I always use high-quality materials. However, in order to keep my pieces as affordable as possible, I sometimes use gold-plated brass necklace chains, especially on longer chains. My gold earwires are always made with hypo-allergenic 14kt gold-filled wire. Some necklaces offer the choice between a gold plated chain or a gold-filled one - read on to choose what's best for you!
What is Gold-Filled? Gold-filled metal is a quality material that is common in all types of jewelry. The product is easy to care for and will usually maintain its golden shine for a lifetime.
Gold-filled is constructed in two or three layers. The core metal is jewelers’ brass; a gold alloy is then bonded to one or both surfaces of the brass core with heat and pressure. Gold-filled is legally required to contain 5% or 1/20 gold by weight. As such, a gold-filled piece will contain at least 100x more gold than a gold plated one. All of my earwires and hammered metals (unless noted) are made with gold-filled wire.
So, What is Gold Plate? – Gold plating is when a thin layer of solid gold is applied to a brass base. The plating does not compose any measurable proportion of the product's total weight. It is estimated to be 0.05% or less of the metal product. Gold plating will generally wear off more quickly (especially when worn in the shower, at the gym, or when sleeping) and expose the brass base product over time. While more economical, it has its drawbacks. For larger chains usually worn over clothing however, it's an excellent and affordable option.