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What is Gold Filled?

Gold Filled Updated Reference

Our fascination and need for gold (especially gold-filled items) span several millennia.

Today, gold remains a powerful precious metal because it is a store of value and a titanic symbol of wealth and stability. Who hasn’t seen how a gold-filled chain shines in natural light? Gold-filled jewelry has also retained its value and market demand well into the twenty-first century. From gold-filled earrings, gold-filled bracelets to gold-filled necklaces, there’s always something suitable for every occasion and fashion mode.

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated: What’s the Difference?

Gold Filled Chart

As buyers of gold-filled jewelry-making supplies, you may be a little confused about how gold-plated items and gold-filled ones differ from one another.

They’re entirely different, by the way.

We are aware that some stores market gold-plated or electroplated items as gold-filled. It would be enlightening to review what the Federal Trade Commission has to say about these categories.

The FTC doesn’t like it when precious metals are misrepresented.

No entity can legally use “gold” to describe any product unless the term is correctly substantiated by whoever is offering the so-called gold item.

Gold-filled, according to the FTC, refers to items that have undergone mechanical coating to specific coverage and thickness that “assures durability.” Manufacturers and retailers of gold-filled jewelry and jewelry-making supplies also have to describe their items with the correct designations. The alloy’s designation must be “conspicuous and accurate-“the karat fineness (e.g., 14k rose gold-filled beads) must immediately precede or come before the primary descriptor or name of the item.

The karat is the measure of gold fineness or the measure of gold purity in a given item. This unit is often written as k or K. The purity of a gold alloy is expressed as the ratio of the quantity of the metals.

A gold karat equals 4.1667% (4.1667/100) or 1/24 part of the whole. Thus, 16-karat gold comprises 16 parts pure gold with eight parts alloying metal, while 24-karat gold is unaltered, pure gold. Refer to the handy guide below to further understand how the percentages work out in gold items.

Karat

Gold-plated items only have several microns of gold layered on them. There are also gold electroplated and “gold-washed” items that have even less gold. 

To overly simplify the comparison, gold-filled items have much more gold in them, which is why Xinar’s gold-filled beads and findings are always presented with the correct description (based on FTC’s requirements). In addition, we include the fineness of the gold to inform customers what exactly they are getting. 

The gold outside of the jeweler’s brass (or the core of gold-filled beads and findings) is heavy – it is five percent of the bead weight.

Be wary of stores that don’t provide the karat or gold fineness of their “gold-filled items,” as you may be looking at electroplated or gold-plated items instead of the heavier and more valuable gold-filled ones.

Our manufacturer’s advanced gold bonding process also joins the gold to the alloying metal at the atomic level, not just physically or surface-to-surface.

So while you don’t have to know how Xinar’s delicate gold-filled items are manufactured, this proprietary gold bonding process ensures that all of Xinar’s gold-filled beads and findings are superbly durable, with a luster that will stand the test of time.