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This is an antique 12k gold filled Round Double Heart Expansion Bracelet
also known as a Sweetheart Bracelet.
The bracelet is signed on the inside DF Briggs USA and Carmen (DF Briggs found in 1882 and became Briggs, Bates and Bacon in 1922-1950s) (Carmen was D F Briggs’ daughter)
The bracelets were not marked for metal purity but the item is guaranteed at least 10k but more likely 12k which is the normal gold filled metal purity used.
The bracelet has a round cartouche with two hearts where you can have your initials or your initials and your partners engraved. The surrounds have been etched with little violet flowers and there is carved violet on the bottom left side. Each second link is stamp with a button and wave effect.
The bracelet is 1.2cms wide and the round cartouche is 2cms by 2cms. The bracelet stretches over the hand and snaps back into place on the wrist. It will fit a small wrist from 5 to 7 inches or 13 to 18cms or a little bit more.
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.