Gold Jewellery - Part 2: What is Gold Filled?

Gold Jewellery - Part 2: What is Gold Filled?

In the second part to our posts about gold, we wanted to talk about the alternatives to solid gold and what the differences are. This time we want to tell you about gold filled jewellery. 

A lot of people have not heard of gold filled jewellery before but it is a great alternative. It is cheaper than solid gold, has a standard of quality, is suitable for more frequent wear and will last a long time. 

A lot of companies use gold filled and call it gold, so do check the item's description before assuming it is solid gold. Look for hallmarks or gold purity marks if you are unsure - all solid gold pieces should display the purity stamp somewhere on them. Gold filled will show a different stamp, depending on its make-up. 

So what does gold filled mean? It means to use precise heat and pressure together to unify a base metal and gold, creating a durable, tarnish resistant artefact. It is similar to plating in that it builds a layer of gold over the core or base, but with distinct differences. The core shape being filled (usually made of brass or similar) is smaller, with a larger density of gold bonded over. This means gold filled items have a higher percentage of gold in them than plated, but less than solid gold. You may see 'GF' on the item and numbers like 14/20 for example. The first  number is the carat of gold (see previous post for more about carats or karats) and the second number related to the ratio of base metal to gold. The higher the first number, generally the more expensive a piece will be. 

With wire, chains and pendants, gold filled is a good choice because the surface of the item will always be gold and the brass will not be visible. A thick bond of gold makes these items durable, suitable for every day wear and easy to clean. It offers great value for money and its colour is usually the same as a higher karat of solid gold. We match our French centimes and British three pence coins to these chains, as the colour match is perfect. 

In conclusion, gold-filled is great if you:

  • Want an affordable option to solid gold
  • Wish to wear your jewellery every day and take it off less often
  • Would like the piece to last a long time
  • Are looking for a reliable piece to layer with other solid gold pieces
  • Want to buy a gift you know will last the recipient a long time

If you would like to commission a bespoke gold-filled or rose gold-filled piece of jewellery, please get in touch with us at


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