Gold-Filled vs. Gold-Plated Jewelry: 5 Things to Know Before You Buy

From hoops and stacks of necklaces to arm parties and a fist full of rings, there's no mistaking that fashion enthusiasts everywhere love a good gold piece of jewelry. No matter the current trend, gold jewelry is always a foolproof way to complete any outfit. However, as the market keeps expanding, it's hard to pinpoint which is the right gold jewelry for you and your lifestyle.

So, as to make your (shopping) life easier, we talked with jewelry brand Vrai & Oro's founder, Vanessa Stofenmacher, and put together five things you need to know when it comes to selecting a gold-filled versus a gold-plated piece of jewelry. Stay informed, and feel free to shop some of our current favorites as well.

What's Your Budget?

When considering gold-filled or gold-plated jewelry, make sure your bank account has your back before your purchase. Gold-filled jewelry tends to be on the pricier end of the spectrum while gold-plated pieces are more affordable because they only have a thin layer of gold to achieve the look of gold. That's why most fashion jewelry is gold-plated, keeping the cost as low as possible, according to Stofenmacher.

How Often Do You Use Your Jewelry?

Having a budget in mind, you can decipher if you'll reach a cost-per-wear that's worth your investment. Furthermore, keep in mind that gold-filled jewelry does not delaminate or peel as easily as plated products. Stofenmacher compares gold-plated versus gold-filled with nail polishes. A normal nail polish is gold-plated while gold-filled will last longer like a gel manicure. Which leads us to the next question…

Do You Prioritize Maintenance?

Do you jump into the shower without hesitation since some of your jewelry has become like a second skin? If you answered yes, you might want to skip gold-plated pieces. One of the pros of buying gold-filled pieces is that they don't tarnish as easily as gold-plated pieces. Know that instead of simply being dipped in gold, gold-filled jewelry undergoes a mechanical bonding process that melts a thicker layer of gold onto the base metal. However, Stofenmacher shares that while filled jewelry will indeed maintain its gold cast for longer, it will inevitably undergo discoloration and tarnishing after time.

Is Your Skin Sensitive?

Also, another thing to consider before you buy a gold-plated or gold-filled piece is your skin. Are you highly allergic to metals such as silver, nickel, rhodium, or copper? If so, you might want to opt for gold-filled so you won't have to worry about any allergic reactions, because gold plating is done from cheaper materials that can often react with your skin causing irritation and oxidation, says Stofenmacher.

How Much Gold Do You Want?

We know why we're instantly drawn to gold jewelry pieces: They're shiny and truly classic. But before you buy your next gold piece, consider how much gold you want. The first step is to read the description of every item to see if it's solid gold, filled, vermeil, or plated. That way, checking off the tips above will become much easier and make your next purchase a breeze.

Now make sure you know how to properly clean your new found gold pieces as well.

Opening Image: @nycbambi