Buying Guide: What does Gold Plated Mean?

Imagine how heavy a solid gold dress would be? 

Some of our most loved pieces are gold plated. Because gold is expensive, a lot of designers – especially young ones, experiment with gold plated to keep their costs low. For the wearer, there isn’t too much of a difference at first glance since both are pure gold on the outside.

If a piece is labeled gold plated, that means the jewelry made of a base metal or sometimes silver that has been finished with a thin layer of gold on top.

Gold plated jewelry will never be worth as much as solid gold, but you can still buy very high quality pieces this way. In our mind, the main deterrent for purchasing gold plated jewelry is that the gold can wear off. This is especially true on high-impact pieces such as bracelets or even necklaces.

How To Know if you’re buying gold plate jewelry:

Look for the following markers:

  • 14KGP: A base metal covered with 14k gold. You might also see other numbers such as 10K
  • Bonded Gold: Just means gold plated.
  • 14K HGE: Stands for 14K Heavy Gold Electroplate, which refers to the process for plating the metal called electrolysis.
  • Vermeil: Is usually found on older vintage pieces and refers to gold plate over sterling silver, instead of the more common copper.

Unusual and Different Engagement Rings: Artemer


The Etsy only store Artemer makes beautiful fine jewelry in gold and other precious metals. We follow their shop and have ordered a few pieces as gifts (note their home base in Tel Aviv and accommodate shipping time accordingly). But the other day we were really struck by this beautiful engagement ring.



One of the parts we love the most is that it works with any wedding ring. Because the triangle is set with the point towards the nail it makes it easy to place a wedding band underneath.



Made with 18k yellow gold (also available in rose and white gold) and a conflict free diamond, this unusual setting is so beautiful.

ps. if you aren’t looking for an engagement ring Artemer also makes lovely smaller triangle rings from around $600.



The Best Opal Jewelry

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October’s birthstone is the opal and if you’re lucky enough to be born in this month you probably have already built up quite a collection of beautiful opal jewelry. For the rest of us, unless you live in Australia, where it is the National stone and ninety-five percent of opals come from, you may have a piece or two.

Not just for mood rings anymore, here are our favorites opal jewelry pieces. If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know our tastes lean toward minimal and colorless most of the time and this list reflects that. But opals come in millions of shades – often more than one at a time – and it’s worth exploring the designers below for pieces in different colors if that is what you are looking for.

1. Lollipop Necklace, 18k gold and pink opal, Ippolita, $895

2. Loren Stewart Opal Ring, 14k gold and opal, The Dreslyn, $275

3. Ear climber by Zoe Chicco, 14k gold and opal, Bloomingdales, $460

4. Stud Earrings by Elisa Solomon, 18 karat yellow gold, opal cabochon, pearls, diamond, $930

5. Beveled ring by Melanie Casey, 14k gold and opal, Artful Home, $165

Stacked: Mixed Metal Bangles to Line Up

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Something about putting on lighter linen pieces in the spring and summer makes us just want to slide a few more pieces on our wrists. With flowy tops, loose dresses, and even shorts, a few stacked bangles add some gravitas to an outfit. Here are five we think would look great in a row – but could also be worn alone for a more elegant evening kindof look.

Though our moms might not agree that you can mix metals like we have here, we think this look is fresh and appears more like an organic collection, grown over time.

We surprised ourselves with how much we liked the Alexander McQueen bangle – it looks clunker in photographs than in real life. But our favorite piece is the Duchamp bangle. Partly for the name, partly for how many ways we can wear it. It works as well on its own, stacked with a few other statement pieces, or mixed in with some cheap metal bangles or strap of ribbon wrapped and tied around our wrist.

from left:

Gorjana Alphabet Cuff, $70

Alexander McQueen Cuff, $330

Duchamp Cuff, $176 (our favorite)

Knot Bangle, $98