Every Girls Guide to Jewelry Metal Types

What’s the difference between gold and gold filled? Can I wear my jewelry in water? Will this turn my neck green!? Sound familiar?

Shown here, our gold bar choker in 14kt gold filled.

 If you’ve ever been confused by all the different jewelry metal types out there, you’re not alone! We sat down with the jewelry experts at Halstead Bead to answer all these questions and more.

What does gold filled mean?

Gold-filled is a very popular metal that is used in jewelry. It is constructed in two or three layers. The core metal is usually brass then it is surrounded by 12kt or 14kt gold. The gold alloy is bonded to the brass core with heat and pressure. The bonded raw material is then sold as sheet or wire to jewelry manufacturers for use in designs.

So, is gold filled actual gold?

Gold-filled is legally required to contain 5% or 1/20 gold by weight so it contains a significant amount of gold. This ratio ensures lifetime durability while staying affordable.

What’s the lifespan of gold filled jewelry and what’s the best way to care for it?

Gold-filled jewelry is usually a lifetime product because the gold layer bonded to the brass is quite thick. Only extreme sulfide exposure can blacken the metal. The best way to clean gold-filled jewelry is light surface cleaning with an untreated cloth or mild soapy water.

Can I wear my gold filled jewelry in water or at the beach?

Some exposure to water is ok, but it is never recommended for any jewelry or metal to be worn in the water.

What is gold vermeil?

Gold vermeil jewelry is a high quality gold plated jewelry. The base metal is usually sterling silver and it is electroplated with a layer of gold. 

What’s the lifespan of gold vermeil jewelry and what’s the best way to care for it?

The lifespan for gold vermeil can be quite a few years if cared for properly. Make sure to store your gold vermeil jewelry in a dry place. Clean only if you absolutely must using a cotton ball.

Have any other questions?
We're happy to help! Ask away in the comments below, we'd love to hear from you!

Amanda Eddy
Owner and designer of Amanda Deer Jewelry. Lover of all things dainty and cute.


2 comments


  • Amanda Deer

    Hi there, gold filled jewelry matches 14kt solid gold really well. We often mix and match gold filled and solid gold when we layer pieces. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at care@amandadeer.com. Thank you!


  • F Young

    My concern is that the gold color might be too yellow. Will the color of gold match my 14K yellow gold?


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