What is gold plated jewelry?
Updated: Jan 3, 2020
Mostly in creating jewelry at Kanelli Accessories I use gold plated materials. It is commonly used for costume jewelry as it’s almost impossible to tell apart gold jewelry from inexpensive gold plated imitations.
Gold plating is a process where a thin layer of real gold is bonded onto a base metal – usually brass, stainless steel and others. The purity of the gold used in gold plating ranges just like solid gold. The lowest purity is usually 10K and the highest is 24K gold. Gold plating can range in thickness between 0.17 to 2.5 microns.
Plating with a thickness of around 0.17 is very thin and called „gold electroplated” that wears off quite quickly. The ideal thickness for gold plating is around 0.5 to 1.0 microns. Plating at around the 2.5-micron mark is quite thick and known as heavy gold plated and this plating lasts longer than others. Plating of 1.0 micron is used in 24K gold plate jewelry and this type of plated jewelry is the most used in Kanelli Accessories.
Gold plating can fade over time, losing its luster and brightness caused by the base metal which is prone to corroding and oxidizing. Over time, the molecules of the base metal eventually move into the gold layer, affecting its appearance. If the gold plating is very thin, it will discolor and start to look like tarnish quickly. To extend life of your gold plated jewelry you must take a good care of it keeping away from chemicals, oils, water and makeup and storing it in an air-tight and dark place.
In general, gold plating is not hypoallergenic and can cause skin reactions for people with metal allergies - when the gold layer wears down, the nickel in the jewelry comes into contact with your skin, causing reactions.
It is up to you what kind of jewelry you choose! If you prefer to wear it all the time and even in salt water, go for solid gold jewelry. More affordable option will be stainless steel 316L grade jewelry. Both are hypoallergenic too. If you do not plan to wear your jewelry 24/7 and aren’t allergic to metals, there are so much to choose from gold plated jewelry at great prices and you can mix and match having a variety of collection. Check out Kanelli Accessories store for some new 24K gold plated jewelry for you!
What jewelry you prefer? Let me know in the comments!