Gold Plated vs Solid Gold Jewellery: Which One Is Better?
In this blog, we compare gold-plated jewellery vs solid gold jewellery. We delve deep into each one's pros and cons, the differences between the two and much more!
What is gold-plated jewellery?Jewellery that is gold-plated refers to plating inexpensive base metal with a thin layer of gold. This is usually done using 18K gold, through electroplating or PVD plating. Common base metals include stainless steel, brass, copper, nickel or sterling silver.
- Affordability - there is less gold present in gold-plated jewellery. Because of this, it tends to be much cheaper than other gold jewellery.
- Variety of designs - there are many designs and styles to choose from. This makes it easy to find trending and unique pieces that are gold plated.
- Appearance - gold plated jewellery has the appearance of solid gold, without the hefty price tag.
- Less risk - gold plated jewellery is not as valuable as solid gold. Losing or damaing it is less distressing financially and emotionally.
- Durability - gold-plated jewellery is less durable than solid gold. The thin gold layer can wear away over time, exposing the base metal.
- Maintenance - gold plated jewellery requires careful maintenance and storage to prolong its life. The gold layer can be easily scratched or chipped.
- Potential for allergic reactions - base metals that have high percentage of nickel or brass can cause skin allergies.
- Resale value - gold-plated jewellery has no resale value. Gold-plated jewellery does not serve as an investment the same way solid gold does.
- Prone to tarnishing - base metals may tarnish or corrode when exposed to sweat, chemicals and oils.
What is solid gold jewellery?
Solid gold jewellery is any piece of jewellery that is made from pure gold or gold and is not plated over a base metal. Solid gold jewellery comes in many different purities measured in karats. Some of the most common purities include 14 karat (58.3% gold), 18 karat (75% gold) and 22 karat (91.6% gold). The higher the purity, the softer and less durable the jewellery is.
Solid gold jewellery can come in a range of colours including yellow gold, rose gold or white gold. White gold is achieved by alloying gold with white metals like nickel, silver or palladium. Rose gold is created by adding more copper into the mix.
- Durability - solid gold is more durable and less prone to tarnishing and wear over time. It can last for generations if properly cared for.
- Longevity - Gold is considered a precious metal. This means it has intrinsic value, retains its value and can even be an investment.
- Hypoallergenic - higher karats of solid gold are less likely to cause allergic reactions. This makes it a good choice for those with sensitive skin.
- Resale value - due to its inherent value, solid gold jewellery can be resold. You can recover a significant portion of the initial cost when you sell it.
- Maintenance and safety - gold jewellery needs regular cleaning and care to maintain its shine.
- Durability - higher karats of gold are softer and more prone to scratching and dents. Solid gold jewellery may not be ideal for everyday wear or for pieces that undergo a lot of daily wear and tear.
- Higher risk - since solid gold jewellery has a higher value, losing or damaging it is a lot more distressing financially and emotionally.
- Heavy - higher karats of gold can be quite heavy. For some, this may be uncomfortable for daily wear and tear.
Differences between gold-plated jewellery and solid gold jewellery
Amount of gold
Solid gold jewellery will always have greater amounts of gold than gold-plated jewellery. Solid gold consits of mostly gold, whilst gold plated jewellery is mostly base metal. Even lower karats of gold will have greater amounts of gold than gold plated pieces.
Gold plated jewellery is harder and more durable than solid gold jewellery pieces. However, this is dependent on the base metal of the gold-plated pieces.
Solid gold jewellery is more durable in terms of resistance to tarnishing and corroding .
Allergies and skin sensitivity
Solid gold jewellery is more hypoallergenic than gold-plated jewellery. This is dependent on the base metal of the gold-plated jewellery.
In general, higher karats of gold for jewellery are better for sensitive skin. This is because they contain more gold and less of the other metals.
However, this being said, gold-plated jewellery can also be highly hypoallergenic. Especially when made with a stainless steel base metal.
Solid gold jewellery is more expensive than gold-plated jewellery. The first reason for this is that solid gold pieces have a higher content of gold. They also require greater craftsmanship than gold-plated pieces.
Maintenance and care
Solid gold jewellery is much easier to care for than gold-plated jewellery.
For gold-plated jewellery pieces, all you need is to create a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Then with a soft-bristled brush, clean the gold-plated jewellery piece.
Solid gold jewellery has a greater value than gold-plated pieces. This is because solid gold jewellery contains higher amounts of gold. Because of this solid gold jewellery pieces tend to maintain their value over time. While gold-plated jewellery has little to no value in terms of investment.
Gold plated jewellery vs solid gold jewellery: which one should you get?Whether solid gold or gold-plated jewellery is better for you will depend on a variety of factors. These include personal preference, budget, intended use and considerations around durability and maintenance.
Solid gold jewellery is great for someone looking for jewellery that has longevity. This is also a great option for someone looking for investment jewellery that will retain or increase in value.
Gold-plated jewellery is the perfect affordable gold option. This is great for someone who wants the look of gold at a fraction of the cost. This is also a great option for someone looking for durable gold jewellery that is lighter in weight.
Now that we have compared gold-plated jewellery vs solid gold jewellery, you should have a better understanding of each one's pros, cons and differences. The choice between the two hinges on your own individual preferences, budget considerations and the intended use of the piece.
Gold-plated jewellery is an affordable and versatile option for fashion-forward individuals who love to update their jewellery collection without breaking the bank. This is a great choice for someone looking to add a touch of gold to their outfit without breaking the bank.
Solid gold jewellery is a durable and hypoallergenic choice that has great investment value. This is a great choice fro someone looking for timeless pieces that can be passed down from generation.
Whether you opt for the luxurious appeal of solid gold, of the accessible style of gold-plated jewellery, each one has its own unique pros and cons. Ultimately the best choice is the one that suits your personal style, needs and budget the best.
Learn more about gold plated jewellery by reading our blog which covers everything you need to know about gold plated jewellery.