Beginners Guide to All Types of Gold Jewellery

Gold jewellery has long been the epitome of elegance and sophistication. However, shopping for gold jewellery might be difficult due to the variety of options. Each of us has experienced the horror of our favourite jewellery turning our necks a sickly shade of green.

Gold jewellery comes in numerous forms, varying greatly depending on several aspects, such as the metals used and the craftsmanship involved. Therefore, when shopping for jewellery, you may be stumped when the salesperson asks whether you'd like gold plating or gold vermeil.

Beginners Guide to All Types of Gold Jewellery


Some may question why solid gold jewellery is much more expensive than gold-filled. Although gold is precious, not all gold jewellery is costly. Therefore, to get the most bang for your buck, learn the differences between the four main categories of gold jewellery presented below.

So, to help you buy with confidence for your next jaw-dropping addition to your collection, we've produced a thorough reference on the vast varieties of gold jewellery available.

In this article, you'll find:

  • Gold Plated Jewellery
  • Gold Filled Jewellery
  • Gold Vermeil Jewellery
  • Solid Gold Jewellery

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In addition, you'll also find different colours and carats of gold jewellery associated with the four types mentioned above of gold jewellery. So, let's get started!

What is Gold Plated Jewellery?

Jewellery with gold plating often contains less than 0.05% gold content (usually brass or copper). Gold-plated jewellery is made by applying a thin layer of gold on the surface of a different metal.

The thin gold plating makes the gold readily scratchable. Furthermore, it oxidises rapidly in the presence of water or chemicals. Gold does not corrode, but copper and brass do, especially when wet (in the air, sweat, lotion, or perfume).

Gold-plated jewellery is much more cost-effective than solid gold pieces due to the thin layer of gold that is put over a less expensive metal. Gold-plated pieces are an excellent option when you only require jewellery for a special event or to experiment with a new style.

What is Gold-Filled Jewellery?

In contrast to popular belief, gold-filled jewellery does not contain a thin layer of gold over the entire surface. To qualify as gold-filled, the gold content must make up at least 5% of the total metal weight (or 1/20th of the total weight). That's why you could see 1/20 gold stamped on some gold-filled jewellery. The thickness of gold-filled jewellery is typically between five and ten times that of gold-plated. The estimated longevity of these items ranges from ten to thirty years.

Beginners Guide to All Types of Gold Jewellery


What about tarnish on gold-filled jewellery? This form of gold jewellery can still tarnish, although it does so very seldomly. Extreme sulphide exposure, such as that found in a nail salon, would be required to blacken the gold.

What is Gold Vermeil Jewellery?

Gold vermeil jewellery, often known as gold-over-sterling, has sterling silver heavily plated with a gold foundation. It's better quality and will last longer than gold-plated jewellery, much like gold-filled pieces. However, their manufacturing is where gold vermeil and gold-filled jewellery diverge significantly. Gold vermeil is electroplated instead of gold-filled, combined using pressure and heat.

Vermeil, which meets the definition, has a gold thickness of 2.5 microns. A thicker plating layer protects the gold in vermeil jewellery than in standard gold-plated pieces. In contrast, gold plating can wear away after years of heavy usage, especially in high-traffic areas.

In addition, you should only buy gold vermeil products from reputable manufacturers, as some businesses may falsely advertise their wares as vermeil even when they lack the required 2.5 microns of gold.

What is Solid Gold Jewellery? 

Solid gold jewellery is composed entirely of gold (no base metal). Gold's purity, measured in carats, varies widely and is used to label the ratio of gold to alloy. Due to its softness and malleability, pure gold (24ct) can not be used for jewellery without being alloyed with other metals.

Thus, if you want to save money, look for a lower carat, which means less use of gold in manufacturing. The best gold is solid gold since it is durable, won't tarnish, and is safe for anyone with metal allergies.

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As a result of its sole constituent material, gold, the jewellery item is prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of the population. Due to the enormous markups practised by many stores selling solid gold jewellery, even a very inexpensive necklace can cost several hundred dollars.

Different Colours of Gold Jewellery

Gold jewellery is adaptable and comes in a wide range of beautiful colours. Gold in nature is of a yellow tint, but you can also get other colours by combining it with different alloys.

Beginners Guide to All Types of Gold Jewellery


Yellow Gold

Gold, in its purest form, is a golden yellow colour. It is sometimes combined with sterling silver, copper, and zinc for increased strength and durability before being crafted into jewellery.

White Gold

Gold makes white gold when alloyed with other metals, including nickel, palladium, and zinc. White gold, a platinum substitute, has a Rhodium plating that makes it look silvery white. White and bright, rhodium is a rigid metal that can be worn away over time, necessitating jewellery replicating.

Rose Gold

Rose gold, commonly known as pink gold, is produced by alloying pure gold with copper. The copper adds durability and gives the metal its characteristic pink colour.

Different Carats of Gold Jewellery

Knowing what a carat is will help you grasp the various carats of gold. One carat is a quarter of a gramme for gold or 4.1667%. The percentage of these elements determines how pure a gold alloy is. Luxury Brand Jewellery is the largest gold buyer in Sydney, offering the best prices for your gold jewelley! Take a look!

Below are some of the well-known carat rates:

  • 8-carat
  • 10-carat
  • 14-carat
  • 18-carat
  • 22-carat
  • 24-carat

Final Thoughts

Gold jewellery is the most significant investment if you're looking for an heirloom quality piece that will last a lifetime and beyond. Therefore, solid gold jewellery is the best choice if you're looking for attractive accessories to wear daily.

Several criteria, like your budget, how often you plan to wear your jewellery, your ability to take good care of it, and more, determine which form of gold jewellery is best for you.

Knowing what you're getting into before you buy always helps. If you're shopping for a gold ring, necklace, or any other gold jewellery and want to be sure you obtain the perfect one for you, your skin tone, and your wallet, familiarising yourself with the four main categories of gold jewellery will be helpful.


1. What is the difference between gold-plated and solid gold jewellery?

Compared to other metals, solid gold is best since it lasts the longest, is the most valuable, and causes the fewest allergic reactions. Solid gold, however, will cost more than plated or filled metals.

Unlike their solid gold counterparts, gold-plated jewellery will tarnish with time. The gold plating on an item makes it more durable and less prone to bending, while the underlying copper or silver causes it to tarnish with time.

2. Is gold vermeil better than gold-filled jewellery?

Gold-filled jewellery will outlast gold vermeil jewellery of the same thickness over its lifetime because of the superior manufacturing method used in the former.

3. Which type of gold jewellery is best to buy without breaking the bank?

Gold-filled and gold vermeil can be your two favourite metals since they are beautiful and can be worn daily without breaking the bank.