There is a place in the world for quality gold electroplated jewellery as well as solid gold jewellery . Fashion jewellery is fun to wear and inexpensive to buy. My purpose here is to help you navigate through the maze of jewellery on offer and how to avoid the pitfalls when buying jewellery that is NOT SOLID GOLD.
THE LOOK WITHOUT THE PRICE! High fashion, high quality costume (fashion) gold jewellery bought from a reputable manufacturer with a proven track record can give years of joy and excellent service. As the investment is usually much smaller than a purchase of solid gold we can all afford to wear it and then change our 'look' with new fashion trends of the day or the season.
These days the very best gold electroplated jewellery includes an application of a clear film which is baked on to the jewellery in the final process of manufacture. This clear final application protects the jewellery from the wearer (body salts, perspiration, natural body oils, dirt, etc.) and protects the wearer from any possible allergy reactions or irritations from the metal. We DO apply this final application of course.
STUDY THE SELLERS FEEDBACK. This is always the safest way to purchase NOT SOLID GOLD jewellery. Judge how long the seller has been in the jewellery business. Do they just onsell mass produced jewellery or do they actually manufacture it? Check where the item is to be shipped from and the cost to you. A $1 piece of jewellery that cost you $39 postage from Asia is not a bargain. Our jewellery has been designed and manufactured by us .... here in Australia for 20 years! Look at the negatives and neutrals and decide if the seller has a trustworthy history. The positive feedback % also gives an excellent indication of the value of the product and the reliability of the seller.
STUDY THE ITEM TITLE before you even click to open a listing for a closer look. There are a lot of insider jewellery terms used ... and misused. Look for the letters (either just before or after the word gold) gp or gep or gl or gb or gf in the listing title. These indicate gold plated, gold electroplated, gold layered, gold bonded or gold filled. I notice lately that some unscrupulous sellers are putting these letters away from the word GOLD ... or even hiding them in their own product code at the end of the title! This is a deliberate attempt to trick you, the buyer into thinking you are buying solid gold. The bottom line is ... NONE OF THESE ARE SOLID GOLD except for the outer covering.
Further to this some sellers listing in fine jewellery decide to deliberately leave these letters out of their title altogether in an attempt to convince you, the buyer that their product IS solid gold. This is a direct violation of ebay policy and should be reported immediately.
GOLD FILLED JEWELLERY Please read the feedbacks carefully! Some sellers offering gold filled jewellery may try to convince the unwary that their product is superior to gold electroplated ... or bonded. layered etc, jewellery. This is simply untrue as top quality gold electroplated jewellery can in fact have a higher gold content than that which merely (without proof) purports to be gold filled. (see my guide 'GOLD FILLED SCAMS')
HALLMARKS AND STAMPS Some sellers of jewellery that is NOT SOLID GOLD will tell you their jewellery is hallmarked or 'stamped'. This reliance on hallmarking as proof of authenticity is out of date and now under suspicion. Ie, 18kgep or 375gf on a hallmark means diddly squat except that it is not solid gold. Anyone can go to a jewellery suppliers in Australia and purchase a hallmarking stamp over the counter. They are available to anyone at all ... not just to jewellers. The unscrupulous can then use it on any base metal such as brass or pewter before finishing the jewellery item with an application of gold on top.
RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICES I am constantly appalled at the whopping great recommended retail prices quoted on some sites. I am convinced their mothers supplied the RRP stated! If you see anyone offering any jewellery item (unless it is solid gold) valued at $1200 or more starting at $1 run away very quickly!
DO NOT CLICK ... IT'S A TRICK!
Ask yourself two questions.
1/. Why would sellers continue to sell so much under the RRP at an obvious loss? Gold is currently almost USD$1600 a Troy ounce ... 31 grams?!
2/. When did you last see ANY fashion (NOT SOLID GOLD) jewellery for sale at $1200 at the shopping mall?
GUARANTEE ?? Then there are the 'fill in the guarantee and post it to the address on the card' sellers. Please, please ask before bidding just what country you'll be posting the jewellery to and determine how much return postage may cost you in case of a claim. Top quality ... made to a recipe and not just to a price ... gold electroplated jewellery will not tarnish, fade or discolour particularly with the clear final protection applied. But guarantees like 'if it doesn't look shiny just send it back for a new one' rings a warning bell for me.
THE LOOK WITHOUT THE PRICE! I hope this helps you with your purchasing choices. We may not be able to validate a purchase of big chunky bracelets or heavy chains in solid gold at the current gold price of over $USD1600 a Troy ounce (31 grams). But we can all have fun with a new piece of inexpensive gold electroplated bling in the latest fashion. I adore fashion jewellery for the sheer variety and scope of materials we have to choose from. HOORAY for fashion jewellery where all that glitters is GOLD ... on the outside!!