This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Free US Expedited Shipping orders $200+ /  Free US Standard Shipping orders $100+


We want you to get the most out of our jewelry. No matter the price. Whether it's an investment piece that you are looking for, meant to be an heirloom, a meaningful piece, or a trendy piece to style your look. Here, we are going to explain the different types of gold jewelry and how to take care of them (including some tricks) for you to be equipped to make the most informed decision when buying. 

Precious metals (e.g. gold, platinum and silver) are very rare and difficult to extract from the Earth. Gold being as rare as 4 parts per billion of the Earth’s crust.

The different types of gold we will be talking about are: solid gold, gold filled, gold vermeil and gold plated.


Ale Weston Types of Gold Jewelry


Solid Gold

Let’s start with the gold quality mark. Gold is measured in karats based on a whole of 24 parts in total. If the amount of gold in a jewelry piece is important to you, you’ll want to know the karats in your jewelry piece to really understand how much gold is in it.

24 karat gold is the purest form of gold. This means that is 100% gold or 24/24 parts gold. But pure gold is too soft and delicate for everyday wear, so it is mixed with other metals for it to create an alloy (mix of two or more metals) and give the piece strength and durability.

In the case of 18 karat gold, means it contains 75% gold or 18/24 parts of gold and 25% of other metals. It is usually stamped with “18K” or “750”. The most popular in the US is 14 karat gold, which means it contains 58.3% or 14/24 parts of gold and 41.7% of other metals. It is usually stamped with “14K” or “585”.

In conclusion, solid gold jewelry has a higher price point because of the nature of its material being gold (a precious metal). Solid gold jewelry has value and is an investment. Solid gold jewelry lasts a lifetime and can become a heirloom. All of our solid gold pieces are 14k gold, they won’t tarnish and can be worn while showering, swimming or exercising. Finally, solid gold jewelry is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. See more details in our jewelry care section.


Ale Weston Karat Gold Meaning Chart Graphic


Golf Filled

Most of our gold filled pieces are 14k gold filled. This metal is the next best after solid gold and is extremely durable, if cared for properly.

It has 100% more gold than gold plated jewelry. In the US industry the legal standard for gold filled requires a 1/20th or 5% pure gold weight. 14k gold filled is composed of a solid 14k gold layer that is bonded with pressure and heat over a core of base metal. Since the gold is mechanically bonded it won’t rub off like in the case of gold plating. The gold that is on the outside of gold filled jewelry pieces is the same real gold you would get in a solid 14k gold jewelry piece.

This makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin. You get the 14k gold look without breaking the bank, as 14k gold filled is significantly a more affordable option than 14k solid gold jewelry.

Gold filled won’t tarnish easily and it is fine to shower with it, basically, you can wear it all of the time! As for the longevity of the jewelry, it will depend on several factors. See more details in our jewelry care section.


Gold Vermeil

Some of our pieces are gold vermeil. In general terms gold vermeil is a heavier gold plating but, unlike gold plated jewelry, gold vermeil most have a 925 sterling silver base. It should be coated with a thick layer of gold 10k or finer and the coatings must be at least 2.5 microns thick.

This type of jewelry won’t tarnish easily and is safe for most sensitive skin. Gold vermeil jewelry is not water resistant and like gold plated jewelry, the plating may wear away over time. If gold vermeil jewelry is properly taken care of, it is great for everyday wear. The plating on gold vermeil will take longer to wear off vs. standard gold plating, but it will eventually wear off and with that, the sterling silver base will come out. See more details in our jewelry care section.


Gold Plated

Gold plated jewelry is dipped in 14k gold over the outside of a base metal. In general terms, this type of jewelry has a layer of gold or a gold alloy of at least 10k over a base metal (mostly brass). Its coating must be at least 0.5 microns thick. 

Our recommendation is to keep gold plated jewelry dry and avoid wearing while swimming showering or exercising. Keep it away from any chemicals (perfumes, hairsprays, lotions, sunscreen, cleaning & beauty products, etc.) chlorine and saunas. Plating will wear away over time, making it not ideal for sensitive skin, if the plating wears off and the base metal touches your sensitive skin, it can cause a reaction. That is one of the main reasons why we do not carry gold plated jewelry. See more details in our jewelry care section.

Last Updated 16th June 2021

As Seen In

"Their dainty, chic pieces celebrate the uniqueness of life with memorable designs that reflect milestones and special moments... Los Angeles' finest, Ale Weston."