Is it worth it to buy gold plated jewelry? | IceyCrew

Is it worth it to buy gold plated jewelry?

Hundreds of thousands of years have passed since humans have started to craft jewelry. From ivory, animal bones, and skin to fur, shells, wood, and other natural resources, people adorned themselves with ornaments. Ancient Egypt was no doubt the most prominent jewelry producer - mostly because they were to discover gold ore. Empowered with their modern technology, they started to extract precious metal and gemstones and manufacture bangles and baubles. Soon after, Egyptians began to add gems and combine them with golden bracelets, rings, and necklaces just to emphasize their wealth. Thus, even today so many years later, we perceive golden ornaments as a symbol of luxury, high social standing, and welfare. Recently, it seems that yellow and white gold plated jewelry trends all around the world, yet many people doubt the quality of gold plated jewelry. We need to address tuff questions like: What is gold plated? Is gold plated real? Finally: is it worth it to buy plated jewelry?

What is gold plated jewelry? And why we are gold-plating things?

Quoting "Merriam-Webster Dictionary": gold plated is a specific thing covered with a layer of gold. Extending - gold plating is widely used in chemistry, IT branches, electronics, astronomy, medicine, decorative industry, and - of course - jewelry. Gold plating is very popular because it is way cheaper than to make things of pure, solid gold while producing the exact same look. This allows less expensive metals (e.g. silver, steel) to look exactly like solid gold while being able to be offered at a fraction of the cost. In addition, gold plating highly inhibits corrosion because it does not oxidize - it is the least reactive of all metals. That means that it is impervious to moisture and high temperatures. Gold will hold up well in many environments and will not melt when subjected to high heat. Furthermore, this metal encourages paint adhesion, which is vital in the art industry. The same story with jewelry - our sliver and steel necklaces and pendants gain durability, luxury look, and prevention from corrosion. Even if we need to solder certain areas of jewelry it’s comforting to know that gold enhances solderability. Therefore we can clearly see, that gold plated meaning to the industry is vital because it offers many of the attributes of solid gold at a fraction of the cost. Pay attention not to call white gold plated jewelry or gold plated jewelry fake – it’s not fake it’s a process of using less gold in order to deliver the same look for a comparably low cost. 

What is the quality of gold plated jewelry? How gold plating is done?

To address the frequent question "Is gold plated good?", let’s look in depth at process of the gold plating process. Before we start gold plating, we have to make sure, that our surface is proper to electroplate. Some metals, including gold itself, does not accept layers of gold. If we are assured that our underlying material is fit for being gold plated, we can begin the whole process:

  1. Prepare the area: It must be of its highest cleanliness, so any dirt, rust, oil, etc. must be removed. We accomplish this by polishing with solvents, sandblasting, and acid ultrasonic bathing.
  2. Cleaning and rinsing: Now it is time to steam or electrician the microscopic dirt. It is essential to ensure that our gold plate will not fall off in particular places. Steam cleaning swipes off any oil, dust and other soil left.
  3. Strike layer: Also called a "flash layer", adheres a thin layer of high-quality nickel plating to the base metal. It is done to improve the bonding between the underlying surface and the plating. After striking, another rinse takes place.
  4. Basecoat: If a base coat below gold is used, it is usually nickel but IceyCrew never uses nickel. Instead, we use our own process that guarantees a higher level of gold without the mediocrity of nickel.
  5. Final coat:  With time, temperature, and voltage carefully controlled, the piece is submerged into the plating solution to attractions of gold that will show on the surface.
  6. Rinsing and drying: After the final coating, gold plating can be finished by rinsing the goods and being left to dry.

Now you understand, the whole process is rather detailed and precise, so quality of gold plated jewelry is - without any doubts - very high. Only can we say is gold plated good, when it is done carefully and without cutting corners like adding nickel.

Is gold plated real? And is it worth to buy it?

As we cited before - gold plating is a detailed process, much different than basic crafted gold ornaments. What is gold plated jewelry? It definitely is not a pure gold item. We cannot say that gold plated meaning is equal to pure gold, but we can say that real gold is plated onto the jewelry which means the same look at a fraction of the cost. Such as, given that it is not a solid gold - prices of gold-plated jewelry are respectively cheaper. If the piece is crafted perfectly, the purchaser can expect a beautiful look that emulates solid gold construction and be undetectable to anyone but a jeweler with a testing kit. Considering the price differential, gold-plated jewelry is preferable to colored jewelry which often has a color quality very off from gold and far less expensive than investing 5x or more for solid gold particularly if the piece may be transient in your collection.

Considering all the above – the value of gold-plated jewelry is clearly lower than pure gold pieces. As was previously indicated, the value may be lower but the pieces come at significantly reduced prices. That single fact protects the owner against theft, loss, or just simply growing tired of the piece or it becoming outdated. IceyCrew is completely confident in our process and crafting pieces for you that appear as real as can be at significantly lower prices. Finally, we stand behind our guarantee. Gold plated jewelry is not fake – it’s real gold covering another material to save you money and risk.