What is gold filled wire?

Written by toni rakestraw
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What is gold filled wire?
Wire-wrapped jewellery often includes gold-filled wire. (quartz set image by Lucy Cherniak from Fotolia.com)

Gold-filled wire is often used by hobbyists making wire-wrapped jewellery. It lets them use real gold in their pieces without the cost being as great as when using other forms of gold. Gold-filled wire is easy to work with and looks great. Also known as rolled-gold wire, it is more durable than gold-plated wire.

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History

Gold-filled jewellery became popular in the early 20th century and increased in use throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

Contents

Gold-filled wire is made by bonding a layer of 10-karat, 12-karat or 14-karat gold to a base of jeweller's brass. The wire is then drawn to the desired thickness.

Quality Assurance

Gold-filled wire includes considerably more gold than gold plate. Gold-filled products must be a minimum of 1/20th, by weight, of the total piece. It is labelled as 10/20, 12/20 or 14/20, according to the carat used.

Uses

Gold-filled wire can be used to wrap crystals, cabochons and other stones. It also can be fashioned in beautiful name jewellery.

Longevity

Many pieces of gold-filled wire jewellery from the early 20th century are still beautiful today. Gold-filled wire requires no special care to retain its beauty, other than the occasional dip into some jewellery cleaning solution.

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