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Thread: Gold filled jewellery vs. gold plated / gold vermeil - can it be handmade?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    24

    Default Gold filled jewellery vs. gold plated / gold vermeil - can it be handmade?

    Hi,

    Hoping some of you might be able to shed some light on the following?

    I'd really like to offer gold filled / plated jewellery but not sure if this can be made by hand. I'm going to add numbers below to help to each point to see if that makes it easier.

    1. From the research I have done, the general verdict is that gold filled is better than vermeil or plated as the thickness of the gold is greater and gold filled tends to have brass as a base layer which is closer to the colour of gold should it wear off in time but I hear gold fill is rather hard wearing with good care whereas plated is a thinner layer and often has a silver base layer.

    2. Apparently some people solder gold filled wire/sheet from some of the research I have done and apparently there is a knack to this. I have also read some threads on here about gold filled jewellery and have seen that some people have said soldering gold filled is waste of time as by the time you have soldered, you have probably burnt through to the brass and clean up can be hard without removing the gold. Is it really not worth the hassle and is using brass going to be the best option? I have thought about using brass but it doesn't strike me as being as appealing to people, I am not sure how it wears and I don't like the idea of using silver solder as even if you have the best seam on a ring and have buffed it well, you will still see the tiniest of silver join I think.

    3. So how are other jewellery makers offering personalised gold filled jewellery I wonder? I see things whereby if they are making the items handmade, then they must have had to solder the ring and sweat solder the personalised accent onto a ring. Are they perhaps making the pieces and then getting them gold filled somewhere? Are they doing the gold filling at home? Maybe it's not handmade and they are just buying it in and managing to personalise in its finished state? I do a lot of research online/you tube but I have to admit, "handmade" gold filled jewellery is a complete mystery to me!

    Sorry for the essay and thank you in advance for any replies I receive to this.

    Lou x

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    990

    Default

    It depends on your market. Whether customers want precious metal or base metal. Vermeil can be assayed and marked (as silver, but still..it's a hallmark)
    1 you can find vermeil with a decent layer of gold - depends on the manufacturer
    3 It may be that they are making, then sending for plating. Which you could do. Or yes, buying in.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    cotswolds
    Posts
    3,303

    Default

    Gold filled is heat/pressure bonded - not something you can do at home. I would be extremely sceptical about anyone who says they can solder gold filled - the gold WILL burn off long before you reach soldering temperature - it's only a 5% layer on top of brass.

    It can be stamped (carefully), forged (very gently) and formed, however, so anything that can be made with cold connections only will work fine.

    So the simple answer is that if you want gold coloured and need to use heat, either work with gold or go for plated (ideally vermeil, but even then, only for low-wear pieces, so definitely not earwires, and probably not ring shanks), but with a really decent depth of plating. Or stick to silver and just add gold accents if required.

    Sorry for rather brief typing - saw slippage has led to big hurty on thumb!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    990

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    Sorry for rather brief typing - saw slippage has led to big hurty on thumb!
    Ouchie. Been there etc. Sympathy
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Thanks for your reply!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Thanks for the info. Hope your thumb gets better soon!

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