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Is It Real Gold? What is Carat Gold?

At a recent party, I was asked what the difference is between “gold filled” and “gold electroplate.” I told them, but I want to verify the answer I gave them. What is the difference?
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Q. A number of my friends know I work in the metal finishing industry. At a recent party, I was asked what the difference is between “gold filled” and “gold electroplate.” I told them, but I want to verify the answer I gave them. What is the difference? G.P.

 

A. 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, and is usually heavier than a gold plate. Objects that are gold plated can not be labeled gold-filled. A gold deposit that is over 0.0001 inch can be labeled “heavy gold electroplate.”


Another question that also comes up at parties has to do with carat gold. Pure gold is 24 carats. Gold jewelry as sold in the U.S. is usually 14 carats, which means it is approximately 14/24 or 58 percent gold. Gold jewelry made in Europe and other parts of the world is usually 18 carat gold. The remainder are metals that harden the gold. Gold used in the electronics industry is often 24 carats.
 

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