I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at that time a Junior Jewelry Designer for the company I work for now. My husband and I were just married and we had no kids. I wanted to do something that would keep me busy and provide us with some extra income. I knew I loved making jewelry and I knew I loved to design (packaging and web).
Almost 10 years ago I started a company called PBC Jewelry (Paper Bird Creations - which was my previous custom invitation company). I researched and researched and I knew I wanted to make jewelry that lasted. I came across GOLD FILLED jewelry.
I only wore gold plated at the time or custom jewelry and it never lasted. I would fall in LOVE with pieces to only be disappointed that they didn't last from everyday use. I purchased my first batch of gold filled metal from a jewelry manufacturer and supply company in Mexico and found that almost 10 years later those pieces (with care and cleaning) lasted me years.
SO WHAT IS GOLD-FILLED JEWELRY? Most of our jewelry is made of 14k gold filled (USA made),18k gold filled (Brazilian made) and sterling silver - they're high quality and can last years with care! Gold filled is an actual layer of real gold that has been bonded to another metal with high heat and pressure. Gold filled is 100x stronger than "plated" jewelry (Plated jewelry is usually just dipped in a thin layer of gold). Because of the high heat and pressure bonding process used in gold filled jewelry, the gold will not rub off or turn colors like plated jewelry does.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USA MADE GOLD FILLED + BRAZILIAN GOLD FILLED The main difference is the amount of gold used. USA made gold filled (All our 14k gold filled) is 5% real gold of the total weight of the piece while Brazilian gold filled is 3% real gold of the total weight of the piece. The same technique is used for both types of gold filled. Brazilian gold filled is fairly new to the market in the USA, while USA gold filled has been around for years.
DOES OUR JEWELRY CONTAIN NICKEL? No, our gold filled jewelry does not have nickel and is hypoallergenic. Some body chemistries are a little different and everyone reacts differently to different metals. If you normally have sensitive skin even when you wear pure gold jewelry you may still be sensitive to gold-filled jewelry.
CAN GOLD FILLED TARNISH? Yes, it can, but it takes a rare set of circumstances. Gold-filled jewelry supplies are a lifetime product because the gold layer bonded to the brass/copper core is quite thick. However, in really rare instances of extreme sulfide exposure, it can blacken.
Gold filled jewelry is a heaven sent to women and men that only like to wear gold jewelry. With prices of actual solid gold jewelry going up, we would never be able to afford it!