Gold plated jewellery gives the appearance of real gold jewellery without the expensive costs. It offers a cost-friendly option to buying real gold. Many leading jewellers offer gold plated chains and other jewellery pieces as a set. Here are some of the pros and cons of Gold-plated chains.
What is Gold Plating?
Gold plating is a process where a layer of gold is coated onto a base metal. This gives the appearance of real gold. Plating is a common process around the world. The process was first invented in 1805 by Italian chemist Luigi Brugnatelli. He plated a thin layer of gold onto silver. Gold plating is commonly used for costume jewellery. The materials used for plating can vary from silver, and sometimes a combination of nickel and copper.
The gold plating thickness can vary. The federal trade commission labels heavy gold-plated items at 2.5 microns and gold-plated items at .5 microns. The gold purity used for plating can vary. The highest is 24K and lowest purity is usually 10K. The higher the purity of the gold, the more gold like the colour will be.
Pros of Gold Plating
Gold plated chains are layered with gold on top of a base material making it more resilient to damage. Real gold is a very malleable and soft metal. The higher the karat, the softer and more malleable the piece will be. A gold-plated chain is way more durable and stronger than solid gold jewellery. Gold plated is more durable and can handle everyday wearing way more than solid gold.
The gold electroplating process is proving revolutionary for many industries especially jewellery. Gold plated is composed of alloy materials making it much more affordable to buy compared to solid gold.
Gold plated jewellery is a lot easier to find and purchase. You can find it online, in jewellery stores, clothing shops, department stores, and much more. Comparing to specific solid gold certain pieces can be difficult to find in certain regions.
They are very decorative
In my opinion, gold plated chains and necklaces are a great way to add decorative detail and make a bold statement. They can bring a perfect touch of elegance to any outfit! It can make products look more expensive, appealing, and elegant.
Gold plating mimics real gold
Plating jewellery not only offers affordability but the finished product at the end looks strikingly like real solid gold. To the untrained eye, you wouldn’t know that it isn’t solid gold.
There are more design possibilities, and it is easy to manufacture
There are many design possibilities with gold plated jewellery with so many different trends and styles to choose from. The manufacturing process is easy but requires several steps.
Cons of Gold Plating
Tarnishing on the jewellery most likely occurs due to wear and tear over a long period of time. The base metal beneath the plating will begin to surface and eventually discolor. It is recommended to polish the jewellery frequently to prolong its shine. Gold plating will tarnish due to the base metal molecules. The molecules will transfer through the layer of thin gold which then causes it to breakdown.
Gold plating is minimal leading to a lower value
Gold plated jewellery is far lower in value than real gold jewellery. The gold layer on the piece of jewellery is a lot less compared to solid gold- or gold-filled items.
The plating can be chipped or scratched
Once you have worn the plated gold jewellery for a few, the gold will generally start flaking, chipping, and wearing off. This is due to the thin layer of gold making it less durable. If this happens you can have it re coated.
Less resistant to water
Gold plating is less resistant to water. It is not recommended for any product to be submerged in water as this can cause the gold layering to wear off and tarnish over time.
A lot of gold-plated jewellery is made using nickel or copper as a base material. Both are allergens and have been linked to skin irritation. It may be best to avoid if you have suffered from hives, dermatitis, or similar conditions in the past.
Tips for Cleaning Gold Plated Jewellery
Following a specific care routine for your jewellery is necessary for prolonging your jewellery. Here are some of the main tips for cleaning and taking care of your plated jewellery:
- Pour warm water into a cup with a small few droplets of dishwashing detergent. Mix the jewellery and solution together, once soaked place the jewellery somewhere dry to let the jewellery air dry off. Do not use antibacterial soap as this could tarnish the jewellery.
- Use a soft microfibre cloth to buff the item very gently.
- If you are not wearing the pieces, place them into a plastic-bag and close it tightly. They will be kept safe and scratch free. The oxyegn loss will stop the base metal from discolouring.
- Do not wear the jewellery if you are showering, swimming, or near any water activities.
- Always apply perfume, makeup, and lotion before you put-on gold-plated pieces. These substances can cause a reaction and easily cause tarnishing.
- When you are taking off your jewellery pieces at nighttime, rub them gently with a delicate cloth or soft cotton ball. This will assist in keeping your pieces shiny and remove any dirt or dust the item has acquired throughout the day.
- After cleaning, place the jewellery in a plastic bag or in a small box on its own to prevent it from scratches.
Gold plating can be done on most metals such as brass, copper, silver, stainless steel, and nickel. Over time, the plating can tarnish and wear off but with great care, it can last up to 2 years. It is recommended to clean and store your jewellery correctly.