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Gold filled vs. the real deal

Everyone knows what gold is (expensive!) and many know what gold plated is (rubs off!), but gold filled? Until I entered the jewelry making world, I had never heard of it.  According to Wikipedia, “Gold-filled jewelry is composed of a solid layer of gold, which must constitute at least 5% of the item's total weight, mechanically bonded to sterling silver or a base metal. … Gold-filled items are 50 to 100,000 times thicker than regular gold plating.” According to the article, “Gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last 5 to 30 years”.  You know what the greatest thing about gold filled jewelry is?  It looks the same as gold jewelry, but costs a fraction of the price.  So here’s the...

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