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Understanding the differences between various types of gold jewelry is crucial when deciding which ones to carry in your store. Each type has its own unique qualities and is suitable for different preferences and budgets. Here's a breakdown of the characteristics of each type to help you make an informed decision:



Solid gold is the best quality of gold jewelry there is. Solid gold is the only true type of metal that will never tarnish, lose value, and will last for generations to come, even with daily wear.

There are various karats of gold, and when considering the best to use in jewelry, color and durability are especially important. We use 14k solid gold because of its durability and beautiful yellow gold hue - it's not too yellow like 24k gold, and not too pale like 10k gold. 14K solid gold is also more durable than higher karats that become too soft and malleable to wear as jewelry.

  • Hypoallergenic: Solid gold is especially tarnish-resistant, hypoallergenic, and perfect for everyday wear. It’s the most hypoallergenic type of gold, so it’s amazing for people who have sensitive skin. 
  • Durability: Solid gold is a precious metal that will last many lifetimes and can easily become cherished heirlooms! If you are looking for a "forever" piece that you can pass down, this is the material for you.
  • Easy Maintenance: Solid gold jewelry requires minimal maintenance and can be easily polished clean with a soft cloth.



Gold PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) jewelry is the ideal choice for durability and affordability. PVD-coated jewelry is created by applying a layer of gold onto a base metal, like stainless steel, through a high-temperature vacuum coating process utilizing titanium nitride. This process yields a non-tarnish, hypoallergenic, and affordable alternative to solid gold that will last for years to come. 

PVD coating on jewelry offers a highly resilient coating that is notably resistant to corrosion from factors such as sweat and regular wear, making this process an ideal choice for jewelry that is worn daily.

  • Durability: PVD coating provides a highly durable and scratch-resistant layer that protects the jewelry from wear and tear, making it more long-lasting. PVD coated jewelry is more resistant to scratches, wear, and tarnishing than gold filled, gold plated, or gold vermeil jewelry.
  • Easy maintenance: PVD-coated jewelry requires minimal maintenance and can be easily cleaned with a soft cloth and mild soap.
  • Hypoallergenic: PVD coated stainless steel jewelry is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, which makes it safe for those with sensitive skin as it doesn't contain nickel or other allergens.
  • Affordability: PVD coated jewelry offers the look and feel of solid gold without the hefty price tag.

How Long Does PVD Jewelry Last?

The durability and lifespan of PVD-coated jewelry depend on several factors, including the quality of the coating, the type of material used in the jewelry, and the frequency and intensity of use. Generally, well-made and maintained PVD-coated jewelry can last for decades or even a lifetime, even with daily wear. 


Unlike vermeil and gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry has a much thicker layer of gold over the base metal. This makes a big difference in terms of the jewelry’s ability to resist wear and tear long term. It would be hard to tell the difference between “real” gold and a gold filled piece, but over time, the gold filled jewelry will tarnish.

  • Affordable: Gold-filled jewelry allows you to incorporate the timeless look of yellow and rose gold into your jewelry designs at an affordable price for your customers.
  • Value: Gold-filled jewelry offers more value and durability than gold-plated jewelry since gold-filled materials contain a layer of karat gold—not just a microscopic plating.
  • Durability: While gold filled jewelry is a better alternative over gold plating, it is not a good choice for every day wear and will quickly tarnish


Traditionally, gold plated jewelry is a brass, copper, or low-end metal electroplated with a thin layer of gold. Usually the less expensive option, gold plated jewelry doesn’t require any minimum karat weight or thickness, and tends to wear very quickly. While gold plated jewelry is affordable and has the appearance of real gold, it will quickly tarnish over time, especially with daily wear and exposure to water, sweat, and chemicals.

  • Durability: The thin gold layer can wear off or tarnish over time, especially with daily wear or exposure to chemicals.
  • Allergies: Gold plated jewelry often contains nickel or other allergens in the base metal, which can cause skin reactions for some individuals.


Choosing the right type of gold jewelry to carry in your store comes down to more than just a trending style. Considering the qualities and target audience for each type, you can cater to different customer preferences and budgets. For customers seeking long-term investment pieces, solid gold jewelry would be an ideal choice. For those looking for affordability without compromising on appearance and durability, PVD-coated jewelry will be the best alternative.


Over the past 20 years of designing and creating jewelry for retailers, our selection of 18K Gold PVD coated stainless steel is by far the most extensive selection for a reason. Explore the lasting quality of PVD coated jewelry to start carrying in your store today!

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