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Differences between Sterling silver, Gold plated, Gold filled, Gold?

November 17, 2020

Differences between Sterling silver, Gold plated, Gold filled, Gold?

What are the main differences between

Sterling silver, Gold plated, Gold filled, Gold?

What is the sterling silver?

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925. 

Hallmark: the number 925 is stamped upon the silver, often in a hidden part of the jewelry (Most of the time on the clasps). This number is known as the hallmark and denotes the percentage of silver purity in the alloy. 

What is Gold?

  • What does Karat mean? 

When buying jewelry, the term ‘karat’ refers to the unit of gold purity.

You’ll most likely come across jewelry that is either 9-karat gold, 14-karat gold or 18-karat gold.

We call Solid Gold: 24-karat gold which is considered the highest gold purity used in the UK. However, this is rare in the world of jewelry, as used alone, because pure gold is too soft.

  • What is the difference between Carat and Karat?

‘Carat’ is the correct unit of measurement for diamonds. 

  • What is the difference between Gold Filled and Gold Plated, and Gold? 

The main difference between Gold plated and gold filled is the number of layers that differentiate them Gold filled has several more layers coating the item or metal. This is the main feature that forms the basis of differentiation.

  • Gold filled is constructed with two or three layers, with the core metal as jewelers’ brass. A gold alloy is bonded to the surface of the brass core with pressure and heat.

When purchasing jewelry a more economical than solid gold but still beautiful option is a gold filled piece.

Jewelers create gold filled jewelry by pressure bonding an actual layer of gold to another metal. Although a gold filled piece of jewelry is not solid gold, it has the same desirable properties and look of solid gold.

  • Hallmark: According to the UK Standards, it is Hallmarked with the stamp GF 14K.
  • Long-Lasting quality: It won’t tarnish and will not rub off or turn colors.
  • Skin tolerance: Wearers who are sensitive to certain metals can wear gold filled without worries of an allergic reaction.

Design Vs Quality?

When debating over whether to purchase solid gold, gold filled, or gold plated several factors should be taken into consideration.

We are influenced most of the time by the Design and the Price. Indeed, we have more limited choice depending on the material, some materials do not allow all type of works so in this case. And the most sophisticated work will need more materials and additional treatments.  

SOLID GOLD - We will recommend Solid gold, has the higher price, so it is a better choice for a truly special person or occasion. It also makes for a great investment as solid gold retains its value and forever will hold its allure in the world of jewelry.

We currently have a limited choice of 9k Gold, 14k Gold, and 18k Gold, and some Designs can be adapted or cast with Solid Gold i.e. 24k Gold per special order. However the price will highly vary depending the request, for casting solid gold the total price will only be known after the piece will be totally finished and the weight assessed by our Goldsmith Partners.

GOLD FILLED - Gold filled is a good option for a more affordable design with an excellent long lasting quality, a great option for gift giving and accessories you love. Most of our Collections have been made with Gold Filled 14k for the last three years. 

GOLD-PLATED - Gold plated jewelry with 18k is an alternative to allow you to dress up with all the latest jewelry trends without causing you to stress out too much about the cost. It will need more care in order to keep it in good conditions. If you avoid to wear it in contact of water and cosmetics, you can keep it for a reasonable time in good conditions.

I hope this information was useful for you to understand better the basic aspects about the materials we use in our collections.

See you soon,


Mi Cielo London

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Sizing & Measuring

Sizing & Measuring

Necklace Size

Chain necklace size

Bracelet Sizing & Measuring

How to measure my wrist?

Before getting a bracelet it’s important to know what size it should be. It's good to know what the average size is, but you can measure your own wrist easily.

You should also consider whether or not you want a comfortable or loose fit.

Women sizes: 16 to 20 cm

  • Most common: 17 cm
  • Average range: 17 – 18 cm

Men sizes: 18 to 22 cm

  • Most common: 18.5 cm
  • Average range: 18-19 cm

How to measure your wrist?

  1. Measure your wrist using a flexible measuring tape where you intend to wear the bracelet. If you don't have a measuring tape, you can use a rope and compare the measure with a ruler.
  2. Add almost 1 cm to that measurement to give it a comfortable fit, and space for the beads
  3. If you want a loose or snug fit, take/add around 1.2 cm from this figure
  4. If you have large beads, give it an extra half cm to accommodate them

Gift: Which size should I choose if I buy a gift?

Consult us if you have any doubt or question about the size!

My advise: Choose the recommended medium size depending the type of person: medium small or medium, medium large.

Post-sale service: We will provide a post-sale service to readjust the exact size directly with them once receiving the gift.

Extension chain: When choosing a bracelet or necklace made on a chain, most of them can include an extension chain which enables to adjust easily the size.

Feel free to contact us for more details:!