Gold jewelry exudes class and elegance. It does not matter which outfit you put on - you can never go wrong with gold. However, not everyone is willing or can afford its price. Alternatively, you can opt for gold-plated fashion jewelry instead. Put one on, and almost no one can distinguish it from solid gold. So, how much does gold-plated jewelry cost? It depends on which type, the materials used, and several other factors. At any rate, they are much cheaper and affordable than pure gold - for sure.
Gold Plated Jewelry, Anyone?
The easiest way to describe a piece of gold-plated jewelry is that it is a fashion accessory made of base metal with a thin layer of gold on its surface. Unlike solid gold, the base metal most commonly used for jewelry are silver and copper. However, gold-plating is not limited to these two metals. Gold plating also works on stainless steel, brass, nickel, tungsten, and titanium.
More than anything else, the choice of buying gold-plated as opposed to solid gold jewelry comes down to cost. By far, gold-plated jewelry is so cheap that an accessory that costs under $200 may cost several thousand if it were solid gold.
Is gold-plated jewelry real or fake?
Because the base metal used is not gold, some people consider gold-plated jewelry as fake. On the other side of the coin, the coating material used is genuine gold. In this sense, some other people think of gold-plated jewelry as real.
The distinction, though, should not matter to you. The outward appearance of gold-plated and solid gold jewelry too similar that not many people would notice. Instead of depriving yourself of “gold” jewelry because of the prohibitive cost, gold-plated earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are affordable. You can even purchase several pieces to suit different occasions.
Is 24K gold-plated jewelry better than 18K?
One gold karat is 4.1667% or 1/24 of the whole. 24K gold, therefore, denotes pure gold. 18K, on the other hand, indicates that it contains 75% (4.1667% x 18) or 18 parts gold and 6 parts metal alloy.
On first thought, pure gold should be better than 75% gold. However, you would not be able to buy 24K gold-plated jewelry. That is because 24K gold is soft and does not last long, hence not suitable for jewelry making. 24K gold, thus, is not better than 18K gold.
Is it really gold-plated or something else?
Karats aside, the thickness of the coating also matters. For an item to be deemed gold-plated, the coating thickness must be at least 0.5 microns (Guide to the Precious Metals Marking Act and Regulations). The thicker the layer of gold coating, the longer it lasts. At 2.5 microns, it is deemed as heavy gold-plated. Most gold-plated jewelry found in stores and online shops has a 0.5-micron layer (light gold-plated) - to save on cost.
The market, however, is also saturated with super cheap jewelry. One reason for the meagre cost is that the coating is less than 0.5 micron. Such products are not gold-plated but electroplated. If the layer of gold coating is less than 0.175 micron, then it is called gold washed or gold flashed.
The Cost of Gold-plated Bronze Fashion Jewelry
How much do gold-plated bronze earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings cost in Canada?
Before going on to the prices, it should be noted that cost does not indicate the quality of craftsmanship. The choice of manufacturer and brand is one of the most important things to consider. It is beyond the capability and means of regular customers to determine the thickness of the coating, for example. As such, you are relying on the reputation of a particular brand.
Bronzoro™ by Mercury is a brand from Italy - a country where jewelry is steeped in rich, diverse cultural history. Every single piece is elegantly designed and indeed a fashion statement. An up-close inspection of the collection reveals the hallmark qualities of Italian jewelry craftsmanship.
18K Gold-plated Earrings
- Hoop: $49.99 to $140
- Studs: $59.99 to $89.99
- Drop: $59.99 to 94.99
18K Gold-plated Bracelets
- Chain: $39.99 to 149.99
- Charm: $69.99 to $140
- Bangle: $69.99 to $159.99
18K Gold-plated Necklaces
- Neckless Chain: $79.99 to $179.99
- Pendant: $79.99 to $124.99
- Multi Chain: $94.99 to $140
18K Gold-plated Rings
- Rings: $59.99 to $99.99
Why Solid Gold When Gold-plated Looks as Good and Cost Less?
The prices of solid gold jewelry are unfathomable for many people. Instead of succumbing to the great desire to wear gold jewelry, the gold-plating process made fashion jewelry so much more affordable. As you visit different and view the catalogue of many brands, the first thing you must do is make sure they are reputable.
You also have the choice of shopping on e-commerce giants. A quick look shows over thousands of gold-plated jewelry, with many products costing less than $30.
Make sure that you are not comparing apples to oranges like 14K to 18K gold plating in making comparisons. Moreover, you also try to know the type of base metal used and the thickness of the gold plating. These are the information you can obtain from the merchant. As for the veracity of the claims, that is up to you to decide. Lastly, you also want to make sure that the craftsmanship is superior. These are the pieces that would look no different from solid gold jewelry.
Indeed, why should you buy solid gold when you can get more than good enough gold-plated jewelry? Because of low costs, you can have separate sets of jewelry, giving you the option of choosing which piece to wear at any given time, depending on your mood.
“Guide to the Precious Metals Marking Act and Regulations.” Competition Bureau Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 5 Nov. 2015, www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/01234.html.