gold pla·ted | ˈgōld ˈplā-ted
A term for a piece made up of a base metal, bonded with a thin layer of gold (less than 1/20th of the total weight of the piece)
A gold-plated piece of jewelry has a thin layer of gold alloy applied to the surface of a different base metal, typically less than 5% of the total weight of that piece. Gold plating is one of several processes for applying gold to the outer layer of a piece of jewelry, including gold-filled and gold-washed. With moderate to heavy use, all of these processes will need to be reapplied in the future as the piece loses its coating. Because gold plating is much thinner than gold-fill, it can wear off faster, is less resilient to water and heat, and is less frequently used for high-use pieces. Vermeil is a specific type of gold-plating that is a minimum of 2.5 microns thick and always applied over sterling silver.