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Gold filled earrings on a silver base from Bixby and Co

Deciphering Gold Filled Jewellery Markings: A Guide

Gold filled jewellery is a great option for on trend pieces that don’t break the bank. It’s a choice that combines durability and affordability with the lustrous appeal of solid gold. Understanding the markings on some gold filled pieces is useful. These markings, often found on clasps and the backs of pendants, reveal the piece's gold content and the process by which it was created.

Gold filled jewellery is crafted by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal, typically brass or copper, through heat and pressure. We do our earrings on Sterling silver though to ensure there’s no nickel or other allergy problematic issues.  This results in a piece that has a thick coating of gold, which must legally contain at least 5% gold by weight. Unlike gold plating, gold filled jewellery resists wear and tarnish, making it a lasting addition to any collection.

As you explore our curated selection at Bixby and Co Jewellery, remember that the markings such as '14K GF' indicate a piece is 1/20th 14 karat gold by weight. The knowledge of these gold filled jewelry markings empowers you to make informed decisions, ensuring that you select high-quality pieces that reflect both your personal style and the enduring legacy of fine craftsmanship.

Shop here! Find your favourites and discover something new today at Bixby and Co Jewellery.

Understanding the Basics of Gold Filled Markings

When delving into the realm of gold filled jewelry, it's essential to grasp the basics of its markings to truly appreciate its craftsmanship and worth. The standard marking on gold filled jewelry includes numbers and letters that indicate the piece's gold purity and the thickness of the gold layer. For example, a marking of '1/20 14K GF' specifies that the gold layer represents 1/20th of the total weight of the piece and that it is made of 14-karat gold.

Organic shaped 18k gold ear studs

To decode these markings, it's important to understand that karat (K) denotes the purity of gold, with 24K being pure gold. The number preceding the karat indicates the proportion of gold in the alloy. Hence, '14K' means the jewelry contains 14 parts gold to 10 parts other metals. In the context of gold filled items, this gold alloy is mechanically bonded to a base metal.

These markings are not just for adornment; they are a commitment to quality and an assurance of the piece's gold content. Recognizing these intricacies allows jewellery enthusiasts to identify the true value of their gold filled pieces. Whether you're a seasoned collector or a novice in the world of jewellery, understanding these markings is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your collection. All our Rainbow range pieces are 18k gold filled which given them the warm gold colour instead of a yellow gold. It’s a higher karat and purity of gold so must be looked after properly as it’s softer and can scratch.

Exploring Common Gold Filled Markings and Their Meanings

Bright colour Rio anklet

Gold filled jewellery markings are akin to a secret language, offering insight into the piece's quality and composition. Common markings you may encounter include ratios like '12K GF', where '1/20' signifies that 5% of the item's total weight is 12-karat gold. Another example is '10K GF', indicating a 10% composition of 10-karat gold. Our Leia Chain range is made with 10k gold as it’s a chunky piece and any higher level of karat would make it super expensive 

Besides the ratios and karat values, other markings might include the manufacturer's initials or logo, which can aid in identifying the maker and, sometimes, the era during which the jewellery was crafted. Pieces may also bear the term 'rolled gold plate' (RGP), which is similar to gold filled but typically has a thinner layer of gold.

Understanding these markings is not only fascinating but also practical. It empowers consumers to make informed decisions about the jewellery they choose to invest in. By familiarizing oneself with these symbols, one can ascertain the quality and authenticity of gold filled jewelry, ensuring that each purchase reflects both personal style and value.

The Significance of Purity Numbers in Gold Filled Pieces

Model in Lime Drop gold hoop earrings

The purity numbers found on gold filled jewelry serve as a hallmark of its value and composition. These numbers are not to be confused with solid gold's purity expressed in karats but instead indicate the quality of the gold layer bonded to the base metal. For instance, a piece marked '14/20' means that 1/20th of the overall weight is 14-karat gold, which is 58.3% pure gold.

Understanding these purity numbers is crucial for both buyers and sellers. It ensures that the jewellery meets certain standards and provides a guarantee of the piece's gold content. When evaluating gold filled pieces, it's important to note that the higher the karat number, the more pure and valuable the gold layer is.

For those who appreciate the allure of gold without the higher price tag of solid gold items, gold filled jewellery is an excellent alternative. It offers the rich appearance of gold and longevity that far surpasses that of gold-plated items, making it a popular choice for jewellery enthusiasts seeking both elegance and durability.

How to Authenticate Gold Filled Jewelry Markings

Authenticating Gold Filled Jewelry

Authenticating gold filled jewellery markings is an essential skill for anyone looking to invest in quality pieces. The process begins with a visual inspection. Legitimate gold filled jewellery will have markings such as '1/20 14K GF', which indicates that 1/20th of the weight is 14 karat gold. It's important to look for the 'GF' mark, as this denotes 'Gold Filled' and differentiates it from other types of gold coatings.

Our manufacturing process means that not all our chains or earrings have the marks on as if they are small and delicate pieces the tag spoils the look of the piece.

Caring for Your Gold Filled Jewellery to Preserve Markings

Preserving the integrity and appearance of your gold filled jewellery, including the all-important markings, requires proper care and attention. Regular cleaning is vital; use a soft cloth and warm, soapy water to gently clean your pieces. Avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive materials that could wear down the gold layer and make the markings illegible.

It is also crucial to store your gold filled jewellery correctly. Keep pieces separated in a lined jewelry box or a soft pouch to prevent scratches. This is especially important for items with intricate designs or delicate markings. Exposure to the elements can lead to tarnishing, so ensure your jewellery is stored away from direct sunlight and moisture.

To protect the gold filled layer and its markings, remove your jewellery during vigorous activities and when using cleaning products. Cosmetics, perfumes, and lotions can also contribute to tarnishing, so it's wise to put your jewellery on last when getting ready.

By taking these steps, you not only maintain the luster of your jewelry but also protect the hallmarks that attest to its authenticity and value. For those who appreciate the charm and quality of gold filled pieces, proper care ensures that your jewellery remains a sparkling reflection of your personal style.

Shop here! Find your favourites and discover something new today! Visit for a collection that blends vibrant colours with timeless elegance, all crafted with care to accompany you on every occasion.

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