Gold Jewelry Nomenclature

Ask an Expert From: Products Finishing, ,

Posted on: 8/6/2013

What is the difference between gold-filled and gold electroplate?

Q. I recently got into a discussion with a coworker regarding the difference between gold-filled and gold electroplate. Is there a difference, and, if so, what is it? —E.N.

A. Yes, there is a difference between “gold-filled” and “gold electroplate.” If an object is labeled gold-filled, the gold must be mechanically bonded to the basis metal. This bonding is usually by rolling, soldering or drawing. Objects that are gold-plated cannot be labeled gold-filled. A gold deposit that is more than 0.0001-inch thick can be labeled “heavy gold electroplate.” Gold-filled objects have a thicker layer of gold compared with gold-plated objects.

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