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by Jesús Zabala - 6 min read

How Long Does Gold Filled Jewelry Last?

The choice of jewelry can significantly improve your overall appearance. Gold jewelry has been a cherished accessory for years, captivating with its timeless elegance and luxury. Yet, if you want the allure of gold without the hefty price tag, gold-filled pieces can be the way to go. But how long does gold-filled jewelry last? 

Will this type of jewelry tarnish? At Jewelry Lab, we have extensive experience in crafting unique gold pieces. Hence, we have put together a comprehensive guide on such jewelry, discussing its longevity and appeal. If you are looking for the perfect piece for your collection, you will adore this guide. Let’s dive into the topic. 

How Long Does Gold Filled Jewelry Last

Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Mirza91

What Is Gold Filled Jewelry?

Nothing exudes elegance and luxury more than a piece of gold jewelry. Still, if you are not ready to commit to solid gold, you may want to look into its counterparts- gold-filled and gold-plated jewelry. 

But what is the difference between them? While they may look similar, there are major differences in terms of gold content, durability, and affordability. Let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of these types of pieces. 

Comparison to other gold-plating methods

Jewelry made with solid gold contains only gold. . In comparison, gold-filled and gold-plated jewelry is made by applying a layer of gold over a base metal like brass. A gold-plated jewelry can contain any amount of gold.

The U.S. standards for gold-bonded jewelry mandate the gold layer must constitute 1/20th or 5% of the jewelry’s total weight. It is made by bonding a layer of gold, such as 12K or 14K, onto a base metal using heat or pressure. 

Such jewelry is a great investment to make due to its durability, versatility, and easy maintenance. Moreover, such jewelry is also cost-effective and suitable for trendy enthusiasts looking for trendy pieces without overspending.

How Long Does Gold Filled Jewelry Last?

With proper care and maintenance, it is feasible for high-quality gold-filled items to last for years, decades even. That said, the lifespan may depend on various factors, including gold thickness, how you store and clean it, and the level of wear and tear.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Gold-Filled Jewelry

Gold thickness and percentage

Gold thickness and the percentage of gold content can significantly impact the longevity of gold-filled jewelry. Such jewelry is tarnish-resistant under normal conditions, given its extra layer of gold bonded to the underlying base metal material. 

A higher gold content and better thickness can enhance the resistance to wear as well as the jewelry’s durability. At JewelryLab, we are committed to providing unique and long-lasting jewelry pieces that can easily elevate any outfit. 

Wear and tear

Regular wear and exposure to moisture, chemicals, and abrasion can also affect the appearance and durability of such jewelry. Such pieces are known to be more resilient than their gold-plated counterparts.

However, excessive wear and rough handling can lead to premature wear and tarnishing. What about exposing filled jewelry to water? Is gold-filled jewelry waterproof?

Compared to a gold plate, it's safe to expose your rolled gold jewelry to water. However, it is recommended to remove your jewelry when showering to preserve its shine, as it can cause your pieces to tarnish over time. 

Also, not properly storing the filled gold piece can lead to oxidation. More airflow equals a higher chance for oxidation.

Care and maintenance

Adequate care and maintenance are crucial for preserving the shine and appeal of your jewelry. Hence, avoid exposing your jewelry to harsh chemicals, abrasive materials, and prolonged sunlight exposure. 

Remember to clean your jewelry regularly, at least once a month. Use a soft cloth or soft-bristle brush and mild soap to remove dirt and oils. Avoid using products that can scratch or damage its surface.

Doing so can remove fingertips and residue, leaving a shiny finish. This type of jewelry requires less maintenance and offers timeless beauty with minimal effort. 

Longevity of gold-filled jewelry

In general, gold-filled jewelry can last 10 to 30 years or more, with proper care. High-quality pieces with thicker layers of gold tend to last longer compared to less-quality ones that can show signs of wear sooner. 

While gold-filled jewelry generally doesn’t tarnish due to its thick layer of gold, there are some circumstances where it could happen. It can still tarnish if exposed to moisture, oils, and chemicals. Such an exposure can cause the gold layer to wear off more quickly.

Variations based on usage patterns and maintenance

How frequently you wear the jewelry and the care it receives are factors that can also impact the lifespan of such jewelry. If you wear the pieces daily and expose them to harsh conditions, you may experience faster deterioration. Conversely, pieces you wear occasionally and store properly can maintain their appearance for an extended time. 

Variations Based on Usage Patterns and Maintenance

Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Finielle Vintage

Signs of wear and potential issues


As mentioned, gold-filled jewelry is typically resistant to tarnish. Yet, with time and in some circumstances, it may show signs of discoloration and tarnishing. You may notice a dulling or darkening of the gold surface.

This is especially the case if you expose it to moisture and chemicals such as extreme sulfide exposure. Extreme conditions such as a polluted environment and fire smoke can also contribute to the tarnish of such adornment. 

Peeling or flaking

In certain circumstances, the gold layer may begin to peal or flake off and reveal the base metal underneath. Such a sign is often a result of prolonged wear or exposure to abrasive materials. 

Scratches and dents

Like any type of metal, gold-filled jewelry is susceptible to scratches and dents that may appear with regular wear. Minor imperfections on the surface can be buffed out. However, deeper scratches may compromise the integrity of the jewelry piece. To prevent scratches, place tissue paper between each piece when storing or store it in the box it came with.

Risks of damage and challenges with repairs

Given the nature of gold-filled jewelry, repairing its damages can be a challenging task. Solid gold pieces can be easily reshaped and soldered. Unlike them, gold-filled pieces may not be able to withstand extensive repairs. 

In case of significant damage or wear, it may be more cost-effective to replace the piece rather than attempting repairs that could further compromise its integrity. 

Allergic reactions

Do you have a desire to rock sophisticated jewelry but worry about your skin’s reaction to it? Gold-filled jewelry significantly reduces the risk of irritation and allergic reactions compared to alternatives, as the base metal is typically hypoallergenic. 

Still, the base metal core of gold-filled jewelry, in some instances, may cause allergic reactions in individuals with sensitive skin. This is especially the case if it contains nickel or other type of allergens.

Tips on Increasing Longevity

To prolong the life of gold-filled jewelry, follow our guidelines below:

  • Store your jewelry in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight.
  • Place the jewelry pieces in an airtight container to prevent oxidation. 
  • Limit exposure to chemicals such as chlorine and bleach.
  • Use a special cleaning solution for stubborn dirt or tarnish.
  • Rotate pieces in your collection to avoid excessive wear and tear. 
  • Inspect your jewelry regularly and address any issues promptly. 
Tips on Increasing Longevity

Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Hatice Sever


How long does gold-filled jewelry last? In this post, we determined that such jewelry offers an attractive blend of gold aesthetics and durability. It offers a myriad of benefits but without the high price of solid gold. 

With suitable care and maintenance, you can enjoy the brilliance of such jewelry for years to come. Still, you must stay mindful of usage patterns, practices, and potential risks to avoid damage and extend the lifespan of your beloved pieces.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.