Is Gold Plated Jewellery a Real Gold?

Gold plated jewellery

Are you confused between buying gold plated and gold jewellery? Do the terms like 18 k gold plating and 18 carat gold puzzle your mind? Are you still wondering, if gold plated jewellery contains any real gold? Then you are at the right place. Here in this article, we will tell you everything that you should know about gold plated jewellery.


What is the difference between gold plated and gold jewellery?

The difference is between the composition of the two metals. Gold is a precious metal and has intrinsic value. In gold jewellery, gold alloy is consistent throughout the piece. Whereas, gold plated jewellery is budget-friendly and doesn’t have any intrinsic value. It is made up of the other metals such as brass, copper, steel, zinc, nickel with a thin coating of gold on it.

Gold plated often referred as an artificial jewellery gives you a feel of real gold jewellery and doesn’t come with a high price tag. It is stylish and can be changed easily on a daily basis to match with your outfit. For this reason, it is also called as fashion jewellery or costume jewellery.

As everything has its own pros and cons, so gold plated jewellery also have some drawbacks. It gets tarnished, fades away and might require replating after some time. However, with little maintenance and care you can make your gold plated jewellery long lasting. To know how to care for your artificial jewellery, click here.


Now you must be curious to know what is gold plating and how it gets done?

Gold plating is a process in which a thin layer of gold is bonded onto a different base metal such as brass, copper, zinc etc. The term plating is quite common in the world of jewellery. Gold, Rhodium, Rose Gold and Oxidized are a few most popular types of platings. This process of plating was invented by an Italian chemist, Luigi Brugnatelli in 1805. He was the first person to coat a thin plate of gold onto silver.

There are various types of gold plating varying from quality levels depending on the thickness and purity of gold used in coating such as flash gold, 14 k, 18 k, micron etc. This is an important factor while evaluating the piece. Base metal, craftsmanship and the other raw material such as beads, stones, pearls used in the jewellery also helps in deciding its worth. Gold plated jewellery is also known as imitation jewellery as once plated it gets next to impossible to identify if it is artificial or real gold.

Plating jewellery is an easy process with a few steps to follow. Jewellery must be cleaned thoroughly and all the pollutants from it should be removed. This is the first and the most important step as dirt and oil on the base metal may not allow the gold layer to bond correctly. To get the best results, steam cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning and electro cleaning methods can be used to clean the base metal.

Second step is to put a very thin layer of high-quality nickel onto base metal to protect the gold layer from being impacted. This layer also protects the gold liquid in the containers from being contaminated by base metals during the process of plating.

Third and the final step is to dip the jewellery in the container filled with gold and a positive electrical charge is used to fuse the gold onto the base metal. Once the desired thickness of gold is achieved then jewellery is hung with wires to dry.


Is gold plated jewellery a real gold?

Yes. Gold plating jewellery is a real gold jewellery however, it doesn’t hold any value because of a very little amount of gold used in it.

The purity of gold used in gold plating varies just like real or solid gold. The lowest purity of gold is 10 k and 24 k being the highest. In gold plating, the primary difference in these types of gold is the colour that it produces rather than in its value. The higher the purity of gold will be, the more gold colour it will produce. However, the value of the jewellery will not change much due to a small quantity of gold used in it regardless of the purity levels.


Does gold plating jewellery have any resale value?

No. Since the base metal in gold plated jewellery is a non-precious metal and has a very thin layer of gold which gets very difficult to recover. So, it has a little or no resale value.


How long does gold plating last?

Gold plating is permanent however, it is not good at handling rough exposure. Gold plating wear off with time and as and when it comes in contact with sweat, water, moisturiser or fragrances. This leaves the base metal underneath exposed which makes your gold plated jewellery looked tarnished. Usually, the gold plating lasts for at least 6 to 12 months, if kept and worn with care. To make the plating of your jewellery long lasting, you can follow the maintenance and care tips given here.

You can also get your tarnished piece replated when required from your nearby jewellery plating shop.


Where can I buy good gold plated jewellery?

Though there are may jewellery brands in a market which offers gold plated jewellery however, quality, design and worth of the jewellery always matter. Jewellery can make and even break your looks. So, choosing it wisely is important.

At Kalin Couture, we offer the jewellery which is timeless and assures you worth your money. We use brass as a base metal and keep it nickel, lead, cadmium and zinc free. This protects your skin from allergies and fatal diseases like cancer. Most of our jewellery pieces have 18 k gold plating which ensures you of high-quality at affordable prices and gives you a feel of wearing real gold in touch and looks. You can check out our collection by clicking here.


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