We all know that gold is not inexpensive, and these days the spot price is going upwards of $500 an ounce. So there is an economical alternative that keeps a solid layer of 14 karat gold in contact with skin! 14 karat gold filled is the affordable solution. Gold filled is an actual layer of gold-pressure bonded to another metal. Gold filled is not to be confused with gold plating, as gold filled literally has 100% more gold than gold plating. Gold filled is much more valuable and tarnish resistant. 14K gold-filled jewelry will not peel or flake and can be treasured as heirloom pieces. By law, it has 1/20th by weight layer of 14 karat gold permanently bonded over a core of base metal. It has far more gold than the few microns coating of gold in gold plate, a hundred or more times the amount of gold.
Gold Filled has been referred to as the "Gold of the Future" because it offers all the same physical characteristics as solid gold such as beauty, durability, and strength, but at a fraction of the cost. Since the gold is on the outer surface area, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between solid gold and Gold Filled, except when it comes to the cost!
To care for your gold-filled jewelry take a small bowl that will hold about a quart of water and line it with aluminum foil. Add hot water and a tablespoon of Tide washing powder (not liquid or with bleach) and stir. Place your jewelry in the solution for about 1 minute and rinse with clean water and air dry. This works great on Sterling Silver too and it will not hurt any stones. If you have a build-up of dirt in hard to reach places, just put a little dish washing liquid in a bowl of water and soak over night.
This necklace was created using 14k gold filled. It is a mosaique necklace with Aqua Chalcedony, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Citrine, and Czech Glass. I used hair-thin gold filled wire to coil and wrap the precious stones. The results can be seen below.