Gold filled jewelry is a very popular alternative to solid gold jewelry. Even with it’s popularity most people aren't 100% sure of it's properties, or of the actual process of it's creation.
The first misconception is that gold filled jewelry is the same as gold plated jewelry. Gold plating involves applying a small layer of solid gold to a brass base, while gold filled jewelry is made from a solid layer of gold mechanically bonded to sterling silver or a base metal. With gold filled jewelry the solid layer of gold must make up at least 5% of the jewelry's total weight. Gold filled jewelry is also much more durable. Even with daily wear and tear items can last 5 to 30 years. Gold filled items are 100 to 1,000 thicker than gold plated items.
So what are some of the advantages of gold filled jewelry?:
• Gold filled jewelry has the same physical characteristics of solid gold durable and strong, yet at a more affordable price.
• Since the gold is on outside surface it is almost impossible to tell she difference between solid gold and gold filled items. With the exception of the cost.
• The value of gold filled jewelry is more than gold plated jewelry becacause gold filled actually has a layer of gold and not a microscopic film.
The process in which gold filled jewelry is made is also interesting. It entails the following steps:
• First a gold sheet of desired karat alloy and thickness is carefully fitted over base metal.
• It's then placed in a air tight enclosure. Everything about the environment in this enclosure is crucial. The metals are covered with a special paste to prevent oxidation. The enclosure is heated to a scorching 900 degrees.
• After it is removed it is placed in a hydraulic press at around 2500 psi
• Next the gold and base metal are rolled aided by a process called annealing, which involves using heat to soften the metals allowing them to be crafted in the design of the craftsman's choosing
• Once the annealing process is done the surfaces are trimmed and cleaned until the desired final product is complete.
So now that you know the facts about gold filled jewelry you may be wondering how you can get the most out of your gold filled jewelry. While wearing your gold filled jewelry avoid salt water and chlorine in swimming pool. Also soap and extreme sweating can cause some tarnish as well.
Do not clean gold filled jewelry with any common jewelry cleaner that is used for solid gold jewelry. Simply fill a small bowl with warm water, add a teaspoon of non-bleach laundry detergent and stir. Let your jewelry soak for a minute, then remove jewelry from the bowl and rinse thoroughly. Make sure there is absolutely no soap residue left. After rinsing simply pat dry with a non abrasive cloth. Following these steps should ensure a long life for your gold filled jewelry.