What is Gold Filled?

What is gold filled?

  • Gold filled is a very thick layer of real gold that has been bonded with heat and pressure to a brass core. It is much thicker and stronger than gold plating and is a wonderful and affordable alternative to solid gold jewelry.
  • Gold filled must contain at least 5% (or 1/20th) real gold by weight. I use 14k gold filled (aka 14/20) materials when making my gold filled jewelry, which is the standard in the jewelry industry. Quality is very important to me and I only buy my gold filled materials from well known and reputable companies. 


Will it tarnish?

  • 14k gold filled is tarnish resistant! Yay!
  • Sterling silver will begin to tarnish when exposed to oxygen and moisture. Please keep sterling silver stored in an airtight bag when not wearing. Frequent cleaning with a jewelry cloth is also recommended. Fun fact: wearing your sterling silver can actually keep it clean and slows tarnishing!
  • Gold plated pieces may wear off and begin to tarnish. Keep reading for more information...


Can I wear it in the shower?

  • It depends! If your piece is made entirely of 14k gold filled or sterling silver, it is safe to wear in the shower! However, I still recommend removing your jewelry before showering as often as possible. Over time, minerals from tap water and soap residues can start to dull or even harm your jewelry.
  • If your piece contains any gold plated charms, pearls, or gemstones, please remember to remove before showering! Water can cause gold plating to wear away and expose the base metal which will then likely tarnish. The finishes on gemstones and pearls may be affected by soaps, perfumes, etc over time.
  • I recommend removing all jewelry before swimming in chlorine or salt water. 


Is Voulez jewelry hypoallergenic?

  • 14k gold filled is considered hypoallergenic and can be worn by most people with metal allergies! However, some people who are highly sensitive to metals can still react when wearing gold filled. Please use caution and discontinue wearing any jewelry that is uncomfortable to you in any way. 

  • Sometimes people who are sensitive to metals can wear gold filled necklaces comfortably, but may still react with gold filled earrings. 

  • Some of our gold filled earrings are hand cut and hand bent from a piece of gold filled wire, which exposes the brass core and the end of the earring. These types of earrings (our hand hammered hoops, threader styles, and some posts) may not be suitable for people with brass allergies. Again, this will be noted in the item description. 
  • We occasionally use 18k gold plated brass charms or vermeil stone settings in some of our designs. These will be noted in the item description and may not be suitable for people with metal sensitivities. 


What is gold plating and how is it different from gold filled?

  • Gold plating (sometimes called gold dipped) is a very thin layer of gold electroplated over a base metal. The bond created during this process is not as strong as gold filled, so the plated gold layer may eventually wear off and expose the metal (usually brass) underneath. This is why most gold plated jewelry will eventually look tarnished.
  • Gold filled must contain at least 5% real gold by weight. Gold plated usually contains about 0.05% gold. Gold filled is also bonded to a brass core with heat and pressure, rather than dipped or electroplated. This process is very different from the method of gold plating. Bonding the gold layer to the base core with heat and pressure creates a very strong and durable bond that does not rub off easily like electroplating can. This means, with proper care, your 14k gold filled pieces with last for many years. 
  • We do have some designs that use a gold plated charm. If any of our pieces include a plated component, it will be listed in that items description. Most of our plated items are 18k gold over brass. Please note that these pieces may not be suitable for people with metal allergies, should not be worn in water, or cleaned with chemicals or jewelry cleaning cloths. 


Why are some charms gold plated?

While we prefer using 14k gold filled materials, it does have some limitations. 

  • It is impossible to cast gold filled, so some of our charms or stone settings need to be gold plated or vermeil. If any component of your jewelry is gold plated or vermeil, it will be noted in the item description. Also, please be sure to remove any gold plated or vermeil jewelry before showering to help prevent extra wear and tear. 

VOULEZ JEWELRY IS NOT MEANT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12 YEARS OLD. Our jewelry (or anyone else’s jewelry) should not be put in your mouth. Please do not let babies or children put jewelry into their mouths. Be mindful of your jewelry around young children and babies as small parts can become loose. 


What is Vermeil?

Vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is a layer of real gold over sterling silver. It is a higher quality form of plating than gold plating over brass, but may eventually wear off and expose the sterling silver base. Please remove any vermeil pieces before showering to help prolong the life of your jewelry.