What does Gold-Filled Mean?

What does Gold-Filled Mean?

Gold has always presented a timeless fascination and allure with us. We've seen it used to adorn our bodies, exemplifying wealth and status for thousands of years. Gold jewelry is a coveted material by many and jewelry designers like myself. I love working with Gold because it is easier to manipulate than sterling silver. As you can imagine, it is also costly for small business jewelry designers like me to have on hand. Gold-filled offers jewelers a chance to provide Gold in their collections at a fraction of the expense.

Aprilierre Gold filled stack rings and raw gold filled sheet and gold filled wire

What is Gold-filled Material?

Gold Fill is not a metal alloy; it is a layered material constructed in two or three layers. A single clad layer is just that the gold content is on one side, whereas a double-clad sheet splits the Gold content onto both surfaces of the material. Traditionally the core of the sheet or wire is either jeweler's brass or, in some cases, sterling silver. I choose to work with double-clad sheets and wire in my jewelry designs.

Graph showing the wire clad
How is it made?

The 12kt or 14kt Gold alloy is then bonded to the brass core's surface by heat and pressure, which is then made into sheet and wire and made available to jewelry designers. I have learned the hard way that soldering GF is tricky and has taken me years of skills with my torch to master. First, there is the issue of solder. Using silver solder would leave contrasting colors of metal in the jewelry. There is no such thing as GF solder. I had used brass solder before, which was a disaster. My solder seams were left tarnishing black that no amount of sanding was able to remove. Instead, I opt for quality with my GF pieces and strictly use Gold solder in my designs.

Moonstone necklace surrounded by 14kt gold-filled

What does the 14/20 even mean?

By law, Gold-filled jewelry supplies are required to be 5% or 1/20 gold by weight.

Will I ever work with Gold?

Absolutely!!! I am excited to offer all your favorite classic Aprilierre designs like the stack rings and trio rings by order in 14kt & 18kt GF.
Trio Rings Sterling Silver and 14kt gold interlocking rings
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