KNOW YOUR GOLDS.
It is so confusing when people say “gold jewellery”. It can be solid gold jewellery, hollow gold jewellery, gold filled or gold plated jewellery - and difference in value can be staggering.
The confusion arises because the word “gold” can be used to describe the colour of jewellery as well as the material of the piece. It should always be disclosed what are you buying! If you find it hard to find out whether you are paying for gold colour or gold material - it’s simply not fair - because there is big difference in cost.
There are 5 materials that are typically referred to as gold: Gold plating, Gold plating over sterling silver, gold filled, solid gold, hollow gold.
Typically yellow gold is plated on top of non-fine material such as brass or copper. Cheaper jewellery will have very thin plating which will wear off fast. Some better brands jewellery will have a stronger plating, and will serve you longer. But once plating wears off, you will start seeing metal of another colour underneath - that same brass or copper - which may also leave a colour on your skin, and even sometimes give a more severe reaction. Gold plating does contain a little gold in it, but very very little. One litre of plating solution - which is what is used to make plating - will contain approx. 1g of gold. Keep in mind that this amount can be used for plating thousands of pieces! This type of jewellery will not have a quality mark (which is not to be confused with stamp of the brand)
Gold Plated Sterling Silver
Sterling silver is a precious metal that can be plated.
But Gold plating will also wear off with time, but silver jewellery will still keep good value because it is a precious metal. Plus, for the most people silver will not cause a skin reaction. This type of jewellery will have silver stamp (925 or ‘sterling silver’)
Gold Filled Jewellery
That kind of jewellery is again brass or other non-precious metal plated with gold on top. The difference from gold plated jewellery is that in this case gold layer is pretty thick! Usually this type of jewellery will serve you a long time. It will have quality mark which will show how much real gold is in the piece. For example the most popular one is “1/20 14k”, which means that one twentieth of jewellery total weight is 14k gold. Gold filled jewellery is great if you want gold jewellery quality, but don’t want to pay as much as for solid gold jewellery. The reason why you may not want gold filled jewellery is because it’s not such a good investment. Gold is very expensive, and the more gold is used to plate the piece the more expensive jewellery piece will be. But you want to resale or scrap gold filled jewellery - the value that you are going to get back will be small - because even though it contains gold, that gold is difficult to separate from base metal. Essentially, it is as if you are selling just regular jewellery, not gold jewellery.
Repairs can also be more expensive or not possible as well.
Solid Gold Jewellery
As the name says, solid gold jewellery is made of just that solid gold. Without exaggeration, It is the best kind of jewellery.. Besides that you are not only treating yourself, but also treating the environment, Non-precious metal jewellery will not serve you as long, so you will have to buy it again and again. Production will harm the environment and when you finally throw it out, it will be just fill landfills and be a choking hazard for animals. If on the other hand you buy gold jewellery it will serve you very long time. We still have Cleopatra-era jewellery pieces getting dug out of the ground like nothing happened to them! And since it is fairly expensive you will not throw them away, you will re-sell or reuse the metal.. Scrapped jewellery will be re-cycled and new jewellery will be made out of this gold. This is already commonplace - therefore there’s not as much need to mine new gold and hurt the environment and even more. Most gold currently used is already re-cycled - re-melted to shape of gold bars, wires or sheets - and reused again. Solid gold jewellery will be stamped 375 for 9ct, 750 for 18ct
Hollow Gold Jewellery
Hollow simply means there is an empty space inside. Jewellery of any material can be made hollow - for various reasons - but in most cases it is done to reduce amount of gold required. The less gold is used - the cheaper final price will be. Hollow gold jewellery is stamped in the same way as solid gold jewellery is (9ct, 18ct) because it is made of gold only. Usually bangles are hollow - it works great for the design because it is not so heavy for your hand to wear, and it saves a lot on cost. You can spot hollow gold jewellery by it’s weight. If it weighs less than it looks like - it’s probably hollow. Of course solid gold jewellery is always the best deal - it’s timeless and its valuable. But if you choosing between hollow gold jewellery or gold filled jewellery? While in the end of the day hollow jewellery will still have resale value and that resale value based on value of gold, it is very easily bent and broken, and especially if you wearing it every day wear.
Repair costs are high also as the metal needs “bracing” at the break.
Our personal recommendation is always solid gold, it may cost more now but it will last longer and cost less in repairs and replacements