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This is an Antique 10k Gold Filled Violets Etched Bangle
c1900s Edwardian Era
The bangle is in very good vintage condition. Push button clasp that opens and snaps shut securely. The bangle has a chased background “lined” and has then been highly decorated all around with mirror gold finish high relief sprays of violets. The rims have also been decoratively stamped. Minor age appropriate wear to the higher points and inner side. Mentioned for accuracy.
The bangle has been signed by the maker HFB on the inner safety bar. HFB (Henry Francis Barrows USA 1854-unknown).
The inner circumference of the bangle is 17.5cms or 7 inches. The band is 1.2cms across and it weighs 23.2gms.
To the naked eye and not reflected by the camera, the bangle has a distinct rosey hue rather than brassy yellow gold. The bangle is not marked for metal purity which was common for its age. It is guaranteed to be at least 10k gold filled.
What is Antique and Vintage Gold Filled Jewellery?
Vintage Gold fill is a layer of gold which has been pressure bonded to another metal. Vintage Gold filled jewellery should not be confused with gold plating. Vintage Gold filled jewellery is much more valuable and a great alternative to the more expensive solid gold. Unlike gold plated jewellery, vintage and antique gold filled jewellery does not flake, rub off or turn different colors. If you can wear solid gold jewellery you wear vintage gold filled without worries of an allergic reaction.
Vintage Gold filled jewellery is made from solid gold and filled with other alloys such as brass, bronze and sterling silver. Think of it like a sandwich with solid gold on the outside and a metal filling or core. Vintage Gold filled wears, looks and lasts like solid gold because its outer surface IS solid gold.
“Gold Filled” jewellery is a term that should only be used for items that were made in the USA and sometimes Canada. Unfortunately the term gold filled has now been hijacked and is being misused for cheap gold plate jewellery from Asia. Gold plate has no regulations and is a thin spray of gold over a metal base which will chip and wear and the base metal is usually a cheap nickel.
If you are unsure about a piece of jewellery ask the seller for the origin of the piece. Good Vintage and Antique jewellery sellers will know the origin and be happy to tell you.
Vintage and Antique gold filled items were regulated by the US government early last century and the gold content must be at least 1/20 of the weight of the item and at least 10K. Vintage Gold Fill does not wear off like gold plate. Vintage Gold filled jewellery offers even more than solid gold such as strength and durability. Solid gold is a very soft metal and tends to bend and dent where the inner metal core of vintage and antique gold filled jewellery helps to prevent this.
Please also be aware that Victorian gold filled pieces are generally unmarked for gold content and hallmarking in the USA did not generally happen until after 1907. Even then the jewellery maker could choose to mark the jewellery or the box that it came in so many pieces are not hallmarked with their gold content. Antique and Vintage gold filled jewellery is normally 10k, 12k, or 14k in gold content. English equivalent jewellery is Rolled Gold which is usually 9ct and sometimes 15ct and 18ct
I reiterate to beware of the newer cheap imitations being marketed as gold filled which are in fact imported from Asia with many being described as 18k. They are not vintage or antique or 18k. They are not gold filled. They are cheap gold plate imitations.
The term “gold filled” is being misused by unscrupulous sellers and hence denigrated and I hope this explanation assists prospective buyers to better understand the difference between genuine gold filled vintage and antique jewellery and modern inferior imitation jewellery.