Leah Yard Designs Blog

  • Gold Fill vs Gold Plate: What you need to know before investing

    I have said it before:
    "Jewellery is an investment; and I don't just mean a financial one."
    Unlike other accessories, our favourite pieces of jewellery tend to become more valuable to us over time. These treasures are often sentimental, reminding us of a  particular time, or celebration in life.
    Choosing durable metals can ensure you enjoy your jewels for years.


    WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOLD FILLED AND GOLD PLATED?

    The technical description:
    Gold Fill is a thick layer of gold bonded to a brass core. Gold Fill uses a weight-based requirement of 5% solid gold of the item's total weight.
    What does this really mean?
    Due to the bonding method of pressure and heat, this amazing metal can withstand hammering, texturizing, and forming. We consider this metal to be the best alternative to solid gold; due to its price and durability.
    The difference is this:
    Gold Plate is a thin layer of gold that is plated over a base metal. It is often a more cost effective choice, as it does not require the same amount of gold as Gold Filled items. Plating varies in quality and thickness and isn't always ideal for some designs as it tends to wear off in high-friction areas. 

    HOW DO I CHOOSE WHICH METAL IS BEST FOR ME?

    Consider the amount of friction your piece of jewellery will undergo. Ring bands, the underside of bangles, and the backs of necklace chains get the most wear as they are constantly rubbing against the skin.
    When possible, choose Gold Fill for these styles.
    Plated jewellery is ideal for pieces that you don't plan on wearing everyday, or that aren't sitting directly on the skin. Styles such as cocktail rings or statement earrings are great choices in Gold Plate as they don't get as much wear and they will be a more cost effective choice.  
    (If you are allergic to base metals, a high quality plating such as Vermeil; gold plated over Sterling Silver, is a great alternative to solid gold.)

    DOES GOLD FILL AND GOLD PLATE TARNISH?

    Both metals will naturally darken over time, but here's the good news:
    Gold Fill can be easily re-polished with a polishing cloth or a mild soap and soft toothbrush.  Gold Plate may be gently cleaned as well, but with regular polishing the base metal will wear through.
    Both of these metals should be carefully cared for and stored properly when not being worn to extend their lifetime. You can read our full care instructions here.
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    Keeping this knowledge in mind when purchasing your jewellery will help you choose your pieces with the right expectations.
    PRO TIP: You can mix and match! If you have a plated pendant that you love but the necklace chain has worn through, add it to a Gold Filled chain to get more life out of your loved piece.
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    Want more jewellery tips?
    Get our free Style Guide, a complete guide covering top 3 style elements:
    COLOUR COMBINING / ADDING TEXTURE / NECKLACE LAYERING
    Learn to style your jewellery like a pro!
  • Finding the right FIT - (Our Top 3 Jewellery Measuring Tips)

    Just like clothing, jewellery needs to be the right fit.  

    We've come up with 3 tips to finding your jewellery sizes-- including the best tool that will help you achieve the right fit every time!

    TIP # 1: FEEL
    The first step is to know how you like your jewellery to feel when you wear it. Jewellery is personal-- it has movement, weight, and even noise.

    Do you like a lot of drape on your wrist, or do you prefer your bracelets to be snug?  

    Do you like the sound of charms, or the weight of pendants?

    Ask yourself questions that help you understand what you love about wearing jewellery. If you love big earrings, but you don't like the feeling of weight on your ears, then you won't get the most wear out of heavy statement earrings.  Choosing a large hoop earring that is thin, will give you the boldness, without the weight.
    (Try our Valour Hoops, they are both sassy AND light-weight!)

    TIP # 2: STYLE
    We covered this topic in the layering section of our Jewellery Style Guide (which you can find here). It is so important to consider your style preferences; from your hair routine to what's in your wardrobe, when building your personal jewellery collection.  If you wear a lot of bold prints, choose pieces that will compliment the statement your clothing makes.

    Example: try a monochromatic palate with lots of texture-- a stack of gold bangles with hammered texture achieves an effortless look that won't compete with loud colours. 

    Remember: your clothing is the canvas and your jewellery is the detail that tell the story and adds depth.  

    Love hoop earrings but you've always got your hands in your hair?

    Opt for hoops that have a secure backing that won't slip out when you're hair tossing!
    Thinking practically about your style when choosing your jewellery will help you build a collection that you love to wear.  It's all about getting the most out of your jewellery and feeling comfortable and confident.

    TIP #3: LENGTH
    This is the most obvious tip, but it can be the toughest!  Choosing the right length of your jewellery is essential. There are so many diagrams you can find that show where necklaces will sit on the body from 14" - 42", but the problem with these diagrams is that every body is different, and unless you share the exact proportions that the diagram was based on, you will get an entirely different fit. Overall height, neck width, and even breast size can change how your necklace fits.

    This is where my favourite tool comes in:

    A soft measuring tape!

    While facing a mirror, simply hold the tape around your neck and line up the measurements so you can read the numbers on the front. You can see where your necklace will sit based on your body.
    This tool can be used for bracelets as well. Simply wrap the tape around your wrist and see what length feels the best. Try moving it up and down to get a sense of how your bracelet would move.

    BONUS TIP: When possible, buy jewellery with versatility features like extenders or adjustable ring bands; this will allow you to wear one piece of jewellery multiple ways, and make layering much easier!


    Jewellery should be something you keep for years and love the entire time.  I hope by utilizing these tips you can wear your jewellery with confidence!
    Want more jewellery tips?  Get our free Jewellery Style Guide which covers colour combining, necklace layering, and adding textured jewellery to your repertoire!


    Happy Styling! - Leah xo