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Currency - All prices are in AUD

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GOLD FILLED

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ROUND

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MISCELLANEOUS

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CORRUGATED

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HEISHI

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GF heishi beads, 5/32", 15.5 feet per ounce,
1200 pieces per ounce

TUBE

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RONDELLE

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Gold-Filled vs. Gold-Plated vs. Vermeil
Gold-plate is created using an electro-chemical processes, as is vermeil.  Gold-filled, or gold-overlay, is created by heat-and-pressure-bonding a thin layer of gold to a brass core.

Gold-plate places a thin molecule of gold, or most often, something that really isn't  karat-gold and which leaves a gold color, on copper or brass or some base metal.  A second chemical is used as a finishing to give the color a "brightness". The gold color and brightness wears off  pretty quickly when interacting with the wearer's skin salts or the pollutants in the air. On an average person in an average environment, the brightness finish fades in about 3-6 months, and the color fades in 6 months to a year. If the environment is very humid or very polluted, this can happy much more quickly. Some people have either ammonias or sulphides in their sweat. These chemicals dissolve one or both of the chemicals in the plating and/or finishing. 

Gold-filled places a layer of real gold over copper or brass or other metal.  It wears off very slowly.  For example, on a gold-filled ring, the gold-fill might wear off the inside of the ring shank after 3 years of constant wear, but remain on the outside of the ring for many, many years after that.

Vermeil: When real karat Gold-Plating is over sterling silver, the finish is called vermeil or vermeille.  Because the gold does not adhere fully to the silver, the silver continues to tarnish under the gold.   Any vermeil piece wil darken with age. Since vermeil is electro-plated, not fused like gold-filled, the plating will eventually wear off. This usually happens in a year or two. It takes longer to wear off than costume gold-plate because the plating on vermeil is considerably thicker than that on costume jewelry.  

When a jewelry designer or a company is manufacturing gold-filled jewelry, it is their choice as to how thick a layer of gold to place over the base metal material.  Thus, you can have two gold-filled pieces, and you may have the gold layer wear off more quickly on one piece than the other.  It is difficult, unfortunately, to be able to tell whether the purchase price of any piece reflects its true value.  

Sometimes, you will see a notation next to the Gold-Filled label indicating the relationship between the weight of karat-gold and the weight of the brass core material.  For example, if you see the notion "14/20 Gold-Filled," this means that the piece is 1/20th 14 karat gold.  The 1/20 notation refers to the ratio of the 14 karat gold layer to the brass layer by weight, which is 5%.   What is important here to the jewelry designer is less the content of gold, but rather more the color of the gold-filled piece.  14/20 gf will be more golden, darker, mellow.   12/20 gf will be brighter, brassier, yellower.

In any case, gold-filled is a much more durable product than gold-plate or vermeil.  Gold-filled jewelry is economical, and enjoys the rich look of gold at a fraction of the cost.