(Illustration is a rough indication of the types and characteristics of gold jewelery and is not to scale)
Gold jewelry breakdown
14K- 100% 14K Gold. Although gold is a soft metal, it is characterized by being resistant to abrasion and rust.
14K Gold Filled - Using 14/20 gold filled. The first number, 14, represents the purity of the gold, while the second number, 20, represents 1/20th the weight of the underlying metal. In other words, 14/20 14K gold-filled uses 5% of the weight of the underlying metal, 14K, as the coating. Our gold-filled products are based on nickel-free brass and are heat-sealed with 14K gold. Unlike plating, it is water resistant and usually lasts a lifetime. Depending on how you handle it, the length of time it lasts will vary, so we recommend that you handle it carefully.
Plating - Gold-plated jewelry is less than 0.05% of total weight. It wears easily and is not very resistant to water.
What is Goldfield?
While plating is an ultra-thin film, gold-filled is a layer of 14K gold on the surface, making it a cost-effective piece of jewelry that is somewhere between gold and plating.
Gold is expensive, but gold-filled jewelry is a less expensive option that looks just like gold.
Will goldfilled rust?
Like solid gold, gold filled rarely rusts. Rust may develop in harsh environments, but is usually easily removed with a light rubbing with a polishing cloth.
Gold Filled vs Simple Plating
The gold that covers the underlying metal is a thick layer in gold-filled and a very thin film in plating.
Why are there different carat weights for gold?
The carat weight of gold indicates the purity of the gold. 24K is considered 100% pure gold, and lower carat gold contains other metals to increase its strength. Gold is a metal that deforms easily, so 24K is easily deformed. Therefore, jewelery often uses 22K or less. The higher the purity of the gold, the softer it will be.
All carats have a denominator of 24. For your reference, here are some of them.
22K Gold 22/24 (Purity 91.7)
14K Gold 14/24 (Purity 58.3)
9K gold 9/24 (purity 37.5)
Article by Sakura Milk Jewelry