Composition and Care

Gold Plated vs. Gold Filled Jewelry

In order to keep our jewelry at a price point that allows for mixing, matching, and collecting, we use a combination of gold plated and gold filled chain, depending on the length of the necklace.

The difference between gold plated jewelry and gold filled jewelry is the thickness of the gold layer over the base metal. Gold filled jewelry has a layer of gold over base metal that is up to 100x thicker than gold plated. This is our chain of choice for our shorter and more classic necklaces that will be worn largely against the skin. Gold filled necklaces are highly durable and should not discolor or tarnish if cared for properly.

While gold filled chain is more durable, and is used whenever possible, it is significantly more expensive and often not available in some of the more unique chain styles. In order to continue to offer a wide variety of styles and lengths at a reasonable price, we use gold plated chain for some of our longer pendants with thick or unique chain styles, as well as for many of our bracelets.

For gold plated jewelry, some slight change in color can be expected with regular wear, due to the natural oils and moisture present on your skin and in your environment. If a piece of gold plated jewelry begins to show signs of “tarnish” or discoloration, it is likely that the gold overlay has simply worn off and you are seeing the color of the base metal. Many things can influence how quickly the gold plating wears off, including sweat. To keep your plated jewelry lasting as long as possible, please remove your jewelry before sleeping, bathing, swimming, or applying perfume or hairspray. Never use an abrasive cleaner, or abrasive cleaning cloth (this includes a polishing cloth intended for silver jewelry) to clean your plated jewelry, as this will actually rub the plating off instead of polish your jewelry. We have found that our gold plated jewelry holds up very very well with regular wearing, as long as it is cared for properly.

The base metals for ALL of our chains are always nickel free and should not cause any skin irritation or discoloration. (No green necks here!)

Sterling Silver, Silver Filled, and Silver Plated Jewelry

As above with our gold filled and gold plated jewelry, we use a combination of silver plated, silver filled, and sterling silver chains in order to offer a variety of styles at a reasonable price. Sterling silver and silver filled are always our first choice for short necklaces and earrings when available. Many of our long necklaces or decorative components are silver plated.

The main difference that you will notice however is that sterling silver and silver plated jewelry will tarnish. It’s okay! It is in no way a reflection of low quality materials, it is actually the opposite. The more silver present, the faster it often tarnishes. The best way to combat tarnishing and keep your jewelry looking its best, is to wear it often and then keep it in an airtight baggie between wearings. Commercially available sterling silver cleaners can be used on all sterling or silver filled jewelry to return your jewelry to its original bright shine. 

Care for your silver plated jewelry as indicated above for gold plated.

If you have questions about the specific composition of your piece of jewelry, please refer to its individual sale listing. We will always indicate whether the chain is gold filled, gold plated, sterling silver, silver filled, or silver plated.