Everything You Need to Know About Gold-Plated Jewelry

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WHAT IS GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY?

Gold-plated jewelry is the best choice for people who are jewelry obsessed but want to stay on a budget (basically everyone).

Gold-plated jewelry is made by using electricity or chemicals to deposit and bond a thin layer of gold over another metal. This process creates a layer as thin as 1/1000 to 3/1000 of an inch of gold over a more affordable metal, usually silver or copper.

 

IS PLATED GOLD REAL?

The short answer is yes. Plated gold is the real thing, but not as valuable as pure gold.

Gold plating is a microscopic layer of real gold applied to the surface of a lower-priced, base metal. How thin the gold layer is determines if pieces are "gold-plated" or "gold toned." Gold plated items have a thicker, more durable gold coating. Whereas, gold-toned items have a thinner gold overlay that is less long-term. Some jewelry manufacturers use a base of copper or brass for plating with higher-karat golds such as 14K and 18K to add strength and durability to the finished piece.

 

CAN GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY GET WET?

Knowing whether or not your plated jewelry can take a dip in the pool is important. How else will you know if it's suitable for daily wear?

The truth is, most gold-plated jewelry pieces can survive a quick splash of water, but beware because gold-plated jewelry is not completely water-resistant. The gold plating on jewelry can wear off if you shower with it or immerse it in water for lengthy periods of time. Before taking a shower, bathing, or washing dishes, it is best to remove all of your metal jewelry.

 

IS GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY HYPOALLERGENIC?

The gold-plated layer on jewelry is hypoallergenic in and of itself, but other metals in the jewelry piece can still trigger allergic reactions. When the outer, gold-plated layer starts to peel, the core metal underneath comes into contact with bare skin. Base metals like copper, zinc, and silver can induce allergic reactions.

Before buying gold-plated jewelry, make sure to inquire about the core metals used in order to prevent negative reactions.

 

HOW LONG DOES GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY LAST?

Typically, gold-plated items lasts 1-2 years. However, you should keep the jewelry once that time has passed. What causes gold-plated items to fade, and how is it restored? Take a look at this:

 

DOES GOLD PLATING FADE AND TARNISH?

The tarnishing of gold-plating jewelry surprises many people because pure gold does not react with the environment. Gold does not rust or corrode, regardless of its quality. So, what's the issue?

The issue, as it turns out, is with the other materials used in the gold-plated pieces. The molecules of the core metal gradually migrate to the exterior layer, contaminating it. When the molecules come into contact with outside elements, they cause oxidation or corrosion. Moreover, the thinner the plating is, the faster it will tarnish. However, by covering the base metal with a nickel layer, the leeching of molecules slows. Hence, shielding the gold coating from internal contamination.

 

MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR GOLD PLATED JEWELRY

Any sort of jewelry necessitates regular cleaning and upkeep. If you follow a few easy guidelines, the gold finish on your jewelry will last for more than two years:

  1. Jewelry that is cleaned regularly not only lasts longer but also retains its shine. On the market, there are numerous professional-grade jewelry cleaning products. Mild liquid soap and warm water can also be used as a DIY cleaning solution at home.
  2. On gold-plated jewelry, never use a harsh cleaning solution. Likewise, use a brush with soft bristles; else, the gold layer may flake off.
  3. Cleaning alone is insufficient. Before contacting or handling jewelry pieces, make sure your hands are always clean. Gold-plated jewelry should not come into contact with any oil or chemical residue. You should not touch jewelry pieces without washing your hands after applying makeup, lotion, etc. A negative chemical reaction could be triggered by makeup or lotion residue.
  4. If your skin is greasy or you sweat excessively, this is bad news. Our body's oils and sweat contain salt and substances that can tarnish jewelry. If it's a really hot day, don't forget to gently wipe all jewelry with a soft cotton cloth a few times.
  5. Salt and chlorine are harmful to gold plating. So, before going to the beach or going swimming in the pool, remove all jewelry.

 

CAN GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY BE REPLATED?

If the gold finish fades after a few years, replating the piece is the most realistic solution. The frequency of replating depends on the following factors:

●     Gold Plated Jewelry Quality

●     Thickness of the Gold-Plated Layer

●     The Type and Color of the Base Metal

●     Exposure to the Outer Elements

 

CAN GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY BE ENGRAVED?

The answer is yes...

Gold-plated jewelry is engravable with a laser or by hand stamping the metal. However, after the stamping process is complete, the outer layer will need a quick gold replating to ensure cohesive color throughout the piece.

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY?

There are three main benefits to buying gold-plated jewelry. First, gold-plated jewelry looks like real gold. Secondly, the pieces are strong and durable. Last but not least, a wearer can diversify their jewelry collection easily without spending too much.

 

CAN GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY BE CLEANED?

Yes, it can. Follow the simple guidelines below to clean gold-plated jewelry.

 

Supplies:

  • All-Natural Dishwashing Liquid
  • Warm Water

 

Tools:

  • Small Bowl
  • Soft, Cotton Cloth or Lint-Free Cloth
  • Cotton Ball
  • Cotton Swab

 

EVERYDAY CARE:

You should clean your gold-plated jewelry after every wearing. Gold contains metal filings that can oxidize and rapidly dull the finish of your pieces. It is best to avoid contact with water, chemicals (even soap), cosmetics, hairspray or perfume. Using a soft, clean cloth, gently wipe your jewelry clean and then immediately buff with another soft cloth.

 

If your gold-plated pieces need some extra attention, you can also use a professional jewelry cloth (lined with red rouge) made specifically for gold-plated items to bring back their original shine. Also, make sure to store them properly in an airtight container or soft fabric pouch after every buffing session.

 

CLEANING GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY

Step 1: Mix a Cleaning Solution:  

Clean your gold-plated trinkets with an all-natural dishwashing liquid and warm water solution. If your pieces feel sticky or have visible dirt on it, then mix two to three drops of dishwashing liquid with one cup of lukewarm water in a small bowl.

Step 2: Soak Your Jewelry:

If your jewelry does not contain any embellishments such as pearls, jewels or enamel, you can soak them in the cleaning solution for 10 minutes. Only clean one or two jewelry pieces at a time to avoid the pieces scratching against each other and causing damage.

Step 3: Tackle Dirt

If you have jewelry that is intricately carved, use a cotton swab to remove dirt from small, hard to reach crevices. However, never use sharp tools to remove debris, such as a knife or sharp pick, as this could harm and chip the beautiful gold plating.

Step 4: Rinse, Dry and Buff

Rinse your gold-plated trinkets with warm water once they are properly cleaned. Then, to restore their luster, gently massage them with a clean, lint-free cloth. Allow to air dry.