What is the Difference Between Gold Filled and Gold Plated Jewelry?

What is the Difference Between Gold Filled and Gold Plated Jewelry?

Gold jewelry is eye-catching, timeless, and perfectly suited for the confident jewelry-lover. But with all the different varieties of gold jewelry out there, it can feel overwhelming to know what’s what.

We’ve broken down the differences in gold jewelry, so you can focus on incorporating your favorite pieces into your style. We’ve taken the time to ensure each of our products is top-notch in quality and durability — all while remaining accessible in price point.

When it comes to gold jewelry, you’ve got options, including gold filled and gold plated. Here’s a breakdown of the types of gold jewelry — and how Playa Luna ensures your jewelry will best fit your needs, budget, and style.

What Are Gold Filled and Gold Plated Jewelry?

Gold jewelry is stunning — but you might also be stunned by the many differences that are out there. While gold jewelry pieces can often complete your look, it’s important to know what your necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings are actually made of.

One of the major differences is between gold filled jewelry and gold plated jewelry. While both have their benefits, knowing the difference can help you make an informed jewelry purchase.

Gold filled jewelry has more gold than gold plated jewelry.

This might seem obvious, but it may not be. Plenty of gold jewelry enthusiasts aren’t aware that gold filled jewelry comes with more actual gold.

Gold filled jewelry has a real layer of gold (though the karat might differ). This gold is “pressure-bonded” (combined using pressure and heat) to a core metal, like silver, copper, or brass.

There’s even a legal requirement for jewelry to be considered gold filled. Gold filled pieces must be made with 1/20 (or 5%) of gold by weight. When it comes to karats, that gold layer must be 10k or higher.

Gold filled jewelry has plenty of benefits — it’s more durable, less likely to tarnish, and less likely to cause an allergic skin reaction. On the other hand, because the process of gold filling is more intense and expensive, you can expect to shell out a little extra cash for gold filled jewelry.

Playa Luna gold filled jewelry comes with those same reliability standards, but we’re also committed to remaining within reach financially. That way, you can feel confident in both your jewelry and your budget.


Gold plated jewelry has much vaguer standards than gold filled jewelry.

You know how the food industry uses terms like “local,” “organic,” and “hormone-free” — but you aren’t totally sure what those actually mean? Well, the jewelry industry has its own ambiguous terms, starting with gold plated.

The basics of gold plating are fairly simple — a base metal (like brass, copper, or silver) is rinsed, cleaned, and shaped. Then, it’s dipped into a solution that contains gold (or a gold-colored alloy) and zapped with an electric current. The result is an outer layer of gold left on the base metal.

Here’s where the vagueness comes in.

For one, the base metals may not always be disclosed. In fact, many jewelry companies use gold plating over copper or brass — less expensive and inferior metals compared to sterling silver. Gold plating also has vague legal requirements. In most cases, gold plated pieces have less than 0.05% gold. And sometimes, it’s all gold-colored coating and no real gold is involved.

At Playa Luna, you can expect quality jewelry pieces that are still affordable. Our gold plated jewelry is plated over sterling silver 925 — as opposed to copper or brass, which can leave your skin green. Our gold plated jewelry is also always made with 14k or 18k gold (none of that “gold-colored coating” confusion).


How to Decide What Kind of Gold Jewelry to Purchase

Jewelry is just as much a part of your look as your clothing, hairstyle, makeup, and even attitude. Making the right jewelry purchase decision for your needs can be tough — but we’re here to help.

If you love gold jewelry, deciding between gold filled and gold plated should depend on three important factors.

1. Durability

Start by considering how durable you want — or need — your jewelry. Are you extra careful with your jewelry, making sure to take it off for hand-washing, cleaning, and other potentially harmful activities? Or, are you looking for a piece that will stand up to the test of time — no matter how you treat it?

Gold plated pieces are more prone to wear and tear compared to their gold filled counterparts, and they may begin to tarnish (or wear off) quicker than gold filled jewelry. This is especially true if your jewelry is constantly exposed to water and other chemicals.

If well cared for, gold filled pieces can last a lifetime. But keep in mind — harsh soaps and chemicals can still cause damage to gold filled jewelry over time, so do your best to protect and take care of your gold jewelry!

2. Skin sensitivity

Green rings around your finger are not just unsightly, they can be downright irritating. With gold plated pieces, you run the risk of being exposed to the base metal, which can cause that green coloration. Gold filled alternatives, however, don’t come with this problem. 

At Playa Luna, we use sterling silver 925 as our base metal, meaning our pieces will never turn your skin green or cause an allergic reaction.

What’s more, all of our gold plated over sterling silver and gold filled jewelry is hypoallergenic. This means you can rest easy if you have skin sensitivity — no matter which version of gold jewelry you decide on.

3. Budget

Gold plated jewelry is easier on the purse strings, which is why most fashion pieces are gold plated. If cost is your concern, you’re less likely to stress over the cost of gold plated pieces. But for a little extra money, gold filled jewelry can add that extra durability to your favorite piece.

Playa Luna Gold Jewelry: Setting a New Industry Standard with Gold Jewelry

Not all jewelry is created equal. We know the importance of what you put around your neck, on your fingers, and on your wrist. And we also know that you have a lot of options.

Your jewelry is not just part of who you are — but also who you want to be.

Our jewelry is jewelry you can feel good in. Our quality materials, accessible prices, and trendy designs ensure you feel confident in your purchase decision. Whether you opt for durable gold filled or budget friendly gold plated, our top-notch gems will keep you sparkling year-round.

Shop Playa Luna Gold Jewelry

Now that you know the difference between gold filled and gold plated jewelry, it’s time to get your shop on! Explore our Playa Luna collections to add some sparkle to your look today.