The Difference Between Gold Plated & Gold Bonded

If you are planning on purchasing gold jewelry, then you must know the differences between different types of gold, for instance, gold plated and gold bonded.

  • Gold Plated:

Gold plated is a type of gold that involves only a thin layer of gold. This thin layer is deposited on jewelry. Gold plating is considered a very common process of making gold jewelry. Just by looking at it, it’s impossible to be able to identify any differences between real gold and gold plated jewelry.

Moreover, gold plating isn’t as complicated as it may sound. The steps are quite simple. First, the surface of the metal that has to be plated must be clean, if there is any amount of dust or oil, gold plating may not go as planned. Oild or dust prevents the layer of the gold from attaching itself to the metal. After cleaning the surface of the metal, the jeweler puts a layer of nickel that protects the gold layer from the base metal. Thereafter, they dip the jewelry into the container while holding the gold. They use a positive electric charge, which fuses the layer to the base metal, and then the jewelry is dried.

The metals that can be used as base metals are silver, copper, nickel, titanium, tungsten, brass, and stainless steel. However, the jewelers mostly use silver and copper.

  • Gold Bonded:
The highest karat for gold is 24k

Gold bonded, also called gold-filled, is a type of gold jewelry that is layered with gold. However, in this case, the layer is thicker. These gold layers may include various karats, 10K, 14K, 18K, and 24K. Gold bonded jewelry contains many layers of solid gold as well, which means, gold bonded jewelry has a greater amount of gold compared to gold plated jewelry.

In gold bonded, the base is often brass, and the process includes solid sheets of gold which are layered around the base metal. This process ensures that jewelry won’t peel, tarnish, or discolor.

The process of gold bonding includes: first the base metal will be sandwiched between two gold layers, then it will be heated, and after that, it passes through a roller multiple times. The last process ensures that the sheets of gold thinned out or not.

Distinguishing Gold-Filled Jewelry from Gold-Plated: Key Variations

The major difference between gold-plated and gold bonded is that, on gold-plated jewelry, the layer of gold is very thin, while the layer of gold on gold bonded jewelry is thicker, which means it’s more durable.

  • Gold Layer: gold filled jewelry consists of thicker outer layers of gold compared to gold-plated jewelry.
  • Quantity of Gold: gold filled jewelry contains a greater quantity of gold compared to gold-plated jewelry.
  • Durability: gold filled jewelry has much more durability than gold-plated jewelry.
  • Price: gold filled jewelry is slightly expensive compared to gold-plated jewelry.

Here is a video that shows the differences between gold bonded/gold filled jewelry and gold plated jewelry.

Gold-Filled VS Gold Plated Jewelry

Keep reading to know more.

Is gold plated and gold bonded the same?

No, gold plated and gold bonded aren’t the same, as the manufacturing process is different, and even the quantity of gold is different. The gold layer on gold-plated jewelry is barely noticeable, which means, the layer of gold is very thin. While gold bonded jewelry, the gold layer is 100x more, meaning it’s way thicker.

If you so much as scratch a gold plated jewelry, the brass underneath will be exposed. Whereas gold bonded jewelry will last longer and will stand up to wear and tear much better compared to gold-plated jewelry.

Here is a table for the differences between gold-plated and gold-filled.

Gold platedGold-filled
It’s created by depositing a very thin gold sheet on a base metalIt’s created by joining the base metal with outer 2 to 3 layers of gold
It contains less gold quantityIt contains more gold quantity
Not as durableMuch more durable
InexpensiveSlightly more expensive
It will only last two yearsIt will last a lifetime
Gold Plated VS Gold-filled

Is bonded gold better than plated?

a person wearing jewelry
Gold-filled jewelry is more durable than gold plated jewelry.

Yes, bonded gold is much better than plated gold, on gold bonded jewelry, a thicker layer is used while for plated gold jewelry a very thin gold sheet is used. While this may not seem much of a difference, gold bonded jewelry lasts longer.

The gold bonded jewelry is said to be 100 times thicker compared to gold plated. Moreover, the process of gold layers bonded to the outside of a base metal makes the jewelry much more durable.

In gold-bonded jewelry the gold sheets are bonded to the base metal through extreme pressure and heat, which prevents the jewelry from flaking or tarnishing.

Is gold bonded jewelry worth anything?

Gold bonded jewelry is worth every penny. The price of gold-bonded jewelry depends on how many karats are used to manufacture the jewelry. Gold bonded jewelry contains 2 to 3 sheets of solid gold, and different karats are used, which include 10K, 14K, 18, and 24K.

Gold bonded jewelry is more durable, and the longevity depends on the wear, and environment, as well as the quality of the piece.

Gold-bonded jewelry can last a lifetime if properly taken care of. Moreover, these pieces will only tarnish under special circumstances. Pure gold doesn’t tarnish. However, it’s an alloy. The layer is quite thick, which will surely prevent tarnishing.

How long will gold-bonded jewelry last?

gold bracelet
With proper care, your jewelry can last you a lifetime.

If you take care of your gold bonded jewelry, it will last a lifetime. Gold bonded jewelry contains 9K to 14K, which means these pieces are durable.

Gold-bonded jewelry will not tarnish for a long time, while gold plated may start to tarnish once its base metal is exposed.

You should clean your gold bonded jewelry by using soapy water and can dry it with a clean cloth.

How long does plated gold last?

On average, gold-plated jewelry lasts for about two years before the tarnishing begins. However, the length of the time depends if you properly take care of the jewelry or not.

Gold-plated jewelry is affected by several factors. For instance, if you wear it outside where elements can damage the plating.

Nonetheless, here are some things that you should and shouldn’t do if you want your jewelry to last longer.

  • Store your jewelry somewhere safe, like a clean box.
  • Avoid contact with things like makeup, perfume, sunscreen, moisturizers, soap, detergent, and any other chemical.
  • Never wear your jewelry to the beach or pool.
  • Clean your jewelry as dust can cause damage as well.

To Conclude

gold hoops on a box
Base metals for gold plating include primarily silver and copper.
  • Gold-plated Gold has a thin layer. On the other hand, Gold bonded has a thicker one for durability.
  • Gold-bonded Gold uses multiple solid gold layers for longevity.
  • It bonds solid gold layers to base metal, making it sturdy.
  • Gold bonded contains more Gold, so it’s slightly pricier.
  • Proper care lets Gold-bonded last a lifetime, unlike gold-plated ones.
  • Care involves avoiding chemicals and regular cleaning.
  • Gold plated exposes base metal if scratched. Gold bonded keeps its integrity.
  • Gold bonded withstands wear due to extreme heat and pressure in its creation.

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