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  1. #1
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member mausketeer's Avatar
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    Default Vintage Rolled Gold, Gold Filled and Metal Core Bangles

    As I can't find more than a simple answer on the internet, thought I'd ask you guys! In vintage and antique jewelry, is "metal core" in bangle bracelets the same process as "rolled gold" and "gold filled" except it has a thicker layer of gold? I have seen "gold filled" labelled as 1/20, whereas "metal core" always seems to be 1/5 (I assume this is gold content by weight?).

    Thanks for any info! (also suggestions on recourses for these questions is greatly appreciated.......)

    Jodie
    "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
    - Lucy Maude Montgomery -

  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    What I'm seeing on eBay is 1/5 but it's 9 K gold (which can no longer be sold as gold in the USA-- 10K is the minimum now.)

    I would think the core would be base metal, same as for gold filled peices.

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member kiwipaul's Avatar
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    Metal Core was a cheaper alternative to solid gold used in the early C20th for things like bracelets and lockets.

    A layer of gold was machine bonded onto a base metal, to provide cheaper manufacture with additional strength to stop the piece denting or bending in regular use.

    1/5 = 20% gold content, made up of 1gm of gold laid over 4gm of metal core.
    So if the gold is 9ct (0.375 pure gold content or 37.5% pure gold content) then 1/5 is only 7.5% pure gold content.

    Unfortunately the gold content (and metal value) is quite low, however these pieces often have properties difficult to achieve with solid gold.
    An example is snake bracelets where the core is spring steel and the gold clad bracelet holds its shape to wrap around the arm.

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member mausketeer's Avatar
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    Thanks Dreams and Paul! Very helpful! I'm eyeing a lovely cut out repousse bangle, just wondering how to decide how much to pay. I'll treat it as costume then.....

    Jodie

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