Gold-filled: what is it + how to take care of it
Today we have so many brands that make fast and cheap jewellery, that everything turns out to be disposable. They seem to be pretty pieces and very convenient in price, something that you can buy if you are in a hurry or with little money. But the reality behind it is different. These pieces are made with very cheap materials, not good for your skin, specially delicate skin, and behind every piece there is a person, or a few, that are poorly paid, and forced to finish thousand of pieces fast and in terrible conditions. This is due to something called fast fashion, often related to low quality materials, mass production, poorly paid labour and not carefully manufactured. They claim to be sold in ‘accessible prices’ but most probably are going to break in a short period of time and whoever is making them is certainly paying a really high price. On the other hand, we have extremely expensive jewellery, ‘designer jewellery’ made with very good materials but that could be the result of exploiting someone, or worse, like the blood diamonds.
This is a long and complex issue, but it is worth thinking about and consider it since this will help us to change our way of consuming and buying. In this consideration and shift of perspective, materials are an important topic, as much as the product itself.
Between these two types of jewellery that we mentioned before, there are some alternatives. Brands, like ours, that try to make a creative, meaningful products, keeping in mind the ethics behind them and looking for high quality, sustainable materials, suitable for sensitive skins. One example of these materials is gold-filled.
So, what is gold-fill?
Even tho it is not solid gold, gold-fill is considered a precious metal, because it consists of a solid gold sheet or layer, generally 10k or 14k, and through a mechanical process, using force and heat, is rolled and bonded into a metallic base -this metal base could be silver, nickel, brass, etc-. As a result, you get a really good price-quality material that lasts longer than many others. Gold-filled is not the same as gold-plated, it is very different. Gold-plated is a chemical process that ends in a microscopic coat of gold that covers the metal base. Another important difference between both processes is that in the case of gold-plated, the percentage of gold in the piece is around 0.05%, meanwhile for the gold-filled pieces this percentage is about at least 5% of solid gold.
Even more, gold-filled pieces are hypoallergenic, long lasting and very easy to care for. If you take good care of your gold-filled pieces they could last you up to 30 years.
How to take care of your gold-filled pieces
Is really easy to take care of your gold-filled pieces, you just need to do a couple of steps to keep them in perfect shape for many years.
To clean your pieces you just need to rinse them with plain warm water. As an extra step, you could use some diluted soap and then rise again. Remember these steps are only for gold-filled pieces.
After rinsing, carefully use a soft cloth to dry properly.
Take off your jewellery before going to bed, that way you can sleep better and your pieces will be safe all night long.
Remember to keep your pieces safe in a box or in a little bag, but always in a cool dry place.
Perfumes, cosmetics, (sun) lotions, hairspray and deodorants can damage your gold-filled pieces. Remember to put them on until the end of your routine!
If you're going to exercise or do a physical activity in which you may sweat a lot, we recommend you do so without your jewellery. The sweat can also harm your pieces and make them last less.
Specially if you're going swimming. The chemicals of the pools and hot tubs, and the salt of the sea can really damage your jewellery.
Finally, keep your pieces safe and don't use them while you're working with any type of chemicals.
And that's it! Take care of your jewellery pieces and show them off for many, many, years more!
Hey! I’m Lía :) I’m a product designer, and I work in Nunayú building and guiding creative spaces in which we can all develop the design of the pieces that we manufacture and sell.