FAQ: What is the difference between Gold Filled and Gold Plated?
Answer: Gold plated beads have a smaller percentage of gold and goes through a very different manufacturing process than gold filled beads and findings. To create gold-plated beads , a base metal goes through a series of processes and is eventually dipped into a bath of electroplating solution which contains gold. When an electric current is applied, an electrochemical reaction occurs and a thin layer of gold is deposited onto the metal. This layer is much thinner than the coating of gold that covers gold-filled beads and findings, which goes through a process of mechanically bonding and heating the gold to the base metal. While gold-filled components must include gold that is at least 1/20th the weight of the entire piece, gold-plated components can have gold that only makes up a very tiny percentage. As such, gold-plated beads and findings and are classed as a fashion product and are more prone to tarnishing and having the thin layer of gold eventually rubbing off than similar products made from gold-filled. Because of the lower gold content, gold-plated items are generally less expensive than similar gold-filled products.
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