One question we often get asked at shows is: what is 14k gold-fill jewelry? And we're thrilled that you ask, because it's one of our absolute favourite metals to work with and wear.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about gorgeous, glowy gold-fill!
What is Gold-Fill?
First, let's look into the name. In Ancient Egypt, gold was hammered into thin sheets, then rolled into tight, hollow tubes that could be shaped into wire jewelry. It was originally referred to as "rolled gold". As the process evolved, another metal was added to the gold sheets, for durability. It became gold that was "filled" with a base metal, thus: "gold-fill".
14k gold-fill is what's known as a metal alloy; a combination of metals. The K in 14k gold-fill refers to karats, which is a measurement of the purity of gold - the purest gold having 24 karats. But in its pure form, gold is quite soft, so in order to make it more durable for daily wear, it's mixed with another metal - brass.
Gold-fill has a thick outer layer of pure gold that is heat-bonded to a brass core. The gold content in gold-fill jewelry is government regulated to be 1/20th (5%) of the total weight, so you know you'll always be getting the same high quality in every piece. 14k gold-fill jewelry consists of 14 parts gold and 10 parts brass, meaning each piece contains 58.3% pure gold.
The Benefits of Gold-Fill
14k gold-fill is up to 16x thicker than something that is gold-plated. Its durability means that you'll get much more wear out of your beautiful jewels. You can wear your gold-fill in the shower, while swimming in freshwater, and while doing dishes in soapy water. The gold won't ever flake or rub off, so you can wear your gorgeous gold-fill all day, every day!
Gold-fill jewelry is hypoallergenic, the same as pure gold. It doesn't cause any allergies or rashes, or turn your skin green, even when worn against the most sensitive skin.
Gold-fill is as close to solid gold as you can get, without breaking the bank. Gold-fill offers the same look as solid gold, and its durability makes it the perfect choice for daily wear. You'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you've invested in a piece of jewelry that will always be there for you.
Caring for your Gold-Fill
14k gold-fill requires minimal care. The gold won't flake or rub off when exposed to freshwater and soap It will last a lifetime if cared for properly. To clean your jewelry, gently rub the surface with a soft polishing cloth
that has been impregnated with a gentle polishing compound to remove build-up.
Avoid harsh chemicals, abrasives, or dips, as these all pit and scratch the surface which could remove some of the gold layer over time. Remember: your jewelry should be last on and first off. Remove it before exercising, and make sure to apply sunscreens, perfumes and lotions (and let them dry completely) before putting on your precious jewels!
With proper care, a gold-fill piece of jewelry will last years before showing any signs of age. When you're not wearing it, we recommend storing jewelry away from humid places (i.e. the bathroom) and in small ziploc bags to reduce exposure to air.
Now that you've read all about 14k gold-fill, what's your favourite thing about it? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!