Gold plated jewelry offers a budget-friendly option to buying pure gold jewelry. It gives you the look and the style without the high price tag that comes with gold, and is ideal for jewelry you don’t plan to wear on a daily basis.
Gold plating comes in varying levels of quality, largely depending on the thickness and purity of the gold coating, the base metal used for the piece and the quality of craftsmanship. Once plated, it’s almost impossible to tell solid gold from gold plated jewelry just by looking at it. As with all things, there are drawback to choosing gold plated jewelry. Tarnishing, fading and replating are common issues you’ll encounter.
Regularly cleaning and wiping down your jewelry after wear can help keep your pieces shiny and scratch-free for longer,
“mixing warm water and dish soap together in a small bowl, and soaking pieces for a few minutes before rinsing and wiping them clean.”
Avoid Unnecessary Contact with Water
There are a couple of approaches to plating, and the coating can range from the equivalent of a first coat of spray paint to extremely thick, and, therefore, less likely to tarnish or fade
To keep your pieces from premature damage, be sure to take off gold-plated jewelry when showering or swimming. “Chlorine, salt water, and fresh water can damage precious metals by dulling or eroding them,” Hordern tells Byrdie. “Soapy water when bathing and showering can also leave a thin film, which makes the metal seem dull.” And because of the chemicals present in perfume, hairspray, makeup, deodorants, and other beauty products, Missoma's golden rule is to make gold-plated jewelry the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.
Be Mindful with Perfume Going encourages gold-plated owners to avoid spraying your plated pieces—or even solid gold pieces—directly with perfume. “Depending on the perfume, the chemicals can create a reaction similar to oxidation,” the designer says, “which basically means it can turn your gold black. It’s reversible, but can be a little shocking if you’re not expecting it.”
How Long Should Gold-Plated Jewelry Last?
According to Bling Proud, you should be able to maintain high-quality gold-plated jewelry for up to five years with proper care. “It’s really a matter of keeping it away from the elements—salt, water, sweat, and high humidity—and chemicals from cleaners or perfumes,” Going agrees. And if it starts to fade, you can restore your beloved pieces by learning how to fix tarnishing or making it like new again through re-plating.