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Gold plated gold bar

Gold plated vs Solid Gold: How do you spot the differences?

Alex Bros Jewellers specialises in beautifully designed jewellery with authentic Greek roots. This is an advertising essay explaining why we pride ourselves on being able to distinguish between solid gold and gold-plated jewellery. Gold-plated jewellery is like solid gold at a much lower price because it is plated on a base metal, making it more durable and valuable than gold-plated jewellery. We are specialists in Greek jewels.

How to Spot the Differences Between Gold-Plated and Solid Gold

If a piece of jewellery is plated with a thin layer of gold, making it look just like solid gold but at a much lower price, this is called gold-plated jewellery. A piece of jewellery with the evident characteristics of being pure gold or a mixture of gold with other metals is called solid gold jewellery. It is more resilient and valuable than gold-plated.

We know how valuable and relatively more durable and beautiful genuine solid gold jewellery is, so we pride ourselves on quickly identifying genuine pieces. Our team of professional jewellers, who have devoted time and energy to becoming masters in goldsmithing, are more than eager to help you figure out which piece of jewellery would best reflect your personality and complement your budget, no matter if you like the classic beauty of solid gold or the classic beauty of a more affordable gold-plated piece. Visit our shop in Victoria, Australia, to find out why our jewellery line draws its inspiration from Greek mythology.

Real gold or gold plated

How can you tell the difference between gold-plated and solid gold?

When it comes to the world of jewellery, appearances can be deceiving. The lustrous sheen of gold beckons with its timeless allure, promising elegance and wealth. Yet, not all that glitters is pure gold; some pieces merely masquerade as such, cloaked in a thin veneer of luxury. It’s a realm where the subtle art of differentiation holds the key to actual value, challenging admirers to look beyond the surface to the heart of the matter. The distinction between solid gold and gold-plated jewellery may seem subtle due to their visual similarities. However, upon closer inspection, distinct differences set them apart.

5 Ways to Differentiate Gold Plated from Solid Gold

  • Hallmarking: One of the most reliable ways of distinguishing cheap fake gold from the real thing is to look for hallmarking. While solid gold jewellery is often stamped on the inside with a karat striking, such as ’18K’ or ’14K’, gold-plated jewellery may carry stamps such as ‘GP’ (gold plated) or ‘GF’ (gold flash).


  • Weight: If solid gold jewellery was precisely the same size and shape as gold-plated jewellery, it might be hard to distinguish between them. However, solid gold is heavier than a gold-plated piece of similar size because it is denser than the base metal it is plated on. Hold the item in your hand to get some sense of its weight. If it is heavy, it is more likely to be solid gold.


  • Discolouration: Gold-plated jewellery will begin to fade or discolour with time, especially in places with great contact. Solid gold, on the other hand, is known for being bright and colourful even years after it is bought. It rarely shows signs of tarnishing or fading as gold remains a consistent yellow all year round, all of the time.


  • Test by scratching: Because solid gold will not scratch as easily as gold-plated jewellery, you can do another simple scratch test by scratching the piece’s surface on a ceramic tile. If the metal leaves a mark, it’s likely gold-plated. If it does not scratch, you might have a solid gold piece of jewellery.


  • Value vs. Price: Gold-plated jewellery may be less expensive, but solid gold pieces, which have a higher gold content, hold a more excellent long-term value. Price it out carefully: the karat weight and purity of the piece relative to the price are essential.
Gold testing

Why is it important to know how to differentiate gold plated and solid gold?

To make educated jewellery purchases, you must be familiar with the distinctions between real gold and gold-plated pieces. Being able to distinguish between the two can also help you find genuine, reasonably priced, and aesthetically pleasing items worth purchasing. Understanding the distinctions between solid gold and gold-plated jewellery can help you avoid overspending and save money on the latter. Both types of jewellery are often stunning and expensive.

Mastering the Art of Spotting Gold Plated and Solid Gold

It’s hard to distinguish between gold-plated jewellery and solid gold, especially when embedded in a complicated shape or inside other types of jewellery. Knowledge is essential, of course: remembering the features of these two types of jewellery is a valuable asset when faced with challenging items. But it is also crucial to be observant and keen. You can use clues such as hallmarks, weight, and the naked eye. Hallmarks are information engraved on precious gold and silver objects, and they can tell us a lot.

Demystifying Gold Plated and Solid Gold: Spotting the Differences

Knowing what separates gold-plated and solid gold jewellery lets you decide what to buy. Looking for lustre? That gold watch might do the trick. Looking for weight? This gold necklace will suit you perfectly.

A hallmark is a stamp of quality. Assay office marks, such as 9k, 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k, are used for gold ornamentation. Gold that is 24k is considered pure gold and is relatively soft. The lower the karat of the gold, the more likely it is to be alloyed with different metals to give it added strength and endurance without losing its beautiful lustre. Gold can be plated or gold-filled. Plating is applied by placing the gold in an electrolyte solution that then binds to the gold itself.

The electrolyte is run through an electrical current, and as the surface dissolves, the electrolyte and its electrical charges are stored near the surface of the gold. These electrolytes eventually cause more gold particles to settle on the surface of the metal, resulting in an extra layer.

Gold texting and refining

Difference between Gold Plated and Solid Gold

Gold-plated jewellery is made from a thin layer of gold paste covered on a base metal; comparing it with solid gold is relatively cheap. However, although it looks the same as solid gold, it is lower in value. On the other hand, solid gold jewellery is made from gold alloyed with other metal base materials. Therefore, it is more durable because of its high value in terms of content. This is the difference in terms of composition between gold-plated and solid gold. Check out our Gold Jewellery for women.

We know how important heritage is, so when you buy jewellery from us, you can be sure you are getting something special. Alex Bro Jewellers consists of an honest, experienced and highly knowledgeable team of people here to help find the perfect items to suit your style and celebrate our heritage. We invite you to our showroom at Alex Bros Jewellers on 43 Portman St., Oakleigh, Victoria 3166, Australia. We have a great range of Greek heritage jewellery and specialise in finding the perfect jewellery to suit your needs. We hope to hear from you very soon.

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