While shopping online for vintage or antique jewelry, you may come across items described as "gold filled," "gold plated,"or "gold tone." We may all be familiar with solid gold, silver, and platinum, but there are some metals used in the past that many modern consumers my not know much about. In most cases, these alternative metals were used as ways to reduce costs and jewelry prices during times of strife or for those who could not afford real metals. Today, gold filled or plated metal is a great way to begin collecting jewelry because of its' lower cost.
What is Gold Filled Metal?
Gold Filled Metal means the item is made of a thick layer of gold fused onto a base metal. There is usually a thick enough layer of gold that it won't fade or wear easily. It is safe for those with allergies.
What is Gold Plated Metal?
When an item is described as being gold plated, there will be a thin layer of gold over base metal. Gold plated metal can be safe for those with metal allergies, but the gold may wear eventually, exposing the base metal.
What is Gold Tone Metal or Silver Tone Metal?
This simply refers to the color of the metal. The metal can be any base metal. These pieces generally don't contain any gold or silver content. More likely found in contemporary pieces.