Goodman & Sons Jewelers

Do you need help? Please call us at (757) 838-2328.

Gold vs. Gold Plated

May 14, 2015

How does your jewelry stack up? Gold vs. Gold Plated

We all love our gold jewelry, but did you know that pure gold is rarely ever used to make jewelry? Read below to find out why and how to tell the difference between gold and gold plated jewelry.


Why isn’t jewelry made from pure gold?

It’s actually much too soft in its pure form, so it would never hold up to daily use.


Then what is my gold jewelry made from?

It’s probably made from a gold alloy: a combination of two metals.



The breakdown:

  • 24K Gold = pure gold

  • 18K Gold = 75% gold

  • 12K Gold = 50% gold

  • 9K Gold = 33% gold


What does gold plated mean?

Gold plated refers to jewelry that is made from a base metal with a very thin layer of gold applied on top


Is gold plated less valuable?

Yes, the gold layer can usually be removed very easily.



How can I tell if my jewelry is gold plated?

  • Gold plated jewelry should have 1 of 5 markings on it: KGP, GEP, RGP, HGE, or HGP

  • If you can’t find the marking, check to see if there is an area of discoloration where the gold appears to be wearing off

To know for sure, you can bring your piece to a jewelry store to have an acid test done

Goodman & Sons Jewelers
Our Locations

(757) 838-2328

2018 Coliseum Drive
Hampton, VA 23666 (Map)

Store Hours
Mon 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tue 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wed 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thu 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Fri 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun Closed


(757) 229-5388

4640-11A Monticello Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23188 (Map)

Store Hours
Mon 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tue 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wed 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thu 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Fri 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sun Closed