Wear gold overlay jewelry and you'll not only add a lot of eye-catching sparkle to your outfits; you'll have a great option for keeping up with the ever-changing fashion scene without spending a lot of money. More and more jewelers are offering chic gold overlay earrings, long gold overlay necklaces, shiny bangles and sweet charms to their customers, so keep reading to learn more about beautiful gold overlay jewelry.
Gold overlay is an application of gold over base metal. Although gold overlay is not as valuable as gold jewelry, these items still offer a good value for the money. The process gives jewelry the luxurious look of gold for a fraction of the cost of crafting with solid gold.
The quality of gold overlay has improved greatly in recent years. Gold overlay products earned a poor reputation a few decades ago when the gold layer quickly wore off of jewelry. However, jewelers have improved the gold bonding methods, and the layer of gold set on today's pieces is thicker than on earlier jewelry. This jewelry generally will have a gold layer measurement of 1 micron. The gold won't wear down, even if you wear your favorite goldplated earrings frequently. Also, the gold layer must be at least 10-karat in quality. Any piece of gold overlay jewelry should include a stamp that indicates the gold's karat quality, such as 18k overlay for 18-karat gold.
Gold plating refers to the process of chemically bonding a gold layer to a base metal through electrolysis. Gold-plated jewelry has a top layer of gold with a thickness of 0.175 microns or greater. The electroplating process involves placing a metal object in a gold ion solution, then passing an electric current through the solution to make the ions bond to the metal. The result is a quality piece of gold-plated jewelry that has an unmistakable sheen.
Gold-filled jewelry has a metal base with a top layer of gold that was bonded to the metal with heat and pressure. For jewelry to be considered "gold-filled," the gold content must compose at least 1/20th of the item's total weight. A piece of gold-filled jewelry will include a stamp noting the bonding process; for example, a GF 14k stamp on a gold-filled bracelet indicates a composition with 14-karat gold.
The term "gold over silver" refers to another form of gold overlay; however, the use of silver as the base metal increases the value. Silver with a layer of yellow gold is the most luxurious of gold overlay jewelry. Previously, these items, especially those made of sterling silver and a plating of 18-karat yellow gold, were called vermeil (ver-may). Today, retailers like to emphasize the use of two precious metals by calling this composition gold over silver.
Add more hoops to your jewelry collection. Gold overlay jewelry includes hoop earrings in a huge variety of sizes and styles, so take advantage of the affordable prices on gold overlay earrings and enhance your fashion with hoops.
Wear more bangles. Bangle bracelets are classic, fashionable and, when you wear an armful, fun. Look for gold overlay bangle sets with yellow, white and pink gold colors to give you more options.
Try white gold overlay jewelry. If you prefer white gold to yellow gold or would just like some variety in your jewelry, purchase some gold overlay jewelry that has white gold as the layering material.