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Why is Antique and Vintage Gold Filled jewellery so highly sought after?
Antique & Vintage Gold Filled Jewellery has the quality look & silky feel normally only associated with solid carat gold! It was crafted to such high standards it was and is classified as Fine Jewellery by some collectors. It has the added bonus of a base metal or metal core making is far less fragile than comparable Solid Gold jewellery. This is why pieces crafted over 140 years ago are still with us today in excellent condition. They have stood the test of time.
What does Gold Filled mean?
Gold Filled refers to the process of producing jewellery or other items by bonding a sheet of solid carat gold to a semi-precious base metal, for example brass, copper or sterling, by the process of heat & pressure. It literally means "Gold filled with base metal". It is similar to or the same as Rolled Gold but Antique and Vintage Gold Filled jewellery is generally of superior quality, in our opinion. By definition, gold filled jewellery must have 1/20th gold content at a minimum. The base metal offers strength & durability making denting less likely & coupled with the quality workmanship of a bygone era, Gold Filled jewellery wears comparably to the low carat solid gold pieces of today.
What does Gold Shell mean?
Sometimes Gold Filled is referred to as Gold Shell. This is because the sheet of gold is a "shell" or outer casing to the base metal. Some pieces may be stamped 1/10 meaning they are Gold Filled or Gold Shell - they are High Grade Gold Filled with double the weight and thickness of gold used in the construction when compared to standard Gold Filled stamped 1/20.
Is Gold Filled the same as Gold Plating?
Gold Filled is NOT the same as Gold Plating and the process is very different. Modern gold plated items have a thin spray of gold, today referred to as electroplating, which can wear easily for a number of reasons including oils in the skin, perfumes & soaps. Antique gold plating is usually thicker & of superior quality. Generally speaking, the layer of gold for gold filled pieces is up to 100 times thicker, if not more, compared to gold plating.
Why are some pieces not marked as Gold Filled?
Why do we have such a passion for Gold Filled jewellery?
We have been avid collectors for many years and have a passion for Antique Gold Filled jewellery because it is so special. Its construction makes it strong and durable enabling it to wear like low carat jewellery of today. Due to the gold rushes of the 1800s and early 1900s, there was an abundant supply of gold so even the less wealthy people could afford quality jewellery that looked and felt like solid gold at a fraction of the price. The fact many pieces remain as beautiful as the day they were crafted is proof of that. Quality antique & vintage pieces are very sought after & highly collectible for this reason.
Are pieces tested to confirm their construction?
An electronic gold tester is used to determine whether an item is Gold Plated or Gold Filled by testing the outer surface. There will be no positive result for gold plated pieces. If an items appears to be solid gold, a jeweller is consulted to confirm the construction. To accurately test whether an item is solid gold as opposed to gold filled, the metal must be filed into which is something we will not do. Some pieces may have an old file mark because the lack of a stamp indicating metal content and the item presents with the appearance of solid gold.
Also, each maker & the types of jewellery they were known to produce are researched so each item is accurately presented in terms of its construction and the era they was produced.
Are you jewellers?
No, we are not jewellers but avid collectors with an appreciation for well made and unique heirloom quality pieces. We consult jewellers for verification of unmarked pieces as well as testing them to determine construction. We have gained a vast knowledge of antique and vintage Gold Filled jewellery and its makers. We've been selling online since 2005 and have built a reputation of being a trustworthy and honest trader.
If you require further information please don't hesitate to contact us.