I know that gilded means
covered or highlighted with gold or something of a golden color
So it can be associated both with gold as a chemical element or just the colour.
Some situations might give away which of these interpretations is the correct one (e.g. a gilded car is hardly covered in gold), but what about ambiguous ones (e.g. gilded earrings)?
When you read gilded in a sentence without further specifications, do you think about an item covered in real gold or just painted in such colour?
I'm looking for a "standard" interpretation (if there is one) on the matter, but also personal opinions, if properly supported, are accepted.