What is gold plating?
Basically, gold plating is the technique wherever any metal or silver-based jewelry is coated with real gold of a skinny layer of a specific gold carat through electroplating or mechanical sheathing. Gold plating is finished on pieces of jewelry to keep the product value cheaper while achieving the gorgeous look same as solid gold jewelry. The jewelry is layered with real gold, its durability completely depends on the thickness of the plated layer.
Measuring Unit for gold plating
“Micron” is the generally used term for discussing the thickness of gold plating. 1 micron is about forty times bigger than a “micro-inch” / Gold flash.
Why is plating done?
Types of gold plating
This type of coating is very thin. Whenever you listen about gold-plated jewelry, this is the type of plating that’s being referred to. In this type of gold plating, jewelry items are dipped in a gold bath just enough to give an article a gold color and even finish.
It simply means high gold plating over sterling silver. For gold vermeil plating, the layer needs to be at least 2.5 microns thick and the minimum gold purity used should be 10 karats. As it has a thicker layer of gold and uses sterling silver as its base metal, vermeil plating is a better choice compared to gold-plated jewelry items. Vermeil plating is available at affordable prices and is one of the favorite choices to be used in jewelry designs as an alternative to solid gold, along with the gold-filled finish. Vermeil gold plating is long-lasting as it does not rub off quickly because the gold plating is much thicker here.
It is not merely covered with a thin layer of gold, nor is it actually filled with gold but gold filled metal is made by applying a thick sheet or layer of gold over a base metal core, that is then rolled beneath heat and high pressure till permanently bonded to the base metal. Brass or copper may be used as the base metal. The purity of gold should be at least 10K gold, and 12K, 14K, or 18K gold can also be used in this process. The coating of gold-filled is 10 times thicker than the usual gold-plated finish. Additionally, jewelry made of gold-filled plating is safe for people with sensitive skin. The stamp “GF” indicates that the jewelry is plated with gold filled.
In micro plating, gold coating thickness is above 0.5microns. During this process, the jewelry is first given a layer of rhodium plating for a better shine & durability of the next layer (real gold). This extra layer is very vital to give a better grip to the next layer(real gold layer), as the base metal molecules can slowly get transferred onto the real gold breaking it down. In another step, the jewelry is dipped in a real gold bath (of a pre-decided carat) and it remains there for a while, till the gold layer thickness as per the required micron plating is achieved. All this is recorded with a device that is part of the plating apparatus. Micron plating is durable.
Are you thinking about which type of gold jewelry coating will suit you? It depends upon a variety of factors like your budget or affordability, how often do you wear it, how regularly you can take good care of it, and many more. Every second people love gold vermeil and gold-filled due to the reason that they are both affordable, yet of high quality and enough for daily wear.