- Issue Time
- Apr 20,2023
A more cost-effective alternative to expensive gold jewelry is gold-plated jewelry. If you've been thinking about buying gold plated jewelry, here's what you need to know!
A more cost-effective alternative to expensive gold jewelry is gold-plated jewelry. It regulates body temperature, promotes better blood and oxygen flow to all parts of the body, is therapeutic, and makes your skin glow. Plus, it complements and helps hold your outfit together.
If you've been thinking about buying gold plated jewelry, here's what you need to know!
What is Gold Plated Jewelry?
Gilt jewelry is metal jewelry that is covered with a very thin layer of real gold.
Invented by Italian chemist Luigi Brugnatelli in 1805, the process involves plating a very thin layer of gold on top of silver. Since then, it has become commonplace in the jewelry world, with many base metals covered with gold, silver or rhodium.
The best part of this process? It mimics the look of expensive jewelry so close to perfection that the difference between the two is not noticeable.
The thickness of gold plating used to create gold-plated jewelry varies from 0.17 microns (known as electroplating or gold wash/flash) to 2.5 microns (the highest thickness available). Platings that tend to wear quickly are typically used for pendants, earrings, and other items that are less prone to wear, while thicker platings (0.5 microns and up) are good for rings, bracelets, and other items that hold their wear and hold even after rough wear and tear .
How is gold plated jewelry made?
Making gold plated jewelry is very simple.
1. It uses base metals, which can be brass, copper, and nickel, or silver, stainless steel, tungsten, and titanium, to make jewelry.
2. After fabrication, thoroughly clean by steam cleaning, electric cleaning, or ultrasonic cleaning to remove dirt, dust, oil, and other contaminants. This is done to ensure a clean base that does not prevent the gold layer from bonding to it.
3. Then rinse the jewelry to remove any remaining purifying agent.
4. A thin nickel buffer layer is then plated on the base metal. This prevents it from affecting the gold layer, making your gold-plated jewelry less likely to chip, tarnish or fade. It also improves the bond between the base metal and the gold layer.
5. To seal the deal, the metal jewelry is immersed in the electroplating solution and positively charged under temperature and voltage control. This is done to attract the gold ions to the base metal to form a thin plating.
6. Once the desired plating thickness is achieved, rinse the jewelry with water and hang to dry.
Check that the fashion items you bring are gold-plated:
- Check markup. It should be stamped GP (Gold Plated), RGP (Rolled Gold Plated), or HGP (Heavy Gold Plated).
- Get an acid test from a jeweler to see if it triggers the color change. This will show how much gold is used in its recipe.
Is Gold-Plated Jewelry Worth It?
Gold-plated jewelry contains only a small amount of gold, making it affordable. The thickness of the gold layer can vary from series to series, as can the purity of the gold used (10K to 24K). The purity of gold affects the price tag and the color it produces but has little effect on its value.
That said, gold flakes usually have an ultra-thin layer of gold so that even with high carats, they are not too large overall. It is also very difficult to restore and has negligible profit margins for gold refiners, so gold-plated jewelry should not be used as an investment or financial security tool.
Will Gold Plated Jewelry Fade and Tarnish?
Gold-plated jewelry can fade and tarnish, but not all jewelry does this. Jewelry pieces, such as those produced by HD, have a brass base to keep them from fading or tarnishing.
This means you should choose your jewelry source carefully, as many pieces on the market are prone to spoilage. Although it is believed that gold-plated jewelry will not rust, corrode or tarnish because it is an inert metal, it is quite a different story when it comes to the base metal it covers.
With the exception of stainless steel, molecules of base metals that are prone to oxidation and corrosion can migrate into the gold layer over time. When this happens, some people will notice a major change in the appearance of their gold-plated pieces, while others may see slight degradation – perhaps a flake or two or slight corrosion here and there.
The degree to which jewelry will fade and tarnish depends on the thickness of the gold plating. The thinner the gold plating, the easier it is to damage, and vice versa. Some jewelers avoid this damage by nickel-plating the base metal before covering it with a gold layer. HD maintains the look of its jewelry by using brass. These methods keep the gold's appearance intact, making it less prone to tarnishing and fading.
How to Care for Your Gold-Plated Jewelry?
Gilding is shiny and beautiful when new, but loses its charm when it comes into contact with the elements of the environment unless brass or stainless steel is used as the base metal.
Well, the gold layer on gold-plated items is very thin, so it wears or flakes off easily. This exposes the base layer, which can corrode and tarnish when exposed to liquids and chemicals. When this happens, even the protective layer on top of the gold (the one that protects your work from scratches and damage) won't help.
This is why its proper maintenance is important.
Unlike other metals, brass or stainless steel forms a protective layer when it interacts with environmental elements such as air, water, and oxygen. HD jewelry is therefore easier to maintain and retains its luster and flawless finish for a long time.
How to Maintain the Beauty of Gold-Plated Jewelry?
While gold plating is permanent, it may lose its luster and brightness due to rough exposure. Here are some precautions you can take to preserve the luster and beauty of your gold-plated jewelry:
- The easiest way to keep gold-plated jewelry looking new is to wipe it with a damp microfiber or cotton cloth after wearing it. This will remove smudges and surface grime.
- Gold plating is sensitive to water, so avoid wearing gold-plated jewelry while showering or even washing your hands! Since chlorinated water and salt water can damage gold and discolor it, it's a good idea to remove gold-plated jewelry before taking a dip in the pool, sauna, or hot tub.
- Keep your gold-plated jewelry away from chemical products like detergents and personal care products like perfumes, hairsprays, lotions, and creams. Acidic food ingredients such as tomatoes are also contraindicated as they can affect the gilding, causing it to peel or wear off more quickly.
- Unless your gold-plated jewelry has a stainless steel or brass base, your sweat will react negatively to the gold plating, so be sure to remove your gold-plated jewelry before working out.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners to clean your jewelry as they will strip the gold layer and reveal the metal underneath.
How to Extend the Life of Gold-Plated Jewelry?
Proper care is key to extending the life of your gold-plated jewelry. To make the gold finish last longer, you can:
-Keep your jewelry in a closed, dark place such as a pouch or box. Make sure to keep all gold-plated jewelry separate from each other to prevent rubbing, which can cause peeling.
- Remove jewelry when sleeping.
- Wash your hands before putting on or taking off jewelry to make sure they are free of dirt, makeup, and lotion.
- Wipe or clean your jewelry frequently with a mild liquid soap or cleaning solution to remove contaminants.
With proper care, you can maintain gold-plated jewelry for up to five years. This requires following our recommendations above for proper storage and keeping your gold-plated jewelry away from elements that could affect the gold layer.
Gold-plated jewelry may not be an investment that will sell for a premium over time, but it does offer similar benefits to the real deal, making them an affordable alternative. They are super versatile and available in a variety of styles and designs to go with almost every outfit, which definitely adds to their appeal. If you are looking for gold-plated jewelry, please contact us.
HD Jewelry is a professional custom jewelry manufacturer. We specialize in jewelry for more than 15 years, focusing on gold-plated jewelry and high-quality AAA cubic zirconia jewelry. Over the years, we have continuously improved ourselves, pursued the improvement of quality and service, and become a company based on honesty and satisfaction in all aspects of customers. Today, we have clients from all over the world and are known for high-quality and dazzling jewellery.
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