9ct Gold V Gold Plated Jewellery

9ct Gold V Gold Plated Jewellery

Dear Lily, Should I choose 9ct Gold Jewellery, or Gold-plated Jewellery? What the Hell is the difference??

Of course, 9ct gold is better and if you take care of your jewellery it can last forever, however good quality gold plated Jewellery can look really great also. On top of that you can invest in several pieces of Plated Jewellery for the same price as one piece of 9ct gold Jewellery. So, it really depends on your budget and what exactly you expect from your Jewellery.

On Lilywho if you see the word "Gold" only, that generally means Gold in colour as in "gold plated". When you see the words "9ct Gold" or even "18ct Gold" in a description, that means the item is solid gold with no plating and it is more of a lifetime piece of Jewellery.

At Lilywho we are slowly making moves away from gold plating, and are expanding our 9ct gold collection all the time, however a lot of loyal Lilywho followers love our gold-plated pieces so we still sell both Gold-plated Jewellery and 9ct Gold Jewellery. Our Gold plated Jewellery is plated onto sterling silver, so basically it is the gold look, for a silver price. Lilywho pride ourselves on the quality of our plating. Despite most people’s thinking the quality of gold plating isn’t just all about the level of microns. It’s about the quality of the gold mix, and the quality of the gold plating process.

We are asked daily, If I buy Gold plated Jewellery, will the gold plating come off? We always answer very honestly. YES, the plating can and may come off eventually. That’s not to say you cannot enjoy a piece of Lilywho Gold plated Jewellery for many years! How long it lasts, will really depend on how you wear your Jewellery, how you handle and take care of it, and just as importantly, where you store it.

At Lilywho we guarantee all gold-plated Jewellery items for 6 months but that definitely doesn’t mean that the plating will start coming off a day later! At Lilywho HQ, almost all of the female staff wear Gold Jewellery all the time. Some of us invest in 9k Jewellery for pieces we want to last a life time. Others prefer to buy more pieces more regularly so gold-plated Jewellery suits us better. All the Lilywho girls have now worn our gold pated pieces for years, and they still continue to look great to this day. That’s simply because we know how to prolong the life of our Jewellery.

At Lilywho we have a 1.5% return rate only. As in, out of every 100 items we sell, less than 2 (only 1.5) come back with any issues. When we analyse those returns, 90% of them are gold plated items. We have a no quibbles repair or replacement policy once an item is still under warranty. Some returns are genuine quality issues, however “just a few” are questionable. The funny thing about almost every single Gold-plated return is the note that comes with them, either on email or on social media. The message generally says one of the following. “I bought these earrings a year ago and I only wore them once and now all the plating has come off…..” OR “This necklace is only 9 months old and I haven’t even taken it out of the box, and all the plating has started coming off”

Let us assure you now, that good quality gold plating doesn’t actually jump off items while you are asleep. It never has and never will. Our Dublin warehouse stores thousands of pieces of gold-plated Jewellery, some pieces for many months and even years and never once, have we ever seen a piece change colour in storage! Not once!

So the question is, how do I prolong the life of gold plated Jewellery?

If you are not wearing your gold-plated items, store them in a dry clean place, clearly separated from all other Jewellery in a soft pouch, jewellery box or a Polly bag etc. This way your Jewellery won’t be lying anywhere on top of, under, or alongside other items, as that will lead to bad scratching on all your jewellery pieces.

Never ever allow perfume, deodorants, hair sprays, cleaning liquids, chlorine or any chemicals whatsoever go anywhere near your plated Jewellery.

If all the plating on your gold plated jewellery has suddenly changed colour, disappeared or turned black etc etc you have actually done something wrong. Not on purpose of course, but this doesn’t happen for nothing. Take our word for it, proper care & storage of your jewellery is vital. 

Now please bear in mind some of our gold plated Jewellery costs no more than a nice bunch of flowers, in fact some of our gold plated ear cuffs cost not much more than a scented candle, so gold plated items are not for handing down to your future grandchildren. But if taken care of, you WILL have your Gold plated Jewellery looking great for many years.

Now let’s discuss 9ct Gold (Or 9k Gold) depending of what part of the world you are in. Items from our Lilywho 9ct Gold Jewellery collection will last forever, if taken care of. No matter what happens, it can always be polished to look brand new. So 9ct gold Jewellery is definitely something you can keep forever.

Yes of course a delicate chain can break if pulled, however it can generally be soldered and polished to look like new again.

What are the disadvantages of 9ct Gold? Very few really, apart from the fact that 9k Gold is a lot more expensive, than the Gold-plated equivalent.

We often hear the question, Is 9ct gold real gold? Yes of course it is. It’s the most affordable variety of gold but also the hardest wearing. Why is this, I hear you ask? As 24ct gold is pure gold, but generally too soft to make jewellery, 9ct gold is a great alternative. It is made from 9 parts pure gold and 13 parts of other metals (Its 37.5% pure gold and 62.5% other metals) and those other metals in the mix give it the durability. 9ct yellow gold is the standard approved Gold for UK and Ireland and is hallmarked 375.

So, to sum it all up. 9ct gold is very durable and if it fits your budget, is a much better investment than gold plated Jewellery. It does not tarnish and will retain its colour forever. Special care and polishing may be required to give it the perfect shine after a long period of wearing it.


Love Lily x