Is it worth it to buy gold filled or gold plated jewelry?

Is it worth it to buy gold filled or gold plated jewelry? In short, you'd have to ask yourself a few quick questions that might sound a bit wild, but stick with me and I'll explain. Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to support throw-away culture?
  • Do I mind wearing something possibly toxic and/or toxically made?
  • Do I care if I can only wear this a few times before it's trash?
  • Do I care if this is a mass produced piece?
  • Is this piece of jewelry just about how I look, or do I want something that makes me feel valuable and well cared for?

Ok. So these questions sound SUPER BIASED, but I have seen a lot over the past few decades in the jewelry industry and I have seen some stuff... behind the scenes, in the heat of it (yep-lots of people that bought gold plated jewelry and were a little bit heart broken when it turned to trash right in their hands like some kind of curse), broken promises about their gold filled jewelry being able to last forever (and then of course didn't)... the list goes on.

Hello, my name is Abby and I am the maker and artist behind Mettle by Abby, a fine, one of a kind, handmade only by me line of jewelry featuring silver and 14k gold jewelry and genuine gemstones. I wanted to talk to you about why real jewelry is better than plated or gold-filled jewelry.

First of all, let's talk about the toxicity of plated and gold-filled jewelry. Plated jewelry is made by coating a base metal with a thin layer of gold, while gold-filled jewelry has a thicker layer of gold that is bonded to a base metal. The problem with these types of jewelry is that the base metal can contain toxic elements like nickel or lead, which can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even serious health problems. In addition, the process of making plated and gold-filled jewelry often involves the use of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and the people who work with them. These workers are often underpaid and work in poor conditions, which is not something I want to support as a maker and artist.

Secondly, plated and gold-filled jewelry is trash. This type of jewelry is considered fast fashion, meaning it is produced quickly and cheaply to meet current trends. Fast fashion is bad for the planet because it encourages a culture of disposability and waste. Gold-filled and plated jewelry will wear down quickly and need to be replaced, adding to the amount of waste we produce as a society. As someone who cares about the environment, I cannot in good conscience support this type of jewelry.

Real jewelry is simply better. Genuine gemstones and high-quality metals like silver and 14k gold are not only beautiful, but they also hold their value over time (actually these metals are rising in value.) Real jewelry can be passed down from generation to generation and become family heirlooms. Real jewelry is an investment in quality and craftsmanship that will last a lifetime.

As a maker and artist, I am committed to creating fine, one of a kind, handmade only by me jewelry that is both beautiful and ethical. I believe in using only high-quality materials like genuine gemstones and silver and 14k gold, and I refuse to support the toxic and wasteful practices that are associated with plated and gold-filled jewelry. I hope that you will join me in this commitment to quality, sustainability, and ethics in the world of jewelry.

There's something special about wearing real jewelry that goes beyond just its physical beauty. When you wear a piece of real jewelry, whether it's a simple silver ring or a stunning gemstone necklace, it has a weight and a presence that plated or gold-filled jewelry simply cannot match. It's the difference between holding a plastic cup and a crystal goblet – one feels cheap and disposable, while the other feels luxurious and substantial.

This weight and presence can have a real impact on how we feel about ourselves. When we wear real jewelry, we feel more valued and important. We know that we're wearing something that was crafted with care and skill, and that has a real value beyond just its price tag. This can make us feel more confident, more put-together, and more deserving of respect and attention.

Overall, wearing real jewelry can be a way of valuing ourselves and our worth, both in terms of the material value of the jewelry itself and the emotional value it holds for us. It's a way of treating ourselves with care and respect, and of reminding ourselves that we deserve to feel beautiful and valuable.

I've spent many years of my life buying whatever was cheap, fast and easy. When I started seeking out handmade, high-quality products from small businesses, it was like a switch had been flipped. Suddenly, I felt more connected to the things I was buying and using, and more aware of the impact of my choices on the world around me.

I think a big part of this was the fact that these products felt special and unique. They weren't mass-produced, cookie-cutter items that everyone had. They had a soul and a story behind them, and I could feel that when I used them.

There was also a sense of pride and ownership that came with buying handmade products. When you support a small business, you're supporting a person or a family who has poured their heart and soul into their work. You're not just buying a product, you're investing in a relationship with the person who made it. That sense of connection and community is incredibly powerful.

And perhaps most importantly, there was a sense of value that came with investing in handmade, high-quality products. When you're used to buying cheap, disposable items, it's easy to fall into a mindset where you don't value your possessions very highly. But when you invest in something that's made with care and attention to detail, you start to see the value in the things you own. You start to take better care of them, to use them more intentionally, and to feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in your ownership of them.

All of these feelings combined to create a sense of happiness and fulfillment that I hadn't experienced before. By supporting small businesses and investing in handmade, high-quality products, I was creating a life that felt more intentional, more connected, and more meaningful. And that's something that money can't buy.

When you have beautiful, valuable things in your life, it's hard not to feel a sense of pride and confidence. You start to see yourself as someone who is deserving of beautiful things, and you begin to take better care of yourself as a result.

treating myself like a precious object will make me stronger

I've found that investing in handmade, high-quality jewelry, for example, has made me feel more put-together and confident in my appearance. When I wear a beautiful piece of jewelry, I feel like I'm making a statement about who I am and what I value. And that sense of pride and confidence carries over into other areas of my life, too.

It's not just about the material value of these items, either. It's about the care and attention that goes into making them. When you invest in something that's handmade, you're investing in a piece of someone's heart and soul. You're valuing their work and their creativity, and that creates a sense of connection and community that can be incredibly powerful.

All of these factors combine to create a sense of self-worth and confidence that I hadn't experienced before. By surrounding myself with beautiful, valuable things that are made with care and attention to detail, I've been able to see myself in a new light. I feel more confident, more put-together, and more deserving of the good things in life. And that's something that I think everyone deserves to experience.

Back to blog

Shop the newest Mettle earrings

1 of 13