Gone are the days when you needed a big fortune to wear jewelry. Now you can buy jewelry that looks just like gold thanks to the gold electroplating process. TTT jewelry is a reliable manufacturing company that designs, manufactures, and delivers uniquely customized items for brands and businesses!
So, let’s learn everything about gold-plated jewelry, what metals can be gold-plated, and the detailed process of electroplating them. We also cover why and how gold-plated jewelry tarnishes and what you can clean to secure your collection.
What is Gold-Plating on Jewelry?
Many people confuse gold-plated jewelry with real gold, yet both the terms are different from each other. Gold-plated jewelry is a piece of metal that is “plated” or coated with gold. Unlike pure-gold or solid gold jewelry, which includes gold alloy all over the item, gold-plated jewelry is made of base metal and a thin layer of gold. Sometimes, a base coat is also plated with Nickel to improve the plating effect.
However, what makes gold-plated jewelry demanding other than its resemblance to real gold is its affordable cost. Since the jewelry item is just coated with gold, it is widely used to replicate designer brands or more high-priced jewelry that isn’t readily available.
How Much is Gold Plated Worth?
When people start thinking of gold, they usually think of three things; its value, beauty, and cost. Gold is on the expensive side; that’s why many people opt for the more affordable option.
People may choose either silver or gold-plated jewelry. Gold-plated jewelry is the more popular option since it looks natural, like pure gold. And this type of jewelry is more accessible or affordable to most people.
Gold-plating comes in varying levels of quality, gold added, and craftsmanship. Gold-plated jewelry has distinct degrees of thickness which are measured in microns. The standard thickness of gold-plated jewelry is 0.5 microns to 1 micron.
The value of gold-plated jewelry depends on the base metal used for the piece, the gemstone chosen, and the amount of gold consumed for plating.
Gold-plated jewelry is very inexpensive and rarely goes above the $50 tag. In most instances, you can expect to get about $15 to $20 for a pound (455 g) of gold-plated jewelry. You’ll get a piece of fabulous jewelry for an affordable price.
Why Choose Gold-Plated Jewelry
Most people prefer gold-plated jewelry for the following reasons:
Gold-plated jewelry items are more affordable than solid gold or gold-filled jewelry. This jewelry typically varies between $5 to $50. Many people start buying and wearing gold-plated jewelry because of its affordability.
- Just Like Authentic Gold
Gold-plated jewelry looks like the real deal when customers are unfamiliar with gold jewelry. They may find it hard to distinguish authentic gold from gold-plated ones, especially if a master artisan creates it.
- Brings Elegance and Sophistication
The gold electroplating process makes the jewelry look like solid gold while inexpensive. Hence, gold-plated jewelry brings a perfect touch of radiance and elegance to any outfit.
- Wide Range of Selection and Styles
Gold-plated jewelry is available in a wide selection of styles. Jewelers have more choices for the design, as almost all metals can be used in the process. Gold-plated jewelry has a lot of design probabilities. People can also use this accessory featuring various shapes and patterns for various events.
Gold-plated jewelry is more durable than solid gold jewelry and long-lasting. Gold is a very soft and flexible metal. The bigger the karat, the softer and more flexible the jewelry is. Hence, 24K is too weak, and it is unusual to make jewelry entirely from this.
Gold should either be mixed with or plated over other metals for the element to be ample to shape and mold into jewelry. So, jewelry with a thin plating of gold on the exterior is a terrific way to have the impression of gold while having a piece of solid and lasting jewelry. So, choose gold-plated if you decide what jewelry to go for.
Which Gold Plated Jewelry is Best?
The purity of gold used is measured in carats. Carats is the estimation of the purity of gold alloyed with other metals. The lowest purity is 10 Karat, and the greatest is 24 Karat.
When it comes to gold-plating, the primary difference in these types of gold is the hue it creates rather than in the quality. The greater the purity of the gold, the more gold-like the color is.
The color of 24K gold-plated jewelry is constantly intense bright yellow. And the color of 18K gold-plated jewelry is slightly duller because of the various alloys.
However, the value doesn’t change much because of how little gold is used, regardless of the purity levels. The answer depends on the objective. Are you comparing 18k to 24k for jewelry and fashion purposes?
Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings in 18k gold-plated are better when compared to those in 24k gold-plated. The gold-plating on both pieces would fade off fast. But the 24k gold plating has a more excellent gold content and a slightly increased price.
The 18K gold plating contains 75% pure gold combined with other metals for greater firmness and resilience. 18k gold plated jewelry is excellent in both quality and value. And 18k gold is more prevalent in jewelry because it is mixed with other metals and becomes more durable.
In contrast, the 24K gold-plating is 100% pure gold. 24k gold is much more expensive and is commonly used for investments, decoration, and medical devices. But, 24K gold is commonly not used in jewelry making as it is very soft and susceptible to damage.
So, if you are looking for better jewelry, an 18K gold plating is more durable than a 24K gold plating. And an 18k gold-plated jewelry is more popular and fits what many people think of authentic gold jewelry.
How TTT Jewelry Manufactures Gold-Plated Jewelry?
The process of coating jewelry items with a thin layer of gold is called the gold electroplating process. It may seem easy but requires precise measurements and thorough expertise in the field. In TTT Jewelry, we do this gold-plating process by the following seven steps:
1. Surface Cleaning
Proper metal cleaning is necessary to coat an even layer of gold and is done in two steps. First, we make sure that the surface of the metal is cleaned of any dust, dirt, oil, contamination, or any pollutants by using the following methods:
- Wheel Polishing
- Acid/non-acid ultrasonic baths
Second, the metal surface is cleaned using water or a combination of water with solvents, alkaline cleaners, or abrasive materials.
2. Deep Cleaning
The metal is first cleaned by us using mild methods to remove any contamination on the surface. Next comes deep cleaning where the oils, dirt, or pollutants are washed using one or more following methods:
- Ultrasonic cleaning
Also, we carefully pay extra attention to the jewelry with more nooks, corners, or crannies to prevent deeply rooted contamination.
Cleaning is required to free the metal from any contaminants, but the purpose of rinsing afterward is to wash away any cleaning agents. This step is also necessary as the metal to be coated should be clean of both pollutants and cleansers on the surface and deeper levels.
Now is the time for a base coat typically done with a Nickel layer between the surface and the final gold coat. Also known as a flash coat or a strike layer, it enhances the bonding ability of both the surface and gold layers on the finished gold-plated jewelry that you will receive.
Also, this step is employed to decrease the rate of tarnishing as the base metal can integrate with the gold layer if there is no flash layer between the both. Not only does it help the gold-plated jewelry last longer, but it also improves its quality.
After we finish nickel plating, the jewelry item is rinsed again to free the metal from any excessive base plating.
Here, the Nickel-plated metal is dipped into gold-filled containers or vessels where a positive electric charge fuses the gold on the item. In this process, we can meet your requirements on the thickness of the gold coat, which typically ranges from 10k to 18k or 24k.
7. Rinsing & Drying
The last step of gold-plating includes proper rinsing, which washes away any excessive gold. Then the jewelry items are dried.
Which Metals Can be Gold-Plated for You?
The gold-plating process isn’t confined to any metal; the only condition is that the metal to be coated should have a conducting surface as the gold is plated with a positive electric charge. Typically, these metals are used for gold-plating:
- Stainless steel
Does Gold-Plated Jewelry Tarnish?
Tarnishing can be defined as a thin layer of rust or corrosion on metals.TTT Jewelry always makes gold-plated jewelry with premium-quality metal and a delicate coating process; a gold-plated item you receive from us can last two years.
But when body oils, cosmetics, sulfur, perspiration, perfumes, deodorants, moisturizers, and other environmental elements contaminate the metal’s surface, tarnish occurs. The usage and the tarnishing can range from somewhat dull to completely black.
How to Secure Your Gold-Plated Jewelry from Tarnishing?
Gold-plated jewelry holds a special place for all the jewel freaks, but so do cosmetics, perfumes, and other chemically infused products. What you shouldn’t forget is that an unsafe atmosphere increases the tarnishing rate. Let’s explore some of the top ways to secure your gold-plated jewelry from tarnishing!
1. Buy from a Reliable Source
The first and foremost step in buying any jewelry, let alone gold-plated, is to avoid cheap brands that sell low-quality jewelry. It may save you some money, but what’s the benefit if trashing starts to occur after just a few uses?
You can also create your jewelry designs but always ensure to buy from a trustworthy brand such as TTTJewelry, which uses the highest quality materials and advanced craft technology to plate hypoallergenic, 18k gold on jewelry metals.
2. Double Check the Quality
There are always scammers who can sell you cheap-quality gold-plated jewelry even if they show premium designs. Since the world is connected by technology, online shopping has become more famous, and so it has become difficult to verify quality.
3. Keep Your Jewelry Dry
If you buy your jewels from TTT Jewelry, you can enjoy wearing your gold-plated collection without worrying about tarnishing. However, since the longevity of a gold-plated item depends both on the quality and usage, we suggest that it is essential to keep it in a dry place and avoid contact with moisture as much as possible.
4. Store Your Jewelry in Closed Containers
Don’t forget; the air is also full of pollutants. It would be best if you kept your gold-plated jewelry in closed containers to secure them from environmental pollutants as much as possible. Items you don’t wear every day should be secured in dry, closed places to increase their longevity. As for signature jewelry items, you can still secure them by ensuring they do not contact moisture before, during, and after usage.
5. Keep Metals Separate
Now, this is an important step that most people forget; your gold-plated jewelry collection should be categorized based on different types of metals and in different containers. You can also place different metals in separate sections; just make sure they do not get close to each other.
6. Clean Daily
Lastly, clean your gold-plated items using cotton or soft cloth every time you wear them. If they accidentally contact water or any other moisture, first dry them and then store them in secure containers.
How to Clean Gold-Plated Jewelry?
Just like in any jewelry, cleaning and caring for them is essential. The way you maintain your jewelry will impact its durability.
You will need a dishwashing liquid, warm water, cotton balls/swab, and microfiber cloth. Listed below is a step-by-step guide on how to maintain your piece.
- Wipe Your Jewelry After Wearing
Use a wet cotton ball and a microfiber cloth to remove body oils and dirt. Wipe your jewelry after every use. Air-dry your gold-plated jewelry before keeping it.
- Make a Cleaning Solution
Clean your gold-plated jewelry with a warm, foamy solution if it has noticeable dirt or feels gooey. Blend a cup of warm water and 2-3 drops of dishwashing liquid in a small container.
- Dip the Jewelry in the Cleaning Solution
Put the gold-plated jewelry in the cleanser and immerse it for 10 minutes. Clean only a few pieces of jewelry at a time to avoid scraping. Do not soak the jewelry if it has ornaments such as pearls, gemstones, or coating.
- Remove the Lodged Dirt
Use a cotton swab to eliminate dirt from tiny openings for intricately engraved jewelry. Avoid sharp tools like knives or paper clips to discard the soil because they can scrape off the jewelry’s gold plating.
- Rinse, Dry, and Polish
Rinse the gold-plated jewelry in warm water once the piece is clean. Wipe dry with a soft, microfiber cloth and gently polish to restore the glow.
About TTT Jewelry
TTT Jewelry is a jewelry manufacturing company based in China that designs and manufactures a wide range of jewelry items for brands, businesses, and retailers. Not only that, but you also get proper branding and marketing assistance with TTT as it’s a one-stop shop for all one-of-a-kind items.
TTT is fully proficient in delivering the finest quality and unique electroplated and other jewelry items with ten years of industry expertise. Our jewelry is wear-resistant and corrosion-protected with an increased thickness. Even further, our experienced craftsmen excel at making jewelry items aesthetically pleasing and appealing to your senses.
At TTT, you are welcome to take benefit of our following services:
- Personal Consulting Service: Unsure how to begin? The TTT team is there to guide you about everything from jewelry materials, product optimization, cost efficiency, and anything that troubles you.
- Material Research: TTT offers a whole library of materials and other options to let customers explore and come up with their desired customization. We also help you find out what plating method would be best for your project or the type of metals you should use for gold-plating jewelry.
- Structure & Visualisations: An accurate 3D visual representation of your customized item will give you an in-depth picture of your design.
- Sample Service: We offer two sample services based on your customization, and the second will have modifications according to your valuable feedback.
- Value-add Service: There is so much more to TTT; you can get updates on what’s in demand or value in the market, as well as you can get a complementary color card, models, samples, and HD photos.
When it comes to quality, TTT believes in making long-term client relationships, and all our jewelry is made from premium-quality materials with no irritating or harmful alloys. You are also welcome to explore TTT’s Youtube Channel to see how everything works at TTT Jewelry!