Hello! And welcome to the world of 14k gold-filled and sterling silver jewelry. A world of higher quality metal, longer lasting jewelry, and more confidence in your purchases. It’s better over here!
We want to dispel any disinformation about what it means to have 14k gold-filled jewelry and properly educate you on the care of your jewelry. Your pieces have the power to last a long time. But with great power comes great responsibility!
WHAT IS GOLD-FILLED?
Gold-filled jewelry is a layer of gold, bonded through heat to a brass core. This is different than gold-plated jewelry which is a microscopic layer of gold (often dipped) over metal. Gold plating will eventually wear. Gold filling, on the other hand, with proper care and handling, can have a very long life. When it comes to quality and durability, only solid gold can beat gold-filled jewelry.
GOLD-FILLED JEWELRY IS MORE WEAR RESISTANT
Here are some things you may not know about gold-filled jewelry:
- The layer of gold on a gold-filled piece is quite thick. Gold-filled jewelry is legally required to contain 5% gold by weight. Your gold-filled piece has 100 times the amount of gold in it than your gold-plated piece.
- The layer of gold on a gold-filled piece is bonded through heat to the base metal. The act of bonding the gold to the brass means that the gold does not flake off and is tarnish resistant with proper care.
For durability, longevity, and affordability gold-filled jewelry is your golden ticket.
WHAT AFFECTS THE LONGEVITY OF MY GOLD-FILLED OR STERLING SILVER JEWELRY?
When it comes to a long life for your jewelry, there are three crucial factors.
- What touches the jewelry.
- What stays on the jewelry.
- Oxidation. (A process in which a chemical substance changes because of the addition of oxygen- basically what happens when metal is exposed to lots and lots of air.)
Lots of exposure to chemicals and improper care can have your piece darkening disappointingly quickly. We know you don’t want this to happen and neither do we! We’re going to go over some popular myths surrounding gold-filled and sterling silver jewelry and give you the truth!
JEWELRY CARE MYTHS — BUSTED OR CONFIRMED?
MYTH 1 — I can wear my gold-filled or sterling silver jewelry anywhere, any time, with any lotions or perfumes and it will never color.
Chemicals DO affect your gold-filled and sterling silver jewelry with time. Especially sterling silver. The longer and more often the exposure, the quicker the wear. Here’s our list of things to avoid with your jewelry on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the most severe, and 1 being no harm whatsoever.
Ranking of Substances to Avoid (1- No Harm, 4- Most Harm)
2. Unscented lotions, sweat*
3. Prolonged time in water, oceans, sand, perfumes, scented lotion
4. Hot tubs, chlorine, swimming pools, sunscreen, cleaning products with bleach, nail polish remover
*Sweat is a bit of a wild card and can greatly differ depending on body composition. Some people have some really potent sweat!
MYTH 2 — My skin might be what is making my gold-filled or sterling silver jewelry turn color.
Body composition is sooooo different and whether or not your skin can happily enjoy years of wearing the same gold-filled or sterling silver piece is wildly individual. You will learn in your jewelry wearing adventure what your skin can handle. The more aware and curious you are of what care and habits surround your long-lasting pieces, the more wear you’ll be able to get out of your jewelry. You’re responsible for knowing your own skin and body type and how metal reacts to your skin. We can not guarantee every piece of jewelry against every body composition. We do feel confident, however, that next to solid gold, we are giving you the absolute best quality metal possible.
From six years of helping customers, we have learned that there is a huge range to how skin type affects the wear of metal. Some people will wear their gold-filled jewelry nonstop for a year and it looks the exact same as the day they bought it. Other people have crazy acid skin that basically turns all metals into lava as soon as it touches it. If this is you, I’m sorry! Hopefully you have long eyelashes or perfect toenails to balance out your skin’s sucky reaction to metal!
MYTH 3 — I have sensitive skin so I can’t wear any jewelry.
Next to solid gold, gold-filled jewelry is the best option for people with sensitive skin. It is definitely the most affordable option for people with sensitive skin. Even if you do have acid-turns-all-metals-to-lava skin, that does NOT mean gold-filled jewelry is out of the question for you. It does mean you will probably want to be more careful, clean your jewelry more often, and store it in an air-tight bag when you are not wearing it. Anytime you get out of a pool, put lotion on, or take your necklace off for the night, clean it off with water and gently dry it off.
Like 14k gold-filled, sterling silver jewelry is also hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. We especially recommend storing sterling silver jewelry in an airtight container and cleaning it often with an anti-tarnishing cloth. (Silver oxidizes quickly!
MYTH 4 — I can sleep in my gold-filled jewelry!
I love my gold-filled jewelry because I never feel like I have to take it off before bed. Our huggies are especially comfortable for sleep and I have worn mine for months on end without any wear. That being said, my skin composition does not react to metals. I also live in the desert. (Locations with lots of humidity or salt in the air can cause your piece to color more quickly.) If you always sleep in your jewelry and notice that it starts to wear, take it off at night and store it in an airtight plastic bag for longer wear. If you know that your skin is hard on metal, definitely take off your jewelry before bed.
MYTH 5 — There is nothing I can do if my piece starts to wear.
We highly encourage you to clean your gold-filled and sterling silver pieces. Water and a mild dish soap (like Dawn) can help gold-filled jewelry stay looking fresh. Every time I wash my hands while wearing my gold-filled rings I spend extra time and soap on the rings and am always shocked at the dirt and grime that the rings have been holding on to. We also have soft anti-tarnishing cloths for $5 that can quickly and easily clean up your gold or silver jewelry. You can get those here. It is also important to dry your jewelry. Water is powerful if left on metal for long periods of time.
MYTH 6 — It doesn’t matter where I store my gold-filled or sterling silver jewelry when I am not wearing it.
More air = quicker oxidation. If you want your jewelry to reach its max max life, put it in an airtight bag. When you purchase a necklace from us, it comes with a 1 inch x 2 inch plastic baggie. Hold on to this and keep your necklace or earrings in it when not wearing it. Jewelry boxes are beautiful, we get it, but the more air that is allowed to touch your jewelry, the quicker it will oxidize and wear. This is especially important for sterling silver. When you are not wearing it, keep it airtight!
MYTH 7 — If I want to buy gold-filled jewelry I need to be a super responsible person who always remembers to take it off, to clean it, and to store it properly.
Aside from gold, gold-filled jewelry is the most forgiving of metals. That means if you forget and hop into the pool, it likely will not punish you. Our jewelry is for the laziest women and for the busiest women. It is for women who don’t want to have to think about it. Everything we said about storage, cleaning, and avoiding chemicals is absolutely true for the longest wear and for your best bet of it not tarnishing. All that being said, you could ignore all those rules and still get months and years with your gold-filled pieces. It’s a pretty easy-going metal. Yes, it lasts longer and wears better if you give it a little TLC. But if you ignore it for months on end, can it still hang with you? Chances are really good.