Breaking It All Down -- What is Gold Fill Jewelry?

Breaking It All Down -- What is Gold Fill Jewelry?

We love being a jewelry brand with pieces for everyone at all different price points. We also love being as transparent as possible about the quality of our jewelry. As a brand who sells both 14K gold and gold-fill jewelry, we want to make sure our customers know the difference between the two, so that you can better understand the price and longevity of your beloved leMel pieces.

Below are some helpful answers to FAQs about gold-fill jewelry. As always, we are happy to answer any other inquiries via email at hello@shoplemel.com!

Q: What is gold-fill jewelry?

Gold-fill jewelry is made of a thick, solid layer of gold mechanically bonded to a different base metal. This base is often sterling silver, copper, or brass.  Legally to qualify as Gold Fill in America a piece must consist of 5% pure gold by weight.  

Q: How much gold is in gold-fill jewelry?

The USA industry standard for gold-fill jewelry requires the piece to be 5% or 1/20th pure gold by weight. While that doesn’t sound like a lot, the gold coating is what keeps gold-fill jewelry from losing its color and allows the jewelry to last for years to come! Gold-fill jewelry is far more affordable than solid gold jewelry, and the gold coating makes gold-fill pieces incredibly durable when handled properly.

Q: Does gold-fill jewelry get easily damaged or cause reactions for those with sensitive skin?

Due to the solid shell of real gold on the pieces, gold-fill jewelry is very durable. While it can tarnish, from exposure to air and skin oils, if it is properly taken care of and cleaned every so often -- it can last a long time.   

All of our gold-fill jewelry, such as our Everyday Stretch Bracelets, can be worn everyday and can withstand sweating and swimming.  For the majority of people gold-fill jewelry reacts with skin the same as solid gold jewelry, so unless you have a gold allergy, gold-fill pieces are hypoallergenic! 

Q: Is gold-fill the same as gold-plated?

No. Gold-plated jewelry is the least expensive of the bunch and is made by applying a much thinner layer of gold to another base metal. The process for creating gold-plated jewelry is far less standardized, and the amount of gold used can vary. We only work with 14K/18K solid gold and gold-fill to provide the highest quality jewelry to our clients, while offering different price points.

Q: How do I care for my gold-fill jewelry?

To properly care for your jewelry we recommend cleaning it every so often, as it will tarnish naturally from skin oils and air.  Jumped in the pool with it on? No problem -  just give it a quick clean when you are done to remove harsh chemicals.  Use warm water and a mild soap (like our favorite Branch Basics) and soak it for 5 minutes.  You can also use a polishing cloth to brighten it up.  When you are not wearing your jewelry, it's best to store it in a zip lock or another air tight container.  

Q: Can I mix and match gold and gold-fill jewelry?

ABSOLUTELY! Our entire line of jewelry is made to be mixed and matched! We love wearing our favorite Everyday Stretch Bracelets with The Initial Necklace to create the perfect layered necklace look! Mix away!