Purity of gold is expressed as karats (10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k). The purest form of gold is expressed as 24 carats and is very yellow in color and soft in texture. Gold is often mixed with other alloy metals to make it more durable to wear it as jewelry. It is one of the most valuable resources in the world. Solid gold jewelry last a lifetime, may increase in value over time and have the best resale value.
Gold filled jewelry is made when a solid layer of gold is mechanically and permanently bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as copper, brass, etc. It has a thick sheet of gold applied, 50 to 100,000 times thicker than gold plating. Gold filled jewelry is required to be at least 5% of the metal's weight, 10 karats or higher, and must meet the Federal Trade Commission's quality standards. It is an affordable alternative to solid gold because its surface is solid gold. Gold filled jewelry can last a lifetime if cared for properly.
Gold vermeil ( ver-MAY) jewelry is sterling silver used as a base metal and dipped in an electroplating solution that electromagnetically coats the metal with a thin layer of gold. To qualify as gold vermeil, the gold layer must be at least 2.5 microns thick. Vermeil is long-lasting (years) with proper care.
Gold plated jewelry is created through a similar process as vermeil. A based metal (brass, copper, etc) is dipped in a electroplating solution that electromagnetically coats the metal with a thin layer of gold. However, the gold layer of gold plated jewelry is estimated to be .05% or less. Bella Soul jewelry has a longer lifespan due to our thicker plating of 14k-24k.