Times are changing and new styles come in and out of fashion. One style that hasn’t changed is the use of jewelry.
Gold-plated jewelry existed for the longest time because it’s affordable yet looks like real gold.
It has a thin layer of gold over a large base metal. We all like gold but since it’s a very precious metal most people won’t afford it or can’t buy it every time.
Gold plating is one of the famous jewels, especially for its style.
- What are gold-plated jewels?
- Understanding the manufacturing process of gold plated jewels
- The pros of using the gold plated jewel
- Is gold-plated jewelry worth anything?
- 24K plated gold
- 18K plated
- Gold vermeil
- Will gold plated jewelry to tarnish
- Is gold plated jewel good?
- Can gold-plated jewelry get wet?
- How long do we expect it to last?
- How to know the real gold from the plated ones?
- Tips to care for the plated gold
- Can you make the jewels look as good as new?
What are gold-plated jewels?
This refers to the jewels that have a very thin layer of gold plated on the base metal. This gives it a new gold-like look. Often the gold is about .05% and then the rest is other metals.
Notice though that since it’s a thin layer you can be sure it will soon peel off. Nonetheless, it’s not a big deal if you are going to use it for a few days or a day only.
This style of jewel was first used to mimic the most expensive jewels.
The good thing is that unless you have an eye for jewelry, it will be hard to tell the difference between the most expensive gold jewels from the inexpensive gold plated ones.
Understanding the manufacturing process of gold plated jewels
While it looks like it can be an easy process it’s not. You have to take it through several steps.
When you have the base metal of the jewel that you want to plate, make sure you clean it fully to get rid of all the pollutants and residues.
If you have dirty jewels, then you will have a problem when trying to make the layer.
In most cases, the jewelers will use steam cleaning electro cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning. The next thing to do is to plate the thin layer of high-quality nickel on the surface of the base metals.
The essence of the layer, therefore, is to shield the gold metals from the leeching of the base metals to the plated layer.
So the nickel will prevent the contamination between the gold liquid and the base metal. Lastly, the jewel is dipped in a container with the gold and then they add the positive electrical charge to fuse the gold to the base metal.
When you are finally sure you have achieved the right thickness you can then hang the gold to dry.
The pros of using the gold plated jewel
People just like the gold-plated jewels for the same reason that they are easy to mold and shape into different styles of jewels.
You can have anklets, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings for all the different occasions of your choosing. Of course, they are even the ideal choices if you are going to use them for special events.
They are affordable
You don’t have to break the bank when choosing the jewels especially if it’s not for that one special event of your life. Gold plated jewel can be anything from $5 to $100 of course depending on whether you used the embellishments or not.
These jewels are the kinds you don’t have to think about you can walk by and just buy them at your convenience.
It will look so much like real gold
I know most people want to afford the 18K gold jewels but you maybe don’t have enough for it. In such cases, you can use the gold-plated jewels that look so much like your gold jewels to attain the same look.
It doesn’t matter whether you want an earring, bracelet, or necklace you can have the gold plated ones. People like them because they look like real gold. In fact, to an untrained eye, the two types are literary the same.
They are readily available
Remember solid gold jewels are never easy to come by and that’s why they remain some of the most expensive options. Well, gold-plated jewels are there almost anywhere and in any shop. Anyone can afford to sell and buy them.
They match your style
It doesn’t matter the style you want to pull with the jewels this gold will make it work. They come in different shapes and match all the different skin tones. The yellow color is a go-to choice for your favorite gold-style jewel.
If you have a nickel allergy, my advice is; to look for another metal because this is not for you. It contains nickel-metal which is to say that it will affect you always.
More reading: Nickel Free Jewelry – what you need to know.
It will peel off soon
It doesn’t matter the price you pay for it, the fact that its thin layer means that it will soon peel off. So you will need to prepare your mind for such but of course, it’s all worth it right.
It will tarnish
Notice that it has a very thin layer of gold. So the base metals will start to seep through the layer thus leading to tarnishing.
More reading: Jewelry Metals That Don’T Tarnish
It’s a low value
Although it may be higher valued than the costume jewels, it has a very thin layer of gold. This then means that it’s in the category of the least valued jewels.
Is gold-plated jewelry worth anything?
It’s hard to say it’s worth much since you can’t even recover the gold when the jewel is old or damaged. This one has a lesser value than all other typed of plated jewels.
So if you’re going to take the jewel to the refinery, they mostly won’t even bother to extract the gold again.
Mostly, the amount of gold in the layer is insignificant which goes to tell you that is not even worth much.
24K plated gold
It’s too soft of course so it will quickly peel off making it worthless. Although it’s the highest purity level it’s still worth lesser than pure solid gold.
We are still talking about an insignificant amount of gold. That means that even though it has a high purity level plated gold is still not worth much.
But are there other types of plated jewels
Of course, we have other types of plated jewels.
Gold vermeil is one of the best choices to use because it has a heavier layer of gold that’s plated over the sterling silver. Gold vermeil is best referred to as the gold that’s over the silver.
It’s much durable and perfect looking. You can use it even if you experience allergic reactions.
This one is the one that has a very thick layer of gold that you set on the base metals. It features the use of sterling silver or brass metals. This one is the most durable of them all since its layer is very thick. Its best used by those who are looking for a jewel that will last over 30 years.
Further reading: Gold Vermeil Vs. Gold-Filled Vs. Gold Plated
Will gold plated jewelry to tarnish
Of course, this will happen over time remember the gold-plated version has a very thin layer of gold. The metal beneath will seep through to cause the tarnish.
I know the solid gold doesn’t tarnish and that’s because it contains no chemicals that allow tarnishing to occur.
More reading: Jewelry Metals That Don’T Tarnish
If you want the jewel to therefore last longer you will need to polish it. This then means that the metals beneath the layer of gold won’t seep through to start tarnishing.
When the molecules of the thin gold break then it will cause tarnishing. Be gentle with the jewel when cleaning it though.
Is gold plated jewel good?
Of course, we aren’t talking about the gold coating or the gold electroplating style. The gold-plated jewels will last longer than the gold coating especially if you take good care of it.
It features just a thin layer of gold and that will give you the feeling of wearing a gold jewel. This gold jewel is not the same as your gold-filled jewels but it’s not bad either. It’s a good choice if you don’t intend for it to last longer or you are under budget.
Can gold-plated jewelry get wet?
This is a no-brainer. Well, the jewel has a very thin layer of gold and that will always peel off when you have the minutest trigger. Water is a no for your gold-plated jewels it will peel off immediately. Whenever you go into the shower make sure you set the jewel aside fast.
Check out to see what other jewelry can get wet.
How long do we expect it to last?
This question you will best answe3r by yourself. It all depends on the care you give the jewels. Notice that naturally, the precious metals don’t handle exposure well. It’s just a thin layer that is also gentle and you can damage it soon if you aren’t careful.
It will soon lose its shine and luster so enjoy the appearance while it lasts. In most cases, if you aren’t using it every day it will last more than six months. Be sure to take good care of the jewels if you want them to serve you longer.
How to know the real gold from the plated ones?
Solid gold is the purest form of gold jewelry. However, it’s newer 100% gold remember it will have other elements. Most of us have fallen victims to fraud but you don’t have to when you know the following
Check the stamp
If you are going to buy the gold plated jewels expect them to be stamped. This will always show the gold metals composition. Expect the following marking therefore
GEP – Gold electroplated
RGP – rolled gold electroplat3d
HGE – heavy gold electroplated.
If it has no such markings, we can classify it as solid gold. However not before we take it through some tests first.
The use of a magnet
Gold is never magnetic just like silver so you can use the magnet to see if it affects you. If it responds to the gold jewel, then know that it has some other metals other than gold within. Since it has other metals, it will experience a reaction as a result of the presence of other metal alloys.
Also, notice if you have a base metal being nonmagnetic it will make it appear as though it’s not magnetic which is why you should employ other methods below.
This one will often show you the karat of the gold easily. This is also the easiest way to show solid or gold-plated jewelry. Remove a small part of your jewel then add drops of the acid to see the color change.
Although ideal, it’s a risky process as you have to cut the piece deep enough to see whether it’s plated or not. If it has no base metal, then it’s solid
Check the color and if you are talking of the 24K solid gold then it will have a deeper yellow as it’s pure. If it has an uneven color tone, then chances are that it’s plated.
Tips to care for the plated gold
Any jewel you have will only last long if you take good care of the jewel.
Just keep your plated jewel away from the oil chemical and makeup. Remember it’s thin so it will chip off at the slightest reaction. Also, take the jewels out when you are cleaning to make sure you don’t subject them to detergents.
Don’t go to the pool or into the shower with the gold-plated jewels you will damage it.
Although you can’t get rid of body sweats and toxins, the way you handle the jewels will matter. Make sure you wipe it from time to time.
Clean the jewels frequently but be careful through that process since you don’t want to damage them. Remember to only use the mild detergents for the same thus keeping it safe.
Don’t keep it with other jewelry to make sure you protect it. If you will rub it across other jewels, then it will get damaged.
Can you make the jewels look as good as new?
Yes, even if you realize that they are getting damaged you can go on to re-plate them again. The good thing though is that the process is cheap so you won’t spend a lot on the same. Take them to get re-plated again to have the same look once more.