What are the different types of gold jewellery?

As exquisite as gold jewellery looks, it can be a task to figure out the difference between the different types of gold. In fact, many people aren’t even aware that there exist different types. When buying jewellery, it becomes important to know these differences so that you buy authentic pieces and understand their value and care well. To help you with the same, we are explaining these intricate differences in detail so that you buy just what you need.


Solid Gold

This is as real as gold gets. Pure and valuable, Solid Gold Jewellery is the most expensive gold jewellery. Usually denoted with k , these symbols refer to the purity of the gold. 24k gold is the purest form of gold. This pure gold is a smooth shade of yellow and exquisitely soft to handle. This soft texture does not allow it to be crafted straight into jewellery which is why other metals are mixed in it to make it more durable. These metals are also called alloys and come to make what we know as solid gold. A higher proportion of alloys lowers the purity of the gold jewellery thereby lowering the carats. 9k, 14k and 18k are the most commonly used proportions.

 When cared for properly, solid gold lasts a very long time and does not lose its sheen like other gold-plated jewellery. It can not only sustain but also be reused by melting and crafting into newer shapes or designs.

 Gold Filled Jewellery

One of the common confusions that most people have is between Solid Gold and Gold Filled Jewellery. But these two are not at all the same even though they can feel quite similar. One of the major differences is that it costs much less than Solid Gold because it is made by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal to make it look like gold. This makes it much more durable but lowers the life span. This is a much preferred gold variant in the fast fashion industry where durability matters more than sustenance. Although over time, the gold layer can start to wear away which would require restoring it through gold plating.

 Gold Plated / Gold Vermeil

This is a very popular choice of Gold among women due to its beautiful range of designs and affordability. Gold plated jewellery is made by electrically discharging gold onto any base metal. The only difference between Gold Plated and Vermeil Gold is that Vermeil Gold is plated only on Sterling Silver.

Even though this is only plated with gold, these jewellery are also valued in carats, usually, 14k which refers to the value of the plated gold. They usually have an average lifespan of a year and can require regular re-plating with time to maintain their sheen.

When it comes to Gold plated jewellery we should always remember two things:

  • 14k Gold Plated is NOT 14k Solid Gold

These two are very different in both value and material. 14k Solid Gold is much more expensive and has a greater proportion of Gold whereas 14k Gold Plated is more durable with its metal base. 

  •   Gold Plated Jewellery has a VERY thin Gold layer

On average, Gold Plated jewellery uses 0.5 microns of Gold which can go up to a maximum of 5 microns. To help you imagine, 1 micron = 1 millionth of a meter, and the average human hair is 70 microns thick! So even though Gold Plated jewellery does have a plate of Gold, it is extremely thin in nature.

 It is crucial to know these slight but important differences in the different types of Gold. Many times, sellers remove the word Plated when describing their Gold Plated jewellery which can cause confusion and can be very misleading to the buyer. Today you have a variety of designs and prices to choose your jewellery from and knowing these differences can help you make better choices when buying your jewellery.