F.A.Q. About Gold, Rose Gold, and Rhodium Plated Jewelry
One of the most frequently asked questions about plated jewelry is how long the plating will last. The answer to this question depends on the jewelry, the type of plating, and how it’s worn.
Why? In a nutshell, “plating” is shorthand for electroplating. This means that gold, rose gold, or rhodium plated jewelry is covered by a microscopically thin layer of metal using a special process that combines chemistry and electricity. By dipping the jewelry in a chemical solution which contains gold, rose gold, or rhodium and applying electricity, a thin layer of the metal grows on the jewelry piece.
This way, it’s possible to produce many different kinds of finishes on an underlying metal piece. In fact, even some real gold jewelry is also gold plated, because the plating process produces a bright and clean finish on the underlying gold.
What Determines How Long Plating Will Last?
It’s hard to provide a simple number when a customer asks “How long does rose gold plating last?” or “How long does rhodium plating last?” The reason is because there are three different factors which determine how long any given plating will hold up.
First, the thickness of the plating. Thicker plating layers last longer. We use high-quality 0.5 micron plating that lasts a long time depending on how the jewelry is maintained. On customer demand we can provide up to 3 micron thick plating at additional cost.
Second, the amount of contact the jewelry has with the world. Plating on a ring will normally wear off much faster than plating on a pendant, because a ring constantly rubs against fingers and objects throughout the day.
Third, the underlying metal. Gold, rose gold, or rhodium plating adheres better to some metals (like silver or gold) and not as well to others.
How to Take Care of Gold Plated Jewelry
Since mechanical wear is the main factor leading to plating deterioration, taking care of gold plated jewelry is simple. Keep it protected from mechanical wear and in a soft container, where there’s nothing to rub against it and damage the plated coating.
In the event the plating does wear, re-plating is fast and inexpensive — many jewelers offer it as a service. It’s not uncommon even for people with solid gold or silver jewelry to ask for plating. Rhodium plating on silver, for example, is a very desirable way to add “sparkle” and prevent tarnish of existing silver pieces, and owners of solid gold jewelry often ask for plating in order to change the color of the piece or improve the finish.
If you take good care of gold, rose gold, or rhodium plated jewelry, it can last a long time. But there’s no need to worry. If something does happen, re-plating is probably offered by your local jeweler.
Looking for gold plated rose?
Jewelers tried to plate real flowers with gold or silver centuries ago. But now with help of modern technology it can be done quite easily, see: real rose, preserved and plated in pure 24K Gold
For more ideas refer to our post on plated jewelry ideas your clients will love