14K Solid Gold vs Hollow Gold Jewelry: How to Tell a Difference

Jewelry might be created for aesthetics, but the right jewelry can be a valuable asset too. Of course, that’s only true if you have an accurate idea of the value of your pieces.

Take gold for example. There’s solid gold, hollow gold, plated gold, and gold-filled jewelry, and unless you’re a knowledgeable jeweler, it’s visually difficult to tell the difference. Fortunately, though, there are tricks you can use to make an educated guess. Let’s take a closer look at two common types of gold jewelry: 14K solid gold and hollow gold.

Solid Gold vs Hollow Gold Jewelry

Solid gold is exactly what its name implies: jewelry that is made of solid gold. Keep in mind that gold alloys like 14K gold still fit the bill for solid gold as long as the jewelry is solid with no hollow space or other metals inside.

Hollow gold is still made of exclusively gold without other metals, but it’s more of a gold “shell” with hollow space inside. This is done to make the jewelry more affordable because it takes less gold to create the finished piece.

Knowing whether you have solid gold or hollow gold jewelry is important for multiple reasons. While the general care is the same because they’re both made of gold, hollow gold is more prone to damage so it needs to be treated more gently. Solid gold jewelry will be more valuable than hollow gold too, so knowing the difference will help you have a better understanding of your assets.

The Advantages of Solid Gold Over Hollow Gold

Hollow gold may be less expensive to buy initially, but that is where its advantages end. In the long run, there are several advantages that solid gold offers.

Long-Term Value

Gold jewelry isn’t just a fashion accessory; it’s an investment. Authentic gold jewelry maintains a large amount of its value or may even increase in volume when gold prices increase. Because solid gold jewelry is more premium and has more gold within it, it will hold its value better.

Strength

Gold is already a rather soft metal, so it needs to be well-protected. Hollow gold is especially fragile because of its open space inside, making it easy for the gold edges to bend or break. Solid gold pieces are far more durable, allowing you to more easily keep your jewelry looking brand new.

How to Tell Solid Gold from Hollow Gold Jewelry

It may be difficult to tell solid gold from hollow gold at a glance, but you can use these strategies to assess your gold.

Weighing Your Jewelry

Because hollow gold has empty space inside, it’s lighter than a similar piece of solid gold. You may be able to tell that it’s hollow simply by picking it up and feeling how light it is.

For a more concrete measurement, try using a precise scale to check the weight of your jewelry. Then, find a piece of jewelry that you know for certain is either solid gold or hollow gold, and that is around the same size as the piece in question. Compare the weights to see if they’re similar or if one weighs significantly more.

Finding Documentation

Depending on where and when your jewelry was purchased, you may be able to find documentation about the piece. Look for your receipt or authentication documents to see what information it may include.

Learning About Your Jewelry

14K gold jewelry pieces are coveted valuables, but not all of them have as much value as others. Understanding the difference between solid gold and hollow gold jewelry is a helpful step toward truly knowing your jewelry collection and the value it holds. In the meantime, to add to your collection, shop our gold jewelry selection today.