How To Buy Jewelry on Etsy | Gold Plated vs Gold Filled

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I don’t wear a lot of jewelry lately. I’m really sick of buying cheap jewelry that lasts for a few weeks until you slowly start to notice your skin turning green. Can you relate? Cheap jewelry tarnishes over time and bends out of shape. But it’s rare for me to justify a $300 purchase on a piece of jewelry. Enter Etsy, the direct to shopper online e-commerce site that will solve all of your jewelry needs.

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For starters, when shopping for jewelry, it’s important to know the difference in metals. I found a pretty easy breakdown if you’re looking for gold jewelry.

GOLD PLATED – Lowest Quality Jewelry

It sounds fancy right? Unfortunately it’s not, it’s misleading. Gold Plated means that they put a very thin layer of gold over a cheaper metal (bronze, copper, etc). Also keep an eye out for the term gold overlay, it’s the same thing. This type of jewelry looks great at first, but soon enough, you’ll notice that the metal easily chips, bends, changes color (due to the gold wearing off) and will most liekly turn your skin green. (yuck!)

GOLD FILLED – Medium-Good Quality Jewelry

Gold filled is created similarly to the way Gold Plated is, but there’s a much thicker layer of gold on the jewelry piece and the gold is higher quality. Some say that Gold Filled is just a step down from solid gold, with the life expectancy being from 10-30 years. It’s in most cases more expensive, but I’ve found that you can find a lot of these pieces at a very reasonable price on Etsy (as the middle man is cut out and they’re selling direct to seller). You don’t need to worry about Gold Filled jewelry tarnishing and you don’t have to worry if you have skin allergies.

This all came about when I started to notice big name jewelry brands charging a ridiculous amount for low quality pieces and it inspired me to get educated. You may think all the beautiful pieces on are amazing quality right? They carry beautiful designs and at almost $100 a pop, it must be good? Think again. This cuff is retailing for $80 and it’s the lowest quality of jewelry. Or take this Marc Jacobs piece for $78. How about these rings from Madewell?

So I went on a Etsy hunt to share all of my favorite jewelry on Etsy. I’ll be purchasing almost all of these, which will end up being just about the same price as one gold plated piece of jewelry on Can you believe it?

Comment below with your favorites Etsy finds and let me know what you purchase! X


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