It's 7:34am. You definitely stayed in bed 15 minutes later than you should have and you're dripping across your bedroom after a record-setting shower. You arrive at your dresser and stare blankly at the mounds of jewelry littered across its surface. Dear God... it's like a graveyard. You should be rushing to put yourself together but your hands are still wet, and you know how that goes– you throw a furtive look to the mostly-brown ring on the far right, the one you still can't bring yourself to throw away. The thought suddenly occurs to you, "My jewelry sucks."
The scary truth, dear friends, is that you and I have spent our lives paying for "high-quality" gold plated jewelry and it's a total scam. Gold plated, gold vermeil, gold dipped– it's all a lot of jargon for metal that is super cheap to manufacture and supremely non-durable.
Here's what I learned.
Gold-plated jewelry is created by taking a (usually inexpensive) base metal like copper and dipping it in a chemical solution. This applies a very thin layer of gold to its exterior– VERY thin. At its worst, gold-plated jewelry is sometimes as little as .0001% gold by weight! That layer of gold is not made to last. When you wear gold-plated jewelry, the outer gold layer rubs off quickly and exposes the copper underneath. That copper is what turns your finger green and gives your jewelry that nasty brown look.
Gold vermeil is only a slight step upward. Instead of copper the base metal is sterling silver, and the outer layer of gold is thicker than cheaper plated options. But this plating still rubs off after time, leaving your jewelry in that familiar gold-silver twilight zone we all hate so much.
So gold-plated is no bueno, thanks internet! But I wasn't about to start buying everything in 14k solid gold. Your girl likes her jewelry, but she's still on a budget. There had to be an alternative... enter gold filled.
Now I know what you might be thinking. "It's a thin layer of gold over a base metal! It's just like plating!" Not quite. Let's talk about that.
Remember how I said gold plating can be as little as .0001% gold? Not so with gold filled. Gold filled is legally required to be at least 5% gold by weight. That's 50 THOUSAND times the amount of gold on some plated jewelry. On top of that, the bond between the gold and base metal is entirely different. In gold filled, the gold is MELTED INTO the base metal– it can’t just rub right off. Plated jewelry generally lasts six months to a year if you take good care of it. Gold filled, on the other hand, lasts five to ten years! It's so much more durable!
And THAT is why I decided to use gold filled here at RCHL. I shell out an extra quarter and two dimes so that you can have a product that lasts and holds up to real life. I'm tired of sacrificing quality for affordability. I think you should be too.