Handmade Gold Filled Jewelry

Well, I took the step and bought some 14k gold filled wire to make some of my handmade jewelry! I am quite please with the way my handcrafted earrings turned out. I’m not sure what I expected, but the 14k gold filled wire held up very nicely to my hammering abuse! (which i’m thankfull for! Not one scratch!). I also ended up making my own 14k gold filled earwires.

14k gold filled, ruby red jade, earrings

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated vs. Vermeil Jewelry

I’ve recently started looking into handcrafting my jewelry using gold wire. I was curious to know what the difference between handmade gold plated and handmade gold filled jewelry was. Oh, and of course Vermeil. This is what I found!

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated Handmade beaded jewelry

Gold Plated
A layer of gold applied to base metal, usually by electroplating. This is usually a very thin layer prone to scratching, it is likely to wear quickly exposing the metal underneath.

If you are on a handmade jewelry budget, or just want to experiment it’s perfect!

Gold Filled
Or ‘gold overlay’ or ‘rolled gold plated’ as it can also be called. It consists of several mechanically bonded layers. A non-precious base is covered with the outside layer of at least 10 Karat gold. Manufacturers usually mark their gold filled jewelry with fractions that show the relative amount of gold in proportion to base metal in a given piece, so you know what you are buying. It lasts the longest out of gold plated and vermeil jewelry. It is also more costly!

Vermeil
Something new to me. It is basically sterling silver covered by a layer of gold. It is even more expensive than gold filled. One of th cons of vermeil, is that since sterling silver is the base, and we all know sterling silver tarnishes, so expect vermeil to darken with age.

Now you know the differences between Gold Filled, Gold Plated and Vermeil!

Have fun making your handmade handcrafted jewelry!

A Jewelers Best Friend

When I first started designing and hardcrafting my own jewelry, I really had no sense of bead “sizes” a 4mm and an 8mm bead really meant nothing to me. I would order a lot of my gemstones online and would be dissapointed, because I’d miscalculated the size of my bead. UNTIL… I decided to get a bead guage! What a great tool. I highly recommend it to EVEYRONE in the handmade jewelry biz! It makes life easier and trust me.. Useing a ruler just isn’t the same!

bead guage