Bella Joias Quality

About Gold Overlay Jewelry:

  • Gold JewelryGold overlay is an application of gold over base metal.

    Although gold overlay is not as valuable as gold jewelry, these items still offer a good value for the money. The process gives jewelry the luxurious look of gold for a fraction of the cost of crafting with solid gold.

  • The quality of gold overlay has improved greatly in recent years.

    Gold overlay products earned a poor reputation a few decades ago when the gold layer quickly wore off of jewelry. However, jewelers have improved the gold bonding methods, and the layer of gold set on today's pieces is thicker than on earlier jewelry. This jewelry generally will have a gold layer measurement of 1 micron. The gold won't wear down, even if you wear your favorite goldplated earrings frequently. Also, the gold layer must be at least 10-karat in quality. Any piece of gold overlay jewelry should include a stamp that indicates the gold's karat quality, such as 18k overlay for 18-karat gold.

  • Gold plating refers to the process of chemically bonding a gold layer to a base metal through electrolysis.

    Gold-plated jewelry has a top layer of gold with a thickness of 0.175 microns or greater. The electroplating process involves placing a metal object in a gold ion solution, then passing an electric current through the solution to make the ions bond to the metal. The result is a quality piece of gold-plated jewelry that has an unmistakable sheen.

  • Gold-filled jewelry has a metal base with a top layer of gold that was bonded to the metal with heat and pressure.

    For jewelry to be considered "gold-filled," the gold content must compose at least 1/20th of the item's total weight. A piece of gold-filled jewelry will include a stamp noting the bonding process; for example, a GF 14k stamp on a gold-filled bracelet indicates a composition with 14-karat gold.

  • The term "gold over silver" refers to another form of gold overlay;

    however, the use of silver as the base metal increases the value. Silver with a layer of yellow gold is the most luxurious of gold overlay jewelry. Previously, these items, especially those made of sterling silver and a plating of 18-karat yellow gold, were called vermeil (ver-may). Today, retailers like to emphasize the use of two precious metals by calling this composition gold over silver.