Why is plated jewelry bad?
Let's talk about plated jewelry. First of all, what is plated jewelry? In a nut shell, it means that a certain metal is covered with a layer of another metal. Most commonly, you'll see jewelry advertised as "gold plated" or "gold filled". If you didn't know better, it can be easy to confuse gold filled with solid gold. But there is a big difference! Unlike solid gold that is gold all the way through, gold filled jewelry takes a cheap base metal such as silver, copper or stainless steel and coats it with a thin layer of gold.
This process is great in theory because it's cheaper to maker, cheaper to buy and looks the same as solid gold jewelry. HOWEVER, you truly sacrifice quality when you go with this option. The problem with gold plating is that it will inevitably fade away, revealing the metal underneath. Depending how often you wear a piece, in can happen in a matter of weeks! This may not matter if it's a piece you wear only occasionally or a trendy piece to be worn for just one season. But for meaningful pieces you want to last, we do not recommend gold filled or gold plated.
Let's say you you want to gift your mother a personalized necklace with the names of her children on it. This is likely a gift she will cherish. But if the necklace is gold plated or filled, all it will take is a few weeks of wear and maybe accidental contact with water before it starts fading away and looking pretty dingy. That is not ideal!
I know it's tempting to want to save money and get the look of yellow or rose gold without the heavy price tag. But in the long run, it's just not going to hold up unless you go with solid gold. Another problem with plated and filled pieces is that you can't easily re polish them. If you take a gold filled or plated necklace to a jeweler to be polished, their high power polishing machines will easily take off the gold layer in a matter of seconds. With poor quality jewelry, it may look good in the beginning, but it doesn't take much before it loses it shine and color.
We take pride in our jewelry and truly make pieces that will last. We only use solid 14k gold and 925 sterling silver that can be re polished and hold up for years to come. Our prices are higher than personalized etsy jewelry because we don't skimp on quality. You actually save money by purchasing high quality jewelry because you're getting something that will last as opposed to continually buying cheap jewelry after it falls apart.
If you've learned anything from this post, I hope it's that metals matter when it comes to jewelry. Next time you see a cute piece of jewelry, pay attention to what it's made of. Your future self will thank you!