gold filled jewelry, real gold constitutes around 5% of the jewelry’s total weight. The gold layer on such jewelry is also 5 to 10 times thicker than gold plated jewelry. 

Is gold filled jewelry a good option?

You will find that between gold filled vs solid gold jewelry, the former lasts longer. The reason for this is simple. Gold filled jewelry uses a strong core metal like sterling silver or brass as the base metal. The real gold is fused to the top surface. Since the core is strong, the overall jewelry is stronger and more durable than solid gold jewelry. 

Usually, we find that solid gold jewelry is prone to dents and scratches due to its soft nature. This does not happen with gold filled jewelry. Moreover, some people show signs of skin allergy and discomfort when they wear pure gold jewelry. This can also help you differentiate between gold filled vs solid gold jewelry.

What is Solid Gold Jewelry?


Did you know that the gold used to make solid gold jewelry isn’t actually pure gold? Instead, it is almost always a mix of gold and other metals. In its pure form, gold is incredibly soft and malleable, which would not be ideal for a piece of jewelry with intricate designs. Pure gold can also be effortlessly scratched, dented, or damaged.

Also, did you know that pure gold isn’t golden colored? It has a bright orange color which looks too bright and isn’t associated with fine jewelry. Adding some other metals to it makes the gold stronger. It gives it the different shades of golden color that we usually come to associate with gold jewelry. 


How do we measure gold’s purity? 

The purity of gold is expressed in karats. We can measure the ratio of pure gold to secondary metals used in the alloying process by this system. 

There are different types of gold comes, with varying values of karat. You must have heard of 10K, 14K, 18K, and 24K gold. The ‘K’ in these values stand for karat, which expresses the purity of the gold. 

The numbers 10, 14, 18, and 24 represent how many parts of gold to other metals present in the mixture. So, gold jewelry bears the stamp of its purity for anyone to know its karat value. 

The higher the amount of gold, the more expensive your piece will be. Counter intuitively, it will also be the least durable since it’s made from a larger amount of pure gold and a smaller amount of more durable alloy metals.

How to differentiate between Gold Filled vs Solid Gold? 

Just look at the gold markings present on the jewelry and the difference between gold filled vs solid gold will become crystal clear. You will find that solid gold jewelry has stamps like “10K”, “14K,” or “22K” on its surface. This is because the karat value of gold is essential in the case of pure gold jewelry. In some countries, especially in Europe, you may come across values like “0.75”, “750,” or “75%” stamped on the jewelry. Don’t get confused. These values, too, represent the gold content in the jewelry. So, “0.75” is actually an 18K gold piece.  

On the other hand, you will see that gold filled markings must have 2 values:  One is the karat value which is the same as authentic gold jewelry like “14K”, “18K,” etc. The other mark that needs to be present on every gold-filled jewelry is the letter “GF”. So, you can understand that a piece of jewelry is gold filled if it bears a stamp-like “14K GF”.  

Sometimes you may find “RGP” on jewelry instead of “GF.” This code signifies “Rolled Gold Plate,” which is similar to gold filled jewelry but has a lesser real gold content in the jewelry. 

What if there are no markings or the markings are unclear? 

Beware of fraudsters and some jewelers who may try to trick you. Sometimes they omit the “GF” or “RGP” marking on the jewelry and market the piece as real gold. 

Sometimes, a piece of gold jewelry may not have any stamps or markings. Avoid dealing with such jewelry if you can.

However, you can still determine whether such jewelry is made of solid gold or is gold filled.

To find out the difference between gold filled vs solid gold, you can perform the acid test. 

To do an acid test, you need to make a small scratch on the item’s surface. If the gold filled jewelry has a thick gold layer, it will easily pass the nitric acid test. 

But be careful while performing the acid test because a deep cut into the jewelry may cause extensive damage to it.  

Suppose there is any indication that the vendor guarantees that the piece’s gold surface will be suitable for a limited number of years, likely. In that case, the piece is not solid gold (although this is also not a perfect sign).

You can also read Gold Filled Jewelry: Things you May not Know About.

Where to Sell Gold Jewelry?

If you are looking for ways to sell your gold jewelry at the best price, you can visit us at Sell Your Jewelry. Our experts will give you a FREE evaluation of your jewelry and will offer you the best price in Singapore for your jewelry. Fill the form below and we will contact you back to schedule a meeting.

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