Gold plating is a process that applies a thin layer of gold on the surface of another metal. It is often used to enhance the appearance and durability of jewelry pieces, but it can also be used for other decorative purposes. Gold plating has existed since ancient times; it was first discovered by Egyptians, who used gold leaf to decorate their coffins with images of gods and goddesses. Gold plating comes in several different forms: full-karat (24k), half-karat (18k) and quarter-karat (14k). Full karat means 100% pure gold; half karat means 50% pure; quarter karat means 25%. The higher percentage you have in your piece, the more expensive it will be!
Types of Gold-Plated Jewelry
Gold-plated jewelry is available in many forms. The most common types of gold-plated jewelry include:
- Earrings and other piercings (such as nose rings)
- Charms and pendants that can be attached to chains or bracelets
- Cufflinks, brooches and other accessories can also be made out of gold-plated materials!
Care and Maintenance of Gold Plated Jewelry
Cleaning and polishing:
- Use a soft, clean cloth to wipe your gold-plated jewelry.
- Avoid using chemicals or abrasives to clean it, as these can damage the finish.
- Do not wear gold-plated jewelry in contact with salt water or chlorine pools/spas.
- This will cause tarnishing of the surface over time, which may be permanent if left untreated for too long.
- Storing properly: Store your gold-plated jewelry in an airtight container lined with acid-free tissue paper when not being worn so as not to damage its finish by exposing it to air and humidity over time.
History of Gold-Plated Jewelry
Gold plating has been used for thousands of years. In ancient civilizations, gold was often used as an overlay on silver and copper jewelry to enhance its look and feel. Today, the process is much more advanced than simply adding a thin layer of gold to another metal; modern techniques involve electroplating or chemical deposition methods that allow for superior durability and shine. Gold-plated jewelry can be created using either electroplating or chemical deposition methods:
- Electroplating involves placing your piece into a solution containing copper ions (electrolyte), which are then attracted to the surface of your piece by an electric current applied through electrodes attached to both ends of it (anode and cathode). These ions bond themselves onto whatever metal they come into contact with--in this case, your jewelry item! Next comes another step called rinsing off excess electrolyte from newly formed layer(s) before applying another coat until desired thickness is achieved.
- Chemical Deposition uses chemicals such as cyanide salts or sulfuric acid instead of electrical currents during electrochemical reactions between metals being deposited onto each other; however, these processes are very complicated due to their high cost and complexity.