So what is gold filled jewellery?

So what is gold filled jewellery?

You've probably seen the terms Gold filled, vermeil and plating being used to describe jewellery - but have you ever wondered what they actually mean?

Well, good news is that I have a mini guide below for you below running through what Gold filled jewellery is and how you should take care of it.

What is Gold Filled?

Gold filled is perfect if you are looking for a higher quality product than plating, but want a more affordable alternative to solid gold! Also, unlike plating, Gold filled can last a lifetime if looked after.

How is it made?

Gold fill is made by mechanically bonding a layer of gold to a layer of base metal, usually brass.

It is bonded to the surface of the brass using heat and pressure, which makes it a permanent bond! The gold won’t flake, peel or fall off like gold plating does.

In the UK we have this regulated by law where the total weight of a gold filled item must contain 5% (or 1/20) of gold – anything less than this cannot be called gold filled.

As a comparison, in gold plating – there is usually less than 0.05% of the product weight in gold.


Explainer image for each of the four types of gold - plating, filled, vermeil and solid.

How should I store it?

Scratches can be difficult to remove on gold filled items without exposing the brass core, so I recommend storing in separate compartments to other pieces of jewellery – ideally wrapped in tissue to keep it protected and always store in a dry space.


How should I clean it?

The main thing to avoid is anything that would scratch the surface so I would stick to really simple methods:

  • 1. Mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush
  • 2. Soft polishing cloth – sometimes polishing cloths with chemicals are not recommended for gold fill so would avoid these and use a standard microfiber cloth.
  • 3. Ultrasonic machine
  • 4. Tumbler


Are there any other metal types that you would like to know more about?
Let me know in the contact form on social media what you would like demystified!

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