Gold plated jewellery is a cost-effective alternative to pure gold jewellery. It provides you with the look and style of gold without the exorbitant price tag, and it’s perfect for the jewellery you don’t want to wear every day.
The thickness and purity of the gold coating, the base metal used for the piece, and the degree of craftsmanship all influence the quality of gold electroplating service. It’s nearly impossible to discern real gold from gold plated jewellery merely by looking at it once it’s been plated.
There are disadvantages to wearing gold plated jewellery, as with everything else. Common problems include tarnishing, fading, and replating.
What is gold plating?
A thin layer of gold is linked to base metal in the gold plating process. Gold and rhodium plating are two popular types of plating in the jewellery industry. Luigi Brugnatelli, an Italian chemist who was the first to plate a thin coat of gold onto silver, devised this procedure in 1805. Gold plating is widely used to make costume jewellery look more expensive or to imitate more expensive pieces. It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between premium gold jewellery and cheap gold plated imitations.
What’s the process for a gold electroplating service?
Gold electroplating service is a simple procedure that involves numerous phases. The jewellery must first be cleansed entirely and free of all contaminants. This is critical because dirt and oil on the base metal will prevent the gold layer from properly adhering. Cleaning the base metal with steam, ultrasonic cleaning, and electro cleaning are some of the ways that can be used to achieve the most refined results.
The base metal is then coated with a thin coating of high-quality nickel. This is to protect the gold coating from any base metal contamination. These metals tend to seep into the gold layer, as we’ll see later.
The nickel coating also protects the gold liquid in the plating containers from contamination by the base metal.
The jewellery is dipped in gold containers for the final layer, and the gold is fused to the base metal using a positive electrical charge. The jewellery is hung to dry once the gold plating thickness has been determined to be satisfactory.
What metals are included in the gold electroplating service?
Most metals, including nickel, brass, stainless steel, silver, and copper, can be gold plated. Gold plating is used on modern industrial metals like tungsten and titanium. Silver and copper are the most often utilised metals.
Is gold plated real gold?
Yes, the gold plating done in gold electroplating service is real gold, but due to the small amount of gold utilised, such jewellery does not have the same value as gold.
The gold used in gold electroplating service has the same purity as solid gold. 10K gold is usually the lowest purity, whereas 24K gold is the highest. When it comes to gold electroplating service, the fundamental distinction between various forms of gold is the colour it produces, not the value. The more gold-like the colour is, the higher the purity of the gold. However, regardless of purity standards, the value does not alter significantly due to how little gold is utilised.
How thick should gold plating be?
The thickness of gold plating can range from.17 to 2.5 microns.
Gold electroplated, or gold wash/flashed, refers to plating with a thickness of around.17. This is a very thin layer (approximately 0.05 per cent gold) that should only be used on jewellery that isn’t subjected to a lot of wear and tear, such as pendants and earrings. This layer of plating is quickly worn away.
The optimal gold electroplating service offers thickness between.5 and 1.0 microns. While this may appear to be a tiny layer, it is sufficient even for jewellery that is subjected to heavy usages, such as rings and bracelets.
Heavy gold plating is defined as plating that is thicker than 2.5 microns. However, even this amount of gold plating is still relatively thin in terms of value, and the main advantage of thicker plating is that it lasts longer.
Is gold plate jewellery worth anything?
Because most jewellery’s gold electroplating service is quite thin, recovering any of the gold can be challenging. For gold refineries, extracting gold from plated jewellery is often not worth the effort, and profit margins are inferior.
As I previously stated, gold-plated jewellery contains relatively little genuine gold. True, the higher the karat, the more genuine gold is included in the piece. However, this still amounts to a small sum of gold and adds nothing to the piece’s overall value. Gold plating done to a jewellery during a gold electroplating service has minimal to no resale value and should not be considered a financial investment. In terms of actual gold content, gold-filled is a far superior alternative.
Does gold plating fade and tarnish?
Over time, gold plating can fade and tarnish, losing its shine and brightness. This is a regular occurrence that can occur regardless of the piece’s quality. Many people, however, are perplexed as to why gold-plated jewellery tarnishes. After all, isn’t gold a non-corroding, non-rusting metal?
The issue is frequently not with the plating, but with the base metal, which is prone to corrosion and oxidation. The base metal molecules gradually migrate into the gold layer, changing its look. If the gold electroplating service is too thin, it will quickly discolour and begin to tarnish.
As previously stated, this leeching can be avoided by plating the jewellery with nickel beforehand, which prevents the base metals from altering the gold’s appearance. The gold is unlikely to tarnish or face if this is done during the plating process.
How long does gold plating last?
Gold electroplating service is intended to be permanent; however, like all types of plating, it does not hold up well under severe handling. Over time, gold electroplating service can wear away and flake off, revealing the underlying metal beneath. With time, it likewise loses its brilliance and fades. When properly cared for, the plating can last up to two years.
When dealing with tarnished items, the best course of action is to have them replated. The amount of time you need to do this is determined by the plating thickness, the piece’s quality, the colour of the base metal, and the amount of wear and tear it receives.
How do I look after and restore gold plated jewellery?
You can extend the life of gold-plated jewellery and keep it bright and beautiful by properly caring for it. Here are a few things you can do:
Gold-plated jewellery should be kept free from solvents, oils, and cosmetics. After applying makeup, hairspray, and perfumes, it’s a good idea to put on your plated jewellery last. Remove gold-plated jewellery when doing chores since the chemicals in soaps, detergents, and cleaners can damage the coating.
When handling gold plated jewellery, it’s a good idea to keep your hands clean, so wash them before putting on and taking off your jewellery.
Gold-plated jewellery should not be exposed to chlorinated or salty water. Before swimming in pools, hot tubs, or the sea, take off your jewellery.
Body oils and sweat can harm the work done by gold electroplating service. To avoid this, wipe the jewellery down or clean it regularly to remove the contaminants.
It is critical to clean your gold-plated jewellery regularly to extend its life. When doing this, use a light liquid soap or a professional jewellery cleaning solution like this one and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaning or strong chemicals. Brushing or rubbing plated jewellery can cause it to flake, revealing the metal beneath.
Avoid rubbing and friction with gold plated jewellery, as this will cause the piece to wear down quickly and flake off. When you add gold plated jewellery, and they rub against each other, this might happen. It’s recommended to wear the jewellery piece by itself.
How do I know if my jewellery is gold plated?
The gold should be plated, according to your jeweller. However, here are several methods for determining your own identity:
When it comes to gold plated jewellery, the price usually tells you everything you need to know. Gold plated jewellery is frequently inexpensive, with prices rarely exceeding $50.
Look for a signature. The following are the most regularly used stamps for gold plated jewellery:
GP – gold plated
GEP – gold electroplated
HGE – heavy gold electroplates
HGP – heavy gold plate
However, there is no requirement that gold-plated jewellery is stamped. Many of the items have no identifying tags at all.
Gold plated jewellery is frequently coated with 22Kor 24K gold, giving it a dazzling golden appearance. Because the purity standards of solid gold jewellery are often under 18K, the hue is usually significantly less golden.
You can infer your jewellery is plated if the colour tone is inconsistent or flaking off in the piece.
Because gold is a precious metal, it is not an inexpensive option for industrial use, hence industrial gold plating is costly. This is why Smart Microns provides a zero-waste gold plating process with the lowest gold-to-surface-area ratio possible.