Hollow Gold v Solid Gold – What’s the Difference?

Our Diamond Engravable Bar Pendant in 10k Gold and Small Foundation Fine Hoops in 10k Gold are Hollow Gold

Ever Googled solid gold jewellery, looking for your new forever-piece, and been shocked at the cost of the cute chain looking back at you? When it comes to gold jewellery, there are more choices than you likely realise. Understanding the difference between solid gold and hollow gold can be difficult, so can deciding which is right for you. Factoring in price, weight, durability, and the look you’re going for, we’ve broken down your need-to-know info for choosing a gold jewellery piece.

Our Diamond Bar Ring in 10k Gold, Rope Stacker Ring in 10k Gold and Diamond Open Stacker Ring in 10k Gold are Hollow Gold

What is solid gold jewellery?

Pay attention here, because solid gold jewellery means a couple of things. Firstly, solid gold refers to the metal itself. Gold jewellery is, more often than not, crafted from an alloy. This means that pure gold (24k) is blended with other metals. This is done for a few reasons; to improve the gold’s durability and help it hold its shape (pure gold is quite malleable), and also to create more affordable pieces (which are still real gold jewellery). To be classified as solid gold, the metal generally needs to be at least 10k purity.

So that’s the metal type. Then there’s the
construction of your jewellery piece.
If you’re looking at a piece with a solid construction, that means it has no empty space inside and is filled with gold all the way through.

Jewellery that’s solid gold in construction is about as durable as it gets. It’s an amazing option for those pieces you want to wear forever, and maybe even pass on as heirlooms one day. But let’s be honest, solid gold does come at a price (especially if you want a heavier piece such as a bold paperclip chain or chunky gold hoops) – and you might need to be the Queen, or Queen Bey, to afford it.

What is hollow gold jewellery & what is gold filled jewellery?

If solid gold jewellery were gnocchi, hollow gold jewellery would be penne.

Think of jewellery with a hollow construction as kind of like a tube. These pieces are carefully crafted from real gold alloys, to comprise some empty space inside the jewellery (for example, the area inside your hoop earring).

These styles are still real gold jewellery. However by their nature they will be more delicate than solid gold pieces, and should be treated with care (don’t sleep in your hollow gold hoops, or wear a heavy pendant on a fine hollow chain).

How to spot the difference when shopping

There are two major factors that will differentiate gold jewellery of solid and hollow constructions. These are price, and weight.

If you are looking at an amazing gold bangle or statement chain and the price is somewhere in the region of a luxury designer handbag (or maybe even a car) that likely means it is solid gold. Essentially, the more gold a piece contains, the more expensive it will be.

The other tell-tale sign is the weight. If you are shopping for a statement ring, some chunky hoop earrings, or a bold chain necklace, one that is crafted in solid gold should feel heavy in your hands. A hollow piece will feel lighter to the touch.

If you are trying to tell the difference between a piece of gold jewellery and a gold plated style, look at the hallmark on the piece. This is a little stamp, usually on the clasp of a necklace or the inside of a ring band. The hallmark will tell you what the predominant metal is in the piece. So if it’s gold it will indicate 10k (or 14k, etc.) and if it’s gold plated the hallmark will indicate the metal that makes up its core (such as 925 silver).

Why would I choose hollow gold jewellery?

Probably the most attractive thing about hollow gold jewellery is, of course, its price tag. If money were no object, we’d no doubt all opt for solid gold. But jewellery with a hollow construction still gives you the beauty and luxury of real gold jewellery, at a more accessible price.

The weight is also a factor to consider. While a heavyweight, solid pair of statement hoops or bold paperclip chain will feel wonderfully luxe in your hand, they might be less comfortable hanging from your lobes or around your neck all day. For these kinds of jewellery styles, there’s nothing wrong with opting for a hollow gold construction. You’ll still have the beauty and durability of a real gold alloy (which means the gold colour will never change, fade, or wear off). Just ensure you take your jewellery off at the end of the day and store it safely (we don’t generally recommend sleeping in your jewellery if you want to keep it looking its best).

For finer pieces, such as chain necklaces, solid gold is a great option if you can afford it. This will lend extra strength to delicate styles, so you can feel confident wearing them day by day. Solid gold chains are also the most reliable choice for holding your pendants.

Our Diamond Engravable Pendants are Hollow Gold

How to clean gold jewellery

For solid and hollow 10k gold jewellery, an easy way to clean your piece is to soa it in luke warm soapy water. Soak in dishwashing liquid and water for 15 minutes and then gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush (such as a toothbrush) to remove any dirt or oils. 

You can also purchase a commercial jewellery cleaner to give your favourite solid gold jewellery pieces some extra shine and sparkle. Make sure to dry thouroughly after cleaning!

How to care for solid and hollow 10k gold jewellery

Caring for solid and hollow 10k gold jewelry requires some TLC to ensure their longevity and to maintain their appearance. Our top tip is to remove solid 10k gold jewellery and hollow 10k gold jewellery before swimming or taking a shower. We also recommend avoiding exposure to chemicals such as perfumes or lotions!

Whether you’re set on owning the real deal in solid or hollow gold jewellery, the perfect piece of gold for you is all about choosing what you love and what suits your lifestyle.