Ultimate Guide for Gold Plated Jewelry

Jewelry has been part of everyone’s fashion statement ever since. Back in the early days, jewelry has been considered a sign of royalty and luxury. 

Gold is one of the common types of jewelry that humans have been using since the start of civilization. It has been developed by many jewelers to stand the test time. It created a luster and bright appearance that entice everyone to wear it. Gold equals luxury and buying luxury needs a lot of money. 

But if you want to buy luxury with a tight budget. No worries. Jewelry has come in different types to fit any one’s pocket.

As we all know, choosing a piece of jewelry has been challenging as well as it is never easy to buy one.   As much as we want to have the most delicate gold quality of our jewelry, our budget may limit us to having one. Purchasing a piece of Gold-plated jewelry has been a great alternative. The gold-plated jewelry is buying an accessory that doesn’t cut a great deal on your savings.

Gold plated jewelry has been popular for tight budget fashionistas around the world since the luxurious appearance of gold has not been compensated. Still, the value of money has gone a long way to fit everybody’s budget restraint. It is indeed a practical solution for everyone. It is not easy to differentiate a piece of gold-plated jewelry with genuine solid gold jewelry. It is like an inexpensive modern imitation of expensive gold jewelry.

Are you interested to learn more about gold-plated jewelry? We got you covered. Keep on scrolling because we will offer you the ultimate guide for buying gold-plated jewelry.

Its origin and meaning

In 1805, an Italian chemist named Luigi Brugnatelli invented the process of gold plating by plating a thin coat of gold onto silver. Gold plating, as defined, is a process wherein a thin layer of gold is bonded onto a base metal.

Its process

Gold plating is an easy process. Here are the steps in plating gold onto a base metal. 

  1. Clean thoroughly and remove all kinds of pollutants in the piece of jewelry. This is very critical as any dirt and oil on a base metal will keep the gold layer from bonding correctly with it. For producing the best result, you may use the following standard method for cleaning the base metal, namely steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning, and electro cleaning.
  2. Then, put a thin layer of high-quality nickel onto the base metal. This process will hinder the base metal from contaminating the gold liquid in the containers.
  3. Dipped the jewelry in the container with gold and used a positive electrical charge to fuse the gold onto the base metal. 
  4. Lastly, you hung the jewelry to dry.

Its Value and Appearance

The most frequently asked question about gold-plated jewelry is, is its real gold?  The answer is yes because it uses real gold, but it doesn’t hold the value of gold since it requires only a little amount of gold.

The purity of gold usually ranges from 10k to 24k gold. However, its value doesn’t mean a lot at all since it will only need a little amount of gold to be used regardless of the purity level.

The thickness of gold plating ranges from .17 to 2.5 microns. For pendant and earrings gold-plated jewelry, it has .17 microns thickness. This thickness can shelter the jewelry from heavy wear and tear, but it can wear off quite quickly.

The ideal thickness for rings and bracelets is around .5 up to 1.0 microns.

Heavy gold plated is plating around 2.5 microns.

Regardless of the thickness of gold plating, it still has no resale value because of the little amount of gold used to produce it. But the thicker the plating is, the longer gold-plated jewelry lasts.

Its Quality

Gold, as we all know, is an inert metal that doesn’t rust or corrode. But gold-plated jewelry is not pure gold at all, as mentioned above.

Gold plated jewelry is prone to fade and tarnish over time, losing its initial luster and brightness. The problem is with the base metal, which is prone to rust and oxidizing. Over time, the molecules of the base metal eventually move into the gold layer, affecting its appearance. The thinner the layer of gold-plating, the quicker it will tarnish. But this can be avoided if the base metal is first plated with nickel. Nickel keeps the base metal from affecting the appearance of the gold.

Different types of Gold-plated Jewelry

The different techniques for producing gold and gold-toned jewelry specifies its type.

  1. Flash Plated Jewelry

This jewelry has a skinny layer of gold that is applied through electroplating, which is approximately less than .175 microns. The base metal for flash jewelry is usually a cheap material such as brass. This is considered to be the lowest quality of plating that is available in the market. As it is only plated thinly, the layer of gold will wear very quickly, leaving the piece of jewelry looking tarnished after only a few wears.

You can buy flash jewelry in costume jewelry and fast fashion jewelry. If the jewelry has not been labeled with any indication of how it is plated, you can generally assume that it is flash jewelry.

  1. Gold-Plated Jewelry

For the jewelry to be considered gold plated, the layer of gold must be at least .5 microns. Always remember that the thicker the gold, the longer it will maintain its color and finish. In reality, many jewelry companies are usually plating only with .5 microns.

You can easily buy gold plated jewelry in a department store or online store that carries independent brands of gold-plated jewelry. The price of gold-plated jewelry varies depending on the thickness of the plating.

  1. Gold-Filled Jewelry

Gold-Filled Jewelry is made by mechanically bonding a thin sheet of gold to the outside of a core metal, which is usually copper. In gold-filled jewelry, it is measured in weight, meaning the gold layer must be at least 5% of the item’s total value in weight. This is said to be an old-fashioned technique developed during the start of the 1900s. Modern jewelry manufacturers no longer use this kind of approach because it is time-intensive and expensive to produce. The product is considered not superior to gold-plated jewelry. Still, the cost of staging is much more costly than gold-plated jewelry. This jewelry will eventually tarnish and fade the same with gold-plated jewelry. But to replate it and bring back its previous luster and brightness, you need to use electroplating. This means the gold-filled jewelry will be gold-plated then.

  1. Gold Vermeil Jewelry

Gold Vermeil Jewelry is the higher quality of gold plating, which has a long-lasting lifespan against tarnish and fading, and it is also affordable as well. This is also known as heavy gold plating. For the jewelry to be called vermeil, the base metal should be sterling silver, and the gold must be at least 10k in purity and 2.5 microns in thickness.

You can find it in a higher-end online jewelry store or boutique shops.

  1. Solid Gold Jewelry

This is the top quality of gold-tone jewelry but unquestionably the most expensive type of gold-tone jewelry. This type of jewelry, indeed has no hollow inside. The karatage (symbol “k”) will state the proportion of gold plated in the jewelry. The other metal mixed with gold will make it more durable. The 24k gold is pure gold, but it is too soft and very much susceptible to scratches. This type of jewelry is not advisable for everyday use. The color is pretty much orange.

The 18k gold is composed of 18 parts of gold and six parts other metal, which means almost 75% gold.

The 14k gold is composed of 14 parts of gold and ten parts of other metals, which means almost 60% gold.

The solid gold jewelry can be bought in luxury brand boutique shops and high-end online jewelry store. Always remember that the higher the proportion of gold in the jewelry, the higher the price tag.

How to Maintain your Gold-Plated Jewelry

Even though gold-plated jewelry is prone to tarnish over time, there are still ways to keep it at its finest with extra care.

  1. Keep your gold-plated jewelry away from all kinds of chemicals such as oils and make-up. We recommend putting on your gold-plated jewelry after applying beauty products on yourself, such as makeup, hairspray, and perfumes.
  2. Do not wear your gold-plated jewelry when you are doing household chores. Because chemicals in detergent or soap may impact the gold plating, causing it to flake or fade.
  3. Do not swim with your gold-plated jewelry; be it in pools or salty water. Chlorine and salt may damage it.
  4. Do not wear your gold-plated jewelry when you are sweating since body oils and sweat may impact the plating in your gold-plated jewelry. We suggest to clean it frequently to get rid of these pollutants.
  5. Cleaning your gold-plated jewelry, you might use a mild liquid soap and warm water. You should avoid any harsh chemicals and brush as it may flak or expose the metal below.
  6. We recommend that gold plated jewelry must be stored on the jewelry box because it may rub on other jewelry, and it may damage it.
  7. Do not sleep wearing your gold-plated jewelry because of the same rubbing incident that may cause it some friction that may damage the jewelry.
  8. One of the secret tricks in cleaning your gold-plated jewelry is by spraying some window cleaner onto a piece of kitchen towel. After that, gently rub it over your metal.

How to Spot an Authentic Gold-Plated Jewelry

The jeweler must indicate that the gold is plated. Here are some ways to identify authentic Gold-plated jewelry.

  1. Gold plated jewelry is so much affordable as the price is below fifty dollars.
  2. Gold plated jewelry is mostly stamp using the following:
GP – gold plated
GEP – gold electroplated
HGE – heavy gold electroplate
HGP – heavy gold plate
  1. However, you can find pieces of jewelry that have no hallmarks at all. There is no strict rule that gold-plated jewelry must bear any hallmarks or stamps.

Are you interested to know the buy gold-plated jewelry of great value and quality? Check out our sterling silver collection with gold-plated jewelry. We assure you of the best quality and affordable price for this spectacular jewelry.

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"Something is handmade is so much more meaningful"

Beth Wert