Welcome to Bonded Info
BONDED describes jewelry that is composed of a sheet of Karat Gold, which is mechanically affixed on top of a Sterling Silver core. In this case silver may or may not be visible. The silver is covered with a permanent layer of 14K or 10K gold that is not removable. Bonded product can be very durable and long lasting. The gold thickness, in bonded product, is greater than gold plated product and the gold layer will not wear off as is possible with plated (only) gold product. All bonded product will have a stamping disclosing the fraction of karat gold and sterling silver. For example: 925 1/20 10K could be stamped on a bonded bangle. 925 means Sterling Silver, 1/20 (or 5%) is the minimum amount of karat gold.
The name “Bonded” is reserved specifically for the joining (affixing) of Karat Gold and Sterling Silver. The widely used methods of Bonding are 1) Cladding, a Karat gold layer affixed to a substratum of Sterling Silver; this includes Mechanical Bonding, where the two mutual surfaces are arranged in face to face relationship and compressed together, and 2) Brazing, when a third, filler metal is used, (Solder).
Gold electro-plating refers to a layer of Karat Gold, no matter the thickness of the plating, on another metal, sometimes sterling silver, and the resultant combination is not considered Bonded material.
The Care of Karat Gold Bonded Metals
The external surfaces are essentially Karat Gold, and usually everything that is seen or touched is true Karat Gold. Therefore, to care for Karat Gold Bonded Jewelry, use the similar processes, as with normal Karat Gold jewelry, utilizing gold jewelry cleaner and a soft polishing cloth.
Read more on Gold Care
Read more on Silver Care