What is Gold-filled wire?

Image of rows and rows of rings gold filled gold plated kbeau-jewelry

The name “gold-filled” is confusing because it is not wire filled with gold, it’s gold wire that is filled with a base metal. Basically, yellow gold is pressure bonded, with heat, to a base metal (usually a brass alloy that is 90% copper and 10% brass). 

Wait, isn’t that gold plating? Nope. Gold plating is different.

Here’s the thing...

Gold filled jewelry has 100x more gold alloy than gold plated and because that layer is so much thicker. So that means gold-filled jewelry lasts longer, and stands up to wear and tear better than gold plated jewelry.

Gold filled is more valuable and tarnish resistant. It does not flake off, rub off (okay, I think it can rub off, but it would require a whole lotta wear n’ tear) or turn colors. Anyone who can wear gold can likely wear gold filled without worries of allergic reaction to the jewelry. Gold filled jewelry is an economical alternative to solid gold.

Solid gold is too malleable. I went over that before in my Gold Demystified post. Gold filled is the next level after gold and is a great alternative to gold.  

Here are a couple of visual aids to help you out:

Image showing gold filled wire versus gold plated wire

 

Illustration showing how gold plating is made and how gold filled is made

 Image of many rows of rings gold fill versus gold plate