THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GOLD PLATING



Gold-plated jewelry is a popular choice for those who want the look of gold without the high price tag. However, there are a few things you should know about gold-plated jewelry before purchasing.



1- WHAT DOES GOLD PLATED MEAN IN JEWELRY?


Gold-plated jewelry is made by covering a base metal with a thin layer of gold. The thickness of the gold layer varies, but it is typically between 0.5 microns and 2.5 microns. Electroplating is the most common method used to create gold-plated jewelry. An electric current passes through a solution containing gold ions in this process. The ions are attracted to the jewelry piece, which causes them to bond with the surface of the metal. The result is a thin, even layer of gold on the jewelry piece.



2- WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOLD-PLATED AND SOLID GOLD?


Gold-plated jewelry has a thin layer of gold applied to the surface, while solid gold jewelry is made entirely out of gold. Gold-plated jewelry is usually less expensive than solid gold, but it can still be an affordable way to enjoy the look of gold. However, keep in mind that gold-plated jewelry will not last as long as solid gold jewelry and may need replating over time.



3- HOW IS GOLD PLATED JEWELRY MADE?


Gold plating is a simple process that involves numerous phases. The jewelry must first be thoroughly cleaned and free of all contaminants. The metal cleaning process is critical because dirt and oil on the base metal prevent the gold layer from adhering properly. Some ways of cleaning the base metal include steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, and electro cleaning to achieve the greatest results.


The base metal is then coated with a thin coating of high-quality nickel to shield the gold layer from any base metal contamination. These metals tend to seep into the gold layer, as we'll see later. The nickel layer also shields the base metal from polluting the gold liquid in the containers used for the plating process.


The plater then dips the gold jewelry in gold containers for the final layer, and the gold is fused to the base metal using a positive electrical charge. The jewelry is hung to dry once the plater reaches the desired thickness of gold plating.



4- WHICH METALS CAN BE GOLD PLATED?


Most metals, including nickel, brass, stainless steel, silver, and copper, can be gold plated. Gold plating is even used on modern industrial metals like tungsten and titanium, while silver and copper are often utilized.



5- DOES GOLD PLATED MEAN FAKE?


No, gold plated does not mean fake gold. Gold plating is a process where a thin real gold plate coats the surface of another metal. You can apply a real gold plate for many reasons, including giving the metal a more desirable appearance, preventing it from tarnishing, or protecting it from wear and tear. However, because 24k gold is a relatively soft metal, it is not very durable, so it is often used as a plating to protect a more durable metal underneath.



6- IS ELECTROPLATED GOLD REAL GOLD?


Yes, gold plating is real gold, but due to the small amount of gold utilized, such jewelry does not have the same value as solid gold.


10K gold is usually the lowest purity, whereas 24K gold is the highest purity standard. When it comes to gold plating, the fundamental distinction between various forms of gold is the color it produces, not the value. The color of gold is more gold-like the higher the purity level. However, regardless of purity levels, the value does not alter significantly due to the small amounts of gold used in the plating process.


7. HOW THICK IS GOLD PLATING?


The thickness of gold plating can range from.17 to 2.5 microns.


Gold electroplated, or gold wash/flash plating, refers to plating with a thickness of around.17. This plate is a skinny layer (approximately 0.05 percent gold) that should only be used on jewelry not subjected to wear and tear. This layer of plating fades the quickest.


The optimal gold plating thickness is between.5 and 1.0 microns. While this may be a tiny layer, it is sufficient even for jewelry exposed to heavy usage.


Heavy gold plating is a 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.



8. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GOLD PLATING?


Gold plating has several benefits:


It is an inexpensive way to achieve the look of solid gold without spending a fortune.


Thicker layers of gold plating are more resistant to wear and tear, making them ideal for pieces that will see a lot of use.



9. DOES GOLD-PLATED METAL TARNISH? WILL GOLD PLATING WEAR OFF?


Over time, gold plating can fade and tarnish, losing its shine and brightness. This reaction is typical and can occur regardless of the piece's quality. Many people, however, are perplexed as to why gold-plated jewelry 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 plating is too thin, it will quickly discolor and begin to tarnish.


Platers can avoid this by plating the jewelry with nickel beforehand, which prevents the base metals from altering the appearance of the gold. However, the gold is unlikely to tarnish or fade if done during the plating process.



10. DOES GOLD PLATED JEWELRY RUST?


The answer is definitely no. Pure gold does not rust. Although gold does not rust in its pure form, being a malleable metal, it is mixed with other metals to make a strong metal. Gold, for example, is combined with nickel, iron, and copper to form a strong metal, which sometimes rusts as a result. The truth is that the metal with which gold is combined with rusts, not the gold itself.


Pure gold is 24k, and purity falls as we move down. For example, 24 karat gold is pure gold that is extremely valuable and, due to its malleability, cannot be utilized to produce jewelry. Compared to the latter, the next 18k gold is more robust; for example, 18k gold can create jewelry because it is firm enough to hold its shape, but it is more expensive than 14k and 10k gold.


With that explanation, I'm confident you realize that pure gold does not react with oxygen, but it does when coupled with other metals or elements such as nickel and iron. For example, when you expose gold-plated jewelry to chemicals such as deodorant, acid-based cleaning solutions, and fragrances, it reacts with oxygen and rusts. These chemicals degrade the quality of the gold plate over time.



11. HOW TO PREVENT GOLD PLATED JEWELRY FROM RUBBING OFF?


You can extend the life of gold-dipped jewelry and keep it bright and beautiful by properly caring for it. Here are some suggestions:


Keep chemicals, oils, and cosmetics away from gold-plated jewelry. After applying makeup, hairspray, and perfumes, it's best to put on your plated jewelry last. Remove gold-plated jewelry when doing chores since the chemicals in soaps, detergents, and cleaners can damage the plating.


When handling laminated gold jewelry, it's best to keep your hands clean, so wash them before placing them on the jewelry.


You should not expose gold-plated jewelry to chlorinated or salty water. Remember, there is no such thing as gold waterproof jewelry. Even pure gold loses its shine when exposed to water. So, before swimming in pools, hot tubs, or the sea, take off your jewelry.


Body oils and sweat can damage gold plating; to avoid this, clean or wipe jewelry down regularly to remove pollutants. Cleaning your gold-plated jewelry regularly will help it last longer. When doing this, use a light liquid soap and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaning solutions or strong chemicals.


Avoid rubbing and friction with laminated gold jewelry, as this will cause the piece to wear down. This friction can happen when you layer gold-plated jewelry, and the pieces rub against each other.


When storing gold-dipped jewelry, it's essential to keep it in a cool and dry place. Avoid storing gold in humid areas such as the bathroom. It's also best not to store multiple pieces of jewelry together since they can rub against each other and damage the gold plating.



12. HOW DO I KNOW IF MY JEWELRY IS GOLD-PLATED?


Your jeweler should indicate that the gold is plated. However, here are some ways to identify for yourself:
The price of gold-plated jewelry is frequently a dead giveaway. Gold plated jewelry is often very affordable, with prices rarely exceeding $300.


Look for a hallmark. The following are the most regularly used stamps for gold plated jewelry:


GP – gold plated
GEP – gold electroplated
HGE – heavy gold electroplate
HGP – heavy gold plate


There is no requirement that antique gold-coated jewelry must contain a stamp. Many gold-plated antique items have no identifying hallmarks.


Plus, jewelry polishing removes a layer of gold, making the hallmark less visible. So, if antique jewelry pieces have been polished many times in the past, it is likely that the engravings have faded and are no longer visible.
Gold plated jewelry is frequently covered in 22K or 24K gold, giving it a dazzling golden appearance. Because the purity standards of solid gold jewelry are often below 18K, the color is usually significantly less golden.



13. IS GOLD-PLATED HYPOALLERGENIC?


This depends on the thickness of the gold and whether the piece contains even trace amounts of allergen-inducing metals like nickel, zinc, or cobalt.


Gold plating is not hypoallergenic, and people with metal allergies may experience skin problems. The nickel content in the piece is the reason for this. Nickel in the jewelry comes into contact with your skin when the gold layer breaks down, triggering allergic reactions.


Before buying gold-plated jewelry, be sure you know what metal alloys it contains.



14. HOW LONG DOES GOLD PLATED JEWELRY LAST?


The longevity of gold-plated pieces depends on several factors, including the thickness of the gold; the thicker the gold layer, the longer it will last.


Another factor is the type of plating. Flash gold plating will fade quicker than electroplating. Flash gold plating is a thin layer of gold applied to the surface of another metal. The gold is heated until it liquefies and bonds with the metal underneath. This type of plating is often used on costume jewelry and is not as durable as electroplating.


After about a year, you can expect light wear and tear with regular use. However, if you take care of your jewelry and avoid exposing it to chemicals or water, the gold plating can last several years.



15. IS GOLD PLATED WATERPROOF?


There is no such thing as gold waterproof jewelry, the gold plating will wear off over time, exposing the base metal underneath.


If you want to prolong the life of your gold-plated jewelry, it's best to avoid wearing it in the shower or while swimming. Water can cause the gold plating to wear away, exposing the base metal beneath. Salt water and chlorinated water accelerate this process.


So, if you want to keep your gold-plated jewelry looking its best, it's best to keep it away from water. This means taking it off before you shower or swim and avoiding exposure to other water sources, such as rain, snow, or humidity.


Of course, if you get your gold-plated jewelry wet, you don't need to panic. Instead, simply dry it off as soon as possible with a soft cloth. Avoid rubbing the jewelry too harshly, as this can cause the gold plating to wear away.



16. CAN YOU GET GOLD WET?


Yes, gold plating can get wet. However, it is important to note that gold-plated jewelry is not necessarily waterproof. In other words, you should avoid getting your gold-plated jewelry wet if possible. It is best to avoid getting gold-plated jewelry wet because the water can cause the gold coat to wear away over time. So if you get your gold-coated jewelry wet, be sure to dry it off as soon as possible to prevent any damage.


Water is damaging for several reasons. First, water can cause the gold-plating to lose its luster and dull. In addition, water can cause the gold to flake off, increase the speed of tarnishing, and promote the growth of bacteria and fungus on the gold surface.



A. SALT WATER


The salt water from a day at the beach can be particularly damaging to gold-plating, as it can cause the gold to corrode. The salt in salt water can act as an electrolyte, which helps conduct electricity. When saltwater comes into contact with gold-plating, it can cause the gold to corrode.


B. SWIMMING POOLS & HOT TUBS


Gold-plating is also susceptible to corrosion from chlorine and other chemicals contained in swimming pools and hot tubs. Because when chlorine reacts with gold, it creates a substance called chloroauric acid, which can eat away at the gold coat.



C. CAN YOU WEAR GOLD PLATED IN THE SHOWER?


Do not shower with gold plated jewelry. Even the shower can be a problem for gold-plated jewelry, as the water can cause the gold to tarnish. If you must wear shower with gold plated jewelry, be sure to rinse it off afterward to remove any soap residue that could accelerate the tarnishing process.



D. TAP WATER


Next, tap water is also problematic for gold-plating, as it contains chemicals like chlorine and fluoride that can damage the gold. Fluoride can cause pitting, which is when small holes form on the gold surface. Chlorine, on the other hand, can cause the gold to discolor.



E. HOT WATER


In addition, hot water is also not good for gold-plating, as it can cause the gold to deteriorate. So if you are going to clean your gold-plated jewelry in water, be sure to use cool or lukewarm water instead of hot water. Hot water can damage gold jewelry by causing the gold to become softer. As a result, the gold coating is more susceptible to scratching and other forms of wear and tear.



F. SWEAT


Even sweat can be damaging to gold-plating. Sweat is detrimental because it contains various acids and salts that can erode the gold coating. So if you're going to be sweating, it's best to remove your gold-plated jewelry to avoid any damage.



Generally speaking, it is not good to get gold-overlay jewelry wet. However, if you do get your gold-plated jewelry wet, dry it off as soon as possible and avoid exposing it to water whenever possible. If you take these precautions, your gold-plated jewelry should last for many years.



17. WHAT IS UNDER GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY?


Gold plated jewelry is often made with a base metal, such as brass or silver, covered with a layer of gold. An electrical current deposits a layer of gold onto the surface of the metal. The thickness of the gold layer can vary, but it is typically less than 2.5 microns.



18. HOW MUCH DOES GOLD PLATED JEWELRY COST?


Gold-plated jewelry is often very affordable. The thickness of the gold plating will affect the price, with thicker layers costing more. However, even a thin layer of gold can significantly increase the beauty and value of a piece of jewelry. You can find gold-plated jewelry for as little as $30 per piece, but more elaborate and higher quality pieces can cost several hundred dollars.



19. IS GOLD PLATED GOOD?


Yes, gold plating can be a good way to enhance the look of jewelry. It can also help to protect the underlying metal from tarnish and wear. However, it is important to note that gold plating can wear away over time. Therefore, it is important to take care of gold-plated jewelry and avoid exposing it to chemicals or abrasives.



20. WHICH GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY IS BEST?


There are many factors to consider when choosing gold-plated jewelry. Some things to keep in mind include the quality of the gold plating, the thickness of the plating, and the type of metal underneath the plating. Gold-plated jewelry can range in price from a few dollars to several hundred dollars, so it is important to know what you are looking for before purchasing.


First, if you are looking for gold-plated jewelry that will last a long time, it is important to choose a piece that has a thick layer of gold plating. The thicker the layer of gold, the more resistant it will be to wear and tear. It is important to choose a piece that has high-quality gold plating. Many gold-plated jewelry pieces on the market have a thin layer of gold that will quickly wear off.


Next, it is also important to consider the metal underneath the gold plating. Some metals, such as nickel, can cause skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to choose gold-plated jewelry with a metal such as silver underneath the gold plating.


Finally, consider the purity of the gold when choosing gold-plated jewelry. The higher the purity, the more expensive the piece will be. However, 24 karat gold plating is very soft and is not as durable as other metals. 24 karat gold plating is also more expensive. If you want a cheaper option, go with 18 karat gold plating.



21. DOES STERLING SILVER 18K GOLD PLATED TARNISH?


Sterling silver is a popular choice for jewelry because it is strong and durable, but sterling silver can tarnish over time if it is not properly cared for. One reason why sterling silver tarnishes is because of the copper that is used to alloy it. Copper is a reactive metal, and when it comes into contact with oxygen and water, it can cause sterling silver to tarnish.


Gold dipped silver is a type of sterling silver plated with gold. Gold dipped silver is less likely to tarnish than sterling silver because the gold creates a barrier between the air and the silver; however if the gold plating wears off, the sterling silver underneath can still tarnish.


To prevent your sterling silver 18k gold plated jewelry from tarnishing, be sure to store it in a cool, dry place. Also, avoid wearing it in water or exposing it to chemicals, such as hairspray or perfume. When you're not wearing your jewelry, wipe it down with a soft cloth to remove any dirt or oil that could speed up the tarnishing process.



22. HOW DO YOU CLEAN GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY?


There's no need to be precious about cleaning gold-plated jewelry. In fact, the best way to clean it is to use a little soap and water. Just make sure you don't soak the piece in water for too long, or use harsh chemicals or abrasives, as this can damage the delicate layer of gold. Once you've cleaned your jewelry, simply dry it off with a soft cloth. And that's all there is to it!



23. IS GOLD DIPPED THE SAME AS GOLD PLATED?


No, gold dipped and gold plated are not the same. Gold dipped is a process in which a plater dips a piece of metal in gold, creating a very thin layer of gold on the surface of the metal. Gold plating is a process where a very thin layer of gold is applied to the surface of another piece of metal using an electrical current. The resulting layer of gold is much thicker than that created with the gold-dipped process. Because of this, gold-plated jewelry is more likely to retain its finish and color over time than gold-dipped jewelry.


WRAPPING UP


Gold-plated jewelry is a great way to enjoy the look of gold without the high price tag. It's important to take care of your jewelry to make it last longer. Be sure to store it in a cool and dry place, avoid exposure to chemicals or water, and clean it on a regular basis. If you have metal allergies, be sure to check the jewelry for nickel content before you buy it. With proper care, gold-plated jewelry can last for several years.