Difference between Gold Filled and Gold Plated jewelry

Updated on February 23, 2018

Since ancient times gold has been the ultimate symbol of elegance and beauty for men as well as women and it has its very special place in the market too.

Gold filled and gold plated are two of the most popular terms used when describing gold products and jewelry people need to know their difference so that they can make the right decisions and enjoy their purchases most effectively. Gold plating and gold filling make this precious metal more accessible to the average person .


Gold Filled
Gold filled chain

Gold filling is an actual layer of gold which is pressure bonded to another metal. It is the next level of using solid gold and a very high quality alternative as it has the same desirable properties and look of solid gold.

Even though the layers of gold used in gold filling depend on the manufacturer and wearer, it is thicker than gold plating. Accessories or jewels filled with gold can be worn daily without any fear or fading or rubbing off for a long period of time.

Gold plated tea set
Gold plated tea set

Gold plating is a method of covering another type of metal with a very thin, almost microscopic, film of pure gold by electroplating it. The main benefit of gold plating is that it is very strong and it lends an attractive finish to a piece to make it more sturdy and durable.

It is the best and the most affordable option for people who love gold and want to buy it but need to stay within their budget.

Gold Filled vs Gold Plated jewelry

Men and women alike are big fans of gold and want to buy it not only because it looks good but it is also a sign of prosperity and good luck. However, not everyone is astute at buying gold and some fail to understand the ratio of gold and other metals when it comes to buying gold jewelry. Also, there is a big difference between gold filling and gold plating and if they are not careful, they can end up paying more than the actual value of an item.

Gold filling and gold plating are not applied the same way. Gold is used in both these methods but the quantity of gold as well as the type of usage is totally different. While gold filling means pressure bonding an actual layer of gold to another metal, gold plating is coating the surface of another metal with a very thin layer of gold.

Gold filling has the same desirable properties and look of solid gold whereas gold plating is only an outer layer or gold and does not contain any actual or valuable gold. The gold filling is more solid as it contains more gold which is not likely to rub off, while gold plating is very thin, 1/1000 to 3/1000 of an inch of gold over a more affordable metal, usually silver or copper which is not very durable or strong and does not last for a very long time.

Gold filled accessories can be worn even daily without any fear or wear and tear, rubbing off or tarnishing, but gold plated objects can wear off with time.

Since gold filling requires more gold, it is expensive, whereas gold plating only requires a thin coating of this precious metal, so it is more affordable.

Comparison Chart

Gold FilledGold Plated
It is expensive as it has almost 100% more goldIt is less expensive as it is only thinly plated or coated on the underlying materials and thus contains less gold
Gold filling is less susceptible to depreciation and deterioration as it has more goldGold finish on gold-plated items can begin to chip and wear over a period of time as it has a very thin layer of gold
It does not tarnish or fade or change colorIt can tarnish, fade or even change color in some cases due to poor quality plating
Did this article help you?
Thank you!
Thank you!
What was wrong?