FAQ:MICRO-PLATED JEWELRY VS. ELECTROPLATED JEWELRY
Here's a quick rundown:
WHAT IS MICRO-PLATED JEWELRY?
Gold micron plating is the process of applying a fine layer of micron-sized gold particles to a base metal using an electrochemical process. The term means "one micron thick" and refers to the thickness of the plating. Gold micron plating is consistent, durable, and wear-resistant.
BENEFITS OF MICRON PLATING:
1. Gold micron plating is tarnish-resistant. This plating process prevents oxidation from occurring on the surface of the jewelry, preventing tarnishing and corrosion, even in harsh environments such as salt water.
2. Gold micron plating maintains a bright luster; the application of micron plating enhances the brightness of metals. This brightening effect removes potentially dark-colored molecules and creates an ultra-smooth surface for light to reflect off. This micro plating creates a brighter finish with a deeper shine (vs. the dullness of matte finishes).
WHAT IS ELECTROPLATED JEWELRY?
Electroplating jewelry is a process of applying thin, even layers of metal onto a base metal. The electroplating process deposits high-quality, pure metals onto a sturdy base by passing a direct current through an electrolyte containing the deposited metal.
BENEFITS OF ELECTROPLATING:
Electroplating jewelry creates very thin, even coatings of metal which come in a large variety of thicknesses resulting in different amounts of luster and brightness levels. This process is often used for surface finishing to create designs or patterns on jewelry.
CAN MICRO-PLATED JEWELRY BE REPLATED?
Many people ask if micro-plated jewelry pieces can be replated. The answer is yes; you can replate micro-plated jewelry. However, the quality of the replating may not be as good as the original plating if you come across a plating house that usually only specializes in flash plating techniques. So it is always good to have your micro-plated items replated by a professional jeweler with years of experience in micron plating.
CAN A MICRO-PLATED RING BE RESIZED?
Yes, you can resize a micron-plated ring. It should not break like solid gold, silver, and platinum jewelry; it should not break if you take it to a professional jeweler for resizing.
Most jobs are completed in a day or two so that your ring(s) are ready by the next business day. The length of time depends on the number of rings being resized, the change in size, and the intricacy of their surface designs.
CAN MICROPLATED JEWELRY GET WET?
The short answer is yes, micro-plated jewelry can get wet. However, you should keep a few things in mind to keep your jewelry looking its best.
Avoid exposing micro-plated jewelry to salty water (seawater) or harsh chemicals, such as chlorine (found in swimming pools), for long periods. This exposure can cause the plating to wear away and the micro-plated jewelry to lose its color over time.
If you get your micro-plated jewelry wet, dry it off as soon as possible. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to pat the jewelry dry. Avoid using a paper towel or anything other harsh material that could scratch the surface of the jewelry.
HOW TO CLEAN MICRO-PLATED PIECES?
Micro-plated jewelry requires delicate, special care when cleaning. Here are some tips on how to clean your micro-plated jewelry:
1. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaners on your micro-plated jewelry. These harsh cleaners can strip the plating and damage the underlying metal.
2. Use a soft, lint-free cloth to prevent tarnish and wipe away dirt or debris on a regular basis.
3. If your jewelry is particularly dirty, you can soak it in a mild solution of warm water and all-natural dish soap. Then, gently scrub the piece with a soft toothbrush to remove any stubborn dirt. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly in clean water—Pat the jewelry dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
4. Store your micro-plated jewelry in a cool, dry place. Avoid exposure to humidity or direct sunlight, which can cause the plating to fade or tarnish.
With proper care, your micro-plated jewelry will look beautiful for many years.
IS MICROPLATING MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ELECTROPLATING?
Micro plating is often seen as a more expensive option than electroplating jewelry, but that isn't always the case. In fact, micro plating can be more cost-effective in many situations. So here's a look at some of the factors that can impact the cost of micro plating.
1. The type of metal. Some metals are more expensive to micro plate than others; for example, gold is typically more expensive to plate than a common base metal such as copper.
2. The thickness of the micro plating. For example, a thick gold plating will generally be more expensive than a thin layer. This extra cost is because a thick gold plating uses more precious metal.
3. The size of the item. Larger items will generally require more plating material, increasing the cost.
4. The complexity of the item being micro plated, items with complex shapes or intricate details may require more time and effort to plate, increasing the cost.
5. The number of items. Micro plating multiple items at once can often save money, as you can spread out the setup costs over a larger number of items.
In general, micro plating is more expensive than electroplating when all other factors are equal. However, there are many situations where micro plating can be more cost-effective. Considering all the above factors, you can decide which plating method is right for your project.
WHAT IS ELECTROPLATED GOLD?
Electroplated gold involves an electroplated process that uses gold as the deposited metal. The plating is very thin and even, resulting in a fine luster finish.
DOES ELECTROPLATED JEWELRY TARNISH?
The answer is that it depends on the quality of the plating. High-quality electroplated gold uses a skinny and even coating, which prevents oxygen from being able to reach deep into the metal and oxidize (rust) it. The plating is also 'sacrificial' in nature, meaning that any material lost through oxidation or wear is the plating, not the metal underneath.
HOW LONG DOES ELECTROPLATED JEWELRY LAST?
Jewelry made with electroplating can last for many years, as long as it is appropriately cared for. However, some things can cause electroplated jewelry to lose its luster. Here are a few tips on how to keep your electroplated jewelry looking its best:
1. Avoid getting the jewelry wet; water can cause the electroplating to break down and dull the finish.
2. Don't wear the jewelry while doing activities that could cause it to get scratched or damaged.
3. Store the jewelry in a cool, dry place.
4. Clean the jewelry regularly with a soft cloth.
5. Have the jewelry replated every few years to look like new.
HOW TO CARE FOR ELECRTOPLATED JEWELRY?
Electroplated jewelry is a beautiful and affordable way to enjoy the look of precious metals without the expensive price tag. However, because electroplating is a thin layer of metal applied to a base metal, it can be more delicate than thicker plated pieces. Here are some tips on how to care for your electroplated jewelry, so that it lasts for many years to come!
- Store your electroplated jewelry in a cool, dry place; avoid storing it in humid environments, as this can cause the metal to tarnish more quickly.
- Remove your electroplated jewelry before showering, swimming, or exercising. The chemicals in water and sweat can cause the metal to tarnish more quickly.
- Avoid chemicals such as perfume, lotion, and hairspray when wearing electroplated jewelry; these products can cause the metal to tarnish more quickly.
- Use a soft, dry cloth to clean your electroplated jewelry; avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the delicate metal.
- Bring your electroplated jewelry to a professional jeweler for regular cleanings and checkups. This type of maintenance will help ensure that your jewelry remains in good condition for many years!
Micro-plated jewelry and electroplated jewelry are both beautiful and affordable ways to enjoy the look of precious metals. However, it's important to note that each type of jewelry has its own unique care requirements. With proper care and maintenance, your micro-plated or electroplated jewelry will last for many years to come!