Gold is one of the most expensive metals and one of the most sought after for jewelry. In order to make affordable gold bracelets and necklaces, jewelers use a variety of techniques to cover cheaper metals with a gold surface.
24 Karat Gold
The purity of gold is measured in terms of karats, with 24 karat gold being completely pure or 99.9 percent pure gold. Every karat below 24 indicates that 1/24 of the gold item is made up of a different metal.
Gold Clad Bronze
Cladding is an advanced form of metalwork in which two metals are fused together, gold and bronze in this case. Advance forms of cladding use lasers to heat and bond one metal to another. The bonding is very strong, but the gold layer is still only a small portion of the actual item of jewelry.
Gold Plated Bronze
Plating is a more common technique for jewelry. Plated jewelry has a thin layer of gold applied to the surface of another metal. Unlike cladding, the two metals are not tightly bonded, and the thin layer of gold can easily be scratched off. Electroplating involves placing the bronze in a solution containing gold and applying a current.