This article is found on the Wire-Sculpture website:
14kt Gold Filled Wire
Gold-filled wire, sometimes called rolled gold, is a wonderful choice for wire jewelry makers. It is appropriate for all types of jewelry. For most people, it will last their entire lifetime without showing signs of wear. It is made by forming a tube of gold and filling the tube with a base metal, usually jeweler's brass. The gold content is 5% or 1/20 of the total wire. Gold-filled wire for jewelry offers an affordable, durable choice at a fraction of the cost of solid karat gold. It is generally available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and tempers in white, yellow (traditional) and rose gold colors.
A Few Facts About 14Kt Rolled Gold Wire (Gold-Filled Wire)
- 14/20 Rolled Gold wire creates high fashion jewelry at a fraction of the cost of solid gold and sells extremely well because of the fascination with gold.
- There is 100 times more gold in 14 kt. Rolled Gold (gold filled) than in gold plate.
- A 14/20 Rolled Gold pendant is usually considered a lifetime piece of jewelry.
- 14/20 Rolled Gold is usually used for pendants, pins, collars, bracelets, and small rings.
- Gold filled wire is available in 10k, 12k, and 14k, being the best quality and most durable. In the symbol 14/20, the 14 stands for the karat of gold used, and the 20 means 1/20.
- Basically, gold-filled wire is a good metal for a good price. It should always be represented properly and never misrepresented to your customer as solid gold. I collect old wire jewelry pieces and have several with actual dates on them. I show my customer these items to illustrate that gold-filled jewelry can stand the test of time.
Care of 14kt. Rolled Gold Jewelry
Your customer will usually ask, "How do I take care of it?"
It's easy. Just care for it as you would any other jewelry. It is quite durable. A simple inexpensive way to clean rolled gold jewelry (gold fill) is to soak it for a minute or two in a mild solution of ammonia and water or a commercial liquid jewelry cleaner. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly with water afterwards and let dry.
Because of the nature of wire sculpture, give your customer a cotton filled box for storing separately from their other jewelry. This will cut down on tarnish and keep it from being scratched by other jewelry. Plus it reduces the chance of a wire being pulled by being connected to another piece of jewelry. Remember this is NOT gold plate and in many cases is handed down from generation to generation. It is not unusual to find an old gold filled pendant that is nearly 75 years old!