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Everything You Need to Know About Gold-Plated Jewelry

In this blog, we’ll try to tell you everything you wanted to know about gold-plating, also called gold electro-plating, and answer your questions about whether gold-plated jewellery really is up to par. Among the most popular ones is Gold plated huggie hoop CZ earring these days. 

If something is gold-plated, does that mean it is real gold or fake? Does gold-plated jewellery have no value? Will gold-plated jewellery make your skin red and itchy? Does it last?

After going out of style and being seen as “cheap” jewellery, gold-plated jewellery has had a remarkable comeback, especially among designer jewellery brands. It’s a great alternative to solid gold that doesn’t cost as much.

Gold-Plated Jewelry:

Gold plating is the process of putting a thin layer of gold on top of another metal. The thickness of the plating and the carat of the gold used can be different.

Base metal (the cheapest metal), copper, or silver can all be plated. It is called Silver-Gilt or Gold Vermeil when gold is put on silver. By the end of this blog, you will know about 18K Gold layered necklaces jewelry or any other kind of gold-plated jewellery out there. 

Gold plating is used in the electronics industry because it is a good conductor. It is also used a lot in the jewellery industry, which is what this blog is about. 

Why is Gold Plated:

The most apparent benefit of gold plating is that it helps keep the price down. Gold is a very expensive precious metal. The higher the carat, the more expensive it is.

It is much cheaper to make a piece of jewellery out of a cheaper metal that is then plated in gold than to make it out of solid gold.

Gold with a higher carat, like 18-carat, can be used to plate jewellery and make it shine more richly and deeply than even solid 9-carat gold.

Gold-plated jewellery is a great way for people who like to change their jewellery often to do so without going broke.

How Did Gold Plating Start:

Gold Plating; A Quick History:

As early as 200–500 BC, gold foils were hammered around the outside of other metals to give them a shiny finish.

Then, this turned into gold leaf and a way to put gold (mixed with mercury!) on surfaces by brushing it on. The item was then heated so that the mercury would evaporate, leaving only the gold.

Electroplating, which is a more modern way to coat metals, did not come into use until the Industrial Revolution.


In 1800, Alessandro Volta made the first electric battery, and scientists started experimenting with it right away. About a year later, William Cruikshank was able to put metal on a Volta electrochemical battery.

This was then worked on more, and in 1805, a chemist named Luigi Brugnatelli used a battery and a gold solution to coat some silver medals with gold.

All of a sudden, the rich wanted to show how rich they were by having things covered in gold.

If you want to learn more about the history of electroplating, this blog is a great and complete place to do so.

Thickness Of Gold Plating:

“Microns” are used to measure how thick the layer of gold used to plate jewellery is. The longer the plating will last before it wears off, the more microns it has.

Gold Flashed is the name for gold plating that is less than 0.5 microns thick and was used in cheap costume jewellery.

Gold Vermeil is gold plating that is more than 2.5 microns thick. This is the best gold plating, and for it to be called “gold vermeil,” the gold must be plated on silver.

What Kind Of Things Can Be Gold Plated:

Any metal can have a layer of gold put on it. Most of the time, gold is put on base metals like copper and silver.

In fact, modern techniques make it possible to gold-plate almost anything, even plastics.

Gold sticks well to silver. This is why it lasts longer on silver than on base metals. Because of this, some things made of base metal are plated with silver (or rhodium) before they are plated with gold.

Gold is more durable than silver when it comes to gold plating. So, plating an item with, say, 14-carat gold before plating it with 18-carat gold will give it a finish that lasts longer than gold plated on silver.

The Process Of Gold Plating:

The first and most important step in modern gold plating is to clean the item’s surface.

Oils and dirt on the surface must be removed or the gold won’t attach to the metal, and dirt can get into the tank. Chemicals, stripping, blasting, or polishing are among the options.

After stripping, clean and rinse the object. Ultrasound can achieve this.

Copper or other base metals are coated with rhodium or nickel (and sometimes even silver). Flash layer. This prevents base metals from leaching through the gold coating and rusting.

The object is then dipped in a gold-attracting plating solution. The tank contains positive gold ions. The plated jewellery hangs on a negative-charged cathode bar. This negative charges the jewellery. An electric current runs through the liquid as the jewellery is added. Negatively charged jewellery attracts positively charged gold ions, coating it.

The gold gets thicker the longer it stays in the tank.

Problems You Might Face While Gold Plating:

Sometimes, the metals under the gold can “leach” through the gold and make it look old. This can happen over time to gold-plated silver, but it happens most often to gold-plated copper or gold-plated base metal.

This will take some time to do (see below for care tips), but it can be fixed by coating the metal underneath with rhodium or nickel, which acts as a seal before the gold is plated.

With time and bad care, gold plating can wear off.

Some cheap gold-plated costume jewellery is “flashed” with gold, which means the gold layer is very thin. This can wear off quickly, and the metal underneath, which might be nickel, can irritate your skin.

How to take Care of Your Gold Plated Jewelry:

Follow these rules to make sure your gold-plated jewellery stays looking great for as long as possible:

Don’t spray chemicals, perfumes, or abrasives near or on your jewellery. Take off your jewellery before you wash or bathe. If you put your hands in water, wear rubber gloves. Don’t wear your gold-plated jewellery to the pool because the chlorine will ruin it.

Make sure to clean your jewellery often. This keeps dirt from getting on the gold’s surface and gets rid of any chemicals or sweat. We recommend washing gold-plated jewellery gently with warm water and a mild detergent (dishwashing liquid or mild liquid soap is fine; avoid antibacterial soaps) to get rid of any oils. This is a great way to clean gold-plated and gold-vermeil jewellery.

Try not to wear gold-plated items that will scratch or damage other jewellery.

How To Know If A Jewelry Piece is Gold Plated:

If a piece is made of solid gold, it will have a mark that says so. GP is often stamped on gold-plated jewellery.

Gold-Plated The 925 or silver mark on silver jewellery shows that the piece is made of solid silver under the plating. The silver mark could be next to a GP (gold plate) stamp.

Gold Plating can make jewellery look much more yellow than solid 9-carat gold jewellery, especially if a higher-carat gold, like 18k gold, was used.

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