Gold filled jewelry (Creole Amour's Choice) is literally solid gold filled with a base metal (brass, copper, etc,). Gold filled is when a solid layer of gold is mechanically and permanently bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal. It has a thick sheet of gold applied, 50 to 100,000 times thicker than gold plating, it must be at least 5% of the metal's weight, 10 karats or higher, and must meet the Federal Trade Commission's quality standards. It is an affordable alternative to solid gold because it's surface is solid gold; therefore, it wears like solid gold and is tarnish-resistant. Gold filled jewelry can last a life-time if cared for properly.
Gold Vermeil ( ver-MAY) jewelry is simply when sterling silver is gold plated. Sterling silver is used a base metal and is dipped in a electroplating solution that electromagnetically coats the metal with a thin layer of gold. In order to qualify as vermeil, the gold layer must be at least 2.5 microns thick. Vermeil can be long lasting, but the gold will eventually wear off.
Gold plated jewelry is created through a similar process as vermeil. A based metal, usually brass, copper, etc., is dipped in a electroplating solution that electromagnetically coats the metal with a thin layer of gold. However, the gold layer of gold plated jewelry is estimated to be .05% or less. Gold plating generally wears off exposing the base metal. It has a shorter lifespan and does not hold up against water and wear over time.
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