Gold, Vermeil, Gold-Filled, Rolled-Gold, etc

A Guide through the Gold topography

Creation Date: Feb 2009

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This gold guide here will help you better understand and choose among the myriad of gold offerings - helping you make better choices while retaining quality and the looks you are accustomed to.


Though there is no universal consensus, the table below has been arranged in order of desirability & value (in our opinion).

Materials Base Metal min. Karatage min. gold Thickness min. gold weight1 process Example of Marking
Gold (Gold is the most desirable but it will also depend on the karatage of gold you are considering. Check gold karatages.)
Vermeil Sterling Silver 14k 2.5 microns (not specified) electrolysis
Gold-filled usually copper or brass 10k (not specified) 5% or 1/20th heat & pressure "1/20th 12k GF"
Rolled-gold usually copper or brass 10k (not specified) (not specified) heat & pressure "1/40 12k RGP"
Gold-plated steel, brass, copper, iron, metal alloy (not specified) (not specified) (not specified) electrolysis
1. Minimum Gold Weight: the minimum weight of the gold component in relation to the final weight of the item. 5% or 1/20th means that 5% of the weight of the final item must be pure gold
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