gold plated heart pendant with ruby gemstone on matching gold plated chain necklace

Pros and Cons of Gold Plated Jewelry: Why It's a Great Option for Affordable Luxury

When it comes to choosing jewelry, there are several factors to consider, including budget, style, and quality. At Joie Designs, we offer all our designs in sterling silver with various plating options to choose from.

If you're looking for an affordable option that has the look of gold, our 18k gold-plated silver jewelry, also known as gold vermeil, is an excellent choice. Not only does it offer a similar look and feel to solid gold, but it's also much more budget-friendly. Gold-plated silver jewelry does require some extra care, but it's an ideal option for those who want to add some glamour to their wardrobe without breaking the bank.

However, there are times when investing in solid gold is the way to go. If you're looking for a piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime and beyond, solid gold is your best bet. It's a durable and precious metal that can be passed down as an heirloom for generations to come.

Since we only use 100% precious metal in all of our jewelry, any of our options are excellent for those with sensitive skin, as gold, silver, and rhodium are all hypoallergenic and won't irritate the skin.

So when should you choose solid gold over gold-plated silver? We’ve highlighted the pros and cons to help you make the right choice for you.

Pros of Gold Plated Jewelry:

#1 Cost-effective alternative to solid gold. Gold-plated jewelry items are the most affordable when compared to gold-filled or solid gold jewelry items. We offer them for the same price as our silver items.

#2 Aesthetic Appeal - Looks like real gold! Because it is covered in real gold, it gives the piece an overall gold appearance and can be mistaken for solid gold.

#3 They make great decoration. The plating process allows the item to look like solid gold while being more affordable. Therefore, gold-plated jewelry can bring the perfect touch of brilliance and decoration to any outfit!

#4 Great for Styles and Trends. Gold-plated jewelry items are great for “of the moment” trends. By having a gold-plated jewelry item of a particular style, you can be a part of the trend without worrying that you’ve made a significant investment into something that may not last long.

#5 Great for Gifting. Capture moments, tell stories and spread a little love with jewelry. Give the gift of gold without commitment to future payments.

#6 Hypoallergenic Properties Our gold-plated jewelry is made with 100% precious metals and is always nickel-free. Our sterling silver base and 18k gold plate coating are both hypoallergenic, making them suitable for individuals with sensitive skin who may have allergic reactions to other metals.

Cons of Gold Plated Jewelry

#1 It can tarnish! Over time, gold plated jewelry can fade and tarnish, losing its shine and brightness. This reaction is typical and can occur regardless of the piece's quality. In gold plated jewelry items, the metal beneath the gold plate (in our case, this is 925 sterling silver) will eventually come to the surface and become discolored, so it will need to be polished frequently to maintain its shine. The reason that gold plated jewelry tarnishes is because the molecules of the base metals eventually transfer into the thin layer of gold, causing the gold layer to break down.

#2 The plating can be scratched or chipped. With rough exposure and frequent wear, the gold plate is likely to start chipping, wearing, or flaking off. 


#3 The amount of gold is minimal and can lead to a lower value. The layer of gold on gold plated items is the least amount of gold when compared to gold-filled or solid gold items. Since the gold content is so low in gold plated items, the value is also low, which isn't always a bad thing.


#4 Can’t wear gold plated items in water. If you’re wondering, “can you wear gold plated jewelry in the shower,” the answer is no, you cannot. Showering with gold plated jewelry or immersing the item under water for long periods of time can cause the gold layer to wear off completely. All gold will react with chlorine as it leaches the gold out and should never be worn in pools and hot tubs. This goes for all gold jewelry, not just plated.

#5 Gold Plated jewelry requires a little more TLC. Gold plated jewelry will require a little more care and attention to keep it looking it's best, and it is not ideal for daily wear.



In conclusion, whether you choose our 18k gold-plated silver jewelry or our solid gold pieces, you can be sure that you're getting high-quality, nature-inspired designs that are made with love and care. With our re-plating service for our gold-plated pieces, you can enjoy affordable jewelry that looks and feels like solid gold. If you're looking for a piece of jewelry that you'll wear every day and that will withstand the test of time, solid gold is the way to go. It's also a great option for special occasions, such as weddings or other significant events, where you want a piece of jewelry that will be cherished for years to come and can be passed down to future generations. Most of our gold-plated options can be made to custom order in either solid 18k or 14k gold. Please contact us to inquire about current pricing by using the contact form below.

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