"You get what you pay for," is certainly what comes to mind when shopping for jewelry in today's market. As many of you know gold and silver have reached astronomically high prices in recent months with the price dropping slightly in the last week or so. Today's current gold price is $925.17 and silver is $17.14 as of 12:30 EST. These prices fluctuate on a daily basis and determine what jewelry designers must pay for their supplies. I have not ventured into using
14 K gold due to the high prices, but I am determined to offer my customers quality jewelry for the best price. What do I do? I use only 1/20 gold filled wire, gold vermeil and sterling silver for my pieces. Many jewelers will use gold and silver plate for their wire and jewelry components. What is the difference you ask? For starters, the durability of the piece is determined by what kind of components the jeweler uses. Gold plate and silver plate will chip ,peel, and crack, sometimes after only a few wearings. However, gold filled jewelry will not. The reason for this is as follows:
Gold filled wire is produced by wrapping a tube of solid gold around a core of a base metal such as a brass alloy. They are bonded together by pressure and heat. It is about 100 times thicker than gold plate and will not chip or flake off. The part that touches your skin is 14k or 12k gold and is it very hard to tell the difference between solid gold and gold filled. It is durable and much more affordable than solid gold. Gold plate is made by dipping (electroplating) a microscopic film of gold particles on a variety of base metals. The particles eventually wear off and the piece of jewelry certainly does not look the same as it did when you purchased the piece. Gold plated and silver plated findings are much cheaper to buy than gold filled and good quality gold vermeil which is 24k or 18k gold layered over sterling silver. When you look at jewelry to purchased keep these facts in mind. My husband says "When you pay peanuts , you get monkeys. "