Gold Plated Jewelry is one of the greatest inventions of all. If you cannot afford solid and pure gold, you can get yourself gold-plated jewelry. This way you will get the look and status of real gold, without getting your bank account empty. For a reasonable price, you can opt for wholesale Yellow gold plating trendy jewelry.
What is Gold Plating?
Gold Plating was invented in 1805 by an Italian chemist named Luigi Brugnatelli. He was the first person to do gold plating onto silver. Gold-Plating is a specific process of electroplating that uses electricity to bind a thin layer of gold onto a base metal. This type of electroplating makes the metal look like a real and original piece of gold. Gold Plating has become quite common in the jewelry world, with rhodium and gold being the two very popular kinds.
How is Gold Plating Carried Out?
This specific process of gold plating requires the starting piece to be extremely polished and clean. The plater uses an ultrasonic bath or an acid to clean the pieces of base metal. The metal piece is then polished with a high RPM rouge wheel and then it is deeply cleaned with ultrasound or steam.
Once the surface of the piece of jewelry is prepared, they apply a thin layer of nickel to the base metal using the plater. This thin layer, also known as the flash layer or strike layer, provides protection from the possibility of contamination by the base metals. In addition to that, it also prevents the underlying metal from getting leaked through the layer of gold, which extends its life. The last step is lowering the piece into a positively charged gold ions solution. For the final layer, the positively charged bits of gold get attracted by the negative charge of jewelry, which results in the plating of the metal piece in a thin layer of gold.
What Metals Can Typically Be Gold Plated?
Gold plating can be done on any metal, but silver and copper are the most common base metals to be used. Other modern industrial metals used are:
How to Measure Gold Plating Thickness?
The thickness of Gold plating is measured in microns, which is equal to one-millionth of a meter. Or it can be measured in micro-inches, which is equal to one-millionth of an inch. Gold plating generally ranges between .17 to 2.5 microns. A piece of metal must have a gold layer of at least 0.5 microns (20 micro-inches) in thickness to be sold as a gold-plated metal. Any piece thinner than that will be sold in the market as “gold flashed”, “gold electroplate” or “gold washed”. And a piece that has a gold layer of fewer than 0.175 microns (7 micro-inches) cannot be considered gold at all.
On the other hand, the plating of a piece of jewelry with a thickness of 2.5 microns (100 micro-inches) can be considered and sold as a heavy electroplate or heavy gold plate. This plating lasts longer than the other ones. Plating with a thickness of 0.17 is recommended for jewelry pieces like pendants and earrings. Apart from gold earrings, people also prefer a sterling silver fresh pearl earring.
Top Important Things to Know About Gold Plated Jewelry
Through the process of gold plating, you can get valuable-looking jewelry on a reasonable budget. So what if you cannot afford solid gold jewelry, you always have the option of getting gold-plated jewelry. Let’s discuss how gold-plated jewelry can be right for you.
Is Gold Plated Jewelry Worth it?
You will always find gold-plated jewelry less expensive than actual gold pieces. However, gold-plated jewelry does not hold much value, because the piece does not have a significant amount of gold in it. So, it will give you little or no resale price if you decide to sell the piece in the future.
Does Gold Plated Jewelry Fade and Tarnish?
Gold-plated jewelry can tarnish and fade over time because it loses its actual initial brightness and luster. It has become very common in gold-plated jewelry, despite the quality of the jewelry. The issue is not with the plating itself, but with the metal piece at the base, which can be oxidized and corroded. And as the time passes, the base metal molecules go into the gold layer and affect their appearance. If the gold plating is not thick, it will tarnish and lose its color very quickly. However, this leeching problem can be prevented by using nickel for plating. It keeps the gold from getting affected by the base metal.
How Long Does Gold Plating Last?
Gold plating does not handle rough exposure that well although it is permanent like any other type of plating. Gold plating can flake off and wear out at any time, which exposes the bare metal that is underneath. If you care properly, the gold plating can last up to two years.
The best way to deal with the pieces that are tarnished is to replate them when required. Now you must be thinking how often do you need to do that? Well, it depends on the quality of the metal piece, the thickness of the plating, the color of the metal of the base, and how much sustenance the piece have against wear and tear.
Tips to Take Good Care of Gold Plated Jewelry?
To increase the life of your gold-plated jewelry, you have to care for it meticulously. Here are some following tips that you can do:
Wash your hands before putting on and taking off your gold-plated jewelry to minimize its exposure to your skin’s oil.
Try to keep your jewelry pieces in separate containers to avoid friction with each other. This prevents the pieces from flaking.
Always keep chemicals, makeup, and oil away from your gold-plated jewelry.
Use a mild liquid soap to clean your jewelry at home regularly.
Clean and wipe down your jewelry pieces every time you take them off.