Know-your series: Know your gold

April 05, 2017

Know your gold: solid gold, gold-filled and gold-plated jewelry

With quality lying at the heart of ÉDV, you can rest assured only the best materials are considered when designing each collection. For us, that meant crafting our jewelry with 18K solid gold - a luxurious yet incredibly durable material that lives with you and your day-to-day, so that you can sparkle in style, no matter what the occasion.

So often do we see “solid gold” woven into product descriptions, but seldom do we ask what it actually means. To kick off our “know your” series, we’re giving you the low-down on solid gold, gold-filled and gold-plated jewelry, so that you’ll be well-equipped the next time you’re on the hunt for a quality piece, with the confidence of knowing exactly what you’re looking at – and paying for.

Solid Gold

With its natural luster, hypoallergenic properties and resistance to tarnishing, it’s no wonder solid gold is so sought-after when it comes to crafting quality jewelry. Each piece is measured by karatage (K), which indicates the piece’s pure gold content and its proportion with other metal alloys:
  • 24K - the purest form of gold there is (and of course, the highest in value!)
  • 18K - 75% pure gold, 25% other alloys
  • 14K - 58.3% pure gold, 41.7% other alloys
While 24K solid gold indeed ranks at the top of the list in terms of fineness, its pure state is too soft to work with, making it susceptible to scratches and other damages.That’s why we’ve opted for 18K: a composition that’s still high in gold content, but holds just the right amount of alloy for the strength and durability needed for everyday, long-lasting wear. It strikes the perfect balance between quality and practicality, and enables us to bring you long-term luxury pieces at affordable prices.
P.S. It’s not all about the bling! Jewelry set with diamonds are often deemed more expensive than those without, but gold is valuable, too. As a scarce resource in incredibly high demand, gold holds a fairly high cost per ounce - at the time this was written, the gold-to-silver ratio was 68 to 1!


Though it closely resembles solid gold in appearance, gold-filled jewelry differs significantly in composition. This variant is created by bonding several sheets of gold to a base metal (typically brass, copper or sterling silver) under immense heat and pressure, and is legally required to hold at least 5% gold by weight. While this reduction in gold content allows manufacturers to maintain lower costs, it also means that gold-filled jewelry will tarnish (with an average lifespan of 5 years) and lose its value over time.


Gold-plated jewelry is considered the lowest quality among the three categories, and features a thin layer of gold that’s electrically charged to a base metal. Because these pieces hold such minute traces of gold (0.05% or less), gold-plated jewelry virtually holds little to no value, and tends to quickly fade and tarnish within a year. This often results in a dull, rust-prone piece, and may cause allergies and discoloration when exposed to skin.

You may hear
gold-plated and vermeil used interchangeably, but they do differ! Gold-plated uses a brass metal base, whereas vermeil has a slightly thicker layer of gold, and wraps around a silver base. You’ll also find that vermeil tends to be pricier than gold-plated, which can be attributed to the composition of their core, but both types are in equal standing when it comes to durability.

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Size Guide

Ring Sizing Using A Ring

Ring Sizing Using A String

Bracelet Sizing

Please note that ring sizes listed on this site are US / Canada sizing. Please click here for international ring size conversion.

(For example, if your ring size is 9 in Hong Kong, please choose size 5 on our site.)


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