Before electroplating, you had to spend a fortune on solid gold jewelry to get your bling. Thanks to the advent of electroplating, however, people can wear jewelry with an outer layer of gold surrounding a cheaper base metal (such as brass or copper). Most people can’t tell the difference between solid gold and gold-plated jewelry, and you don’t have to break the bank to look great.
(Pixabay / nuzree)
The designs and quality of gold plated jewelry are continuously improving. Manufacturers are applying new techniques in plating to make this jewelry look better than ever. In fact, even experts can’t tell the difference between some of today’s gold-plated jewelry and the real thing. New technologies are also enabling the gold plating to last longer so that this jewelry can stay lustrous for decades.
Even though manufacturing technologies are improving, though, you still need to make an effort on the home front to keep your jewelry looking nice for the long run. Your gold plated jewelry has several layers of real gold coating the underlying base metal. Unfortunately, these layers are susceptible to scratches and nicks. If you are doing anything that could compromise your jewelry, such as cleaning, working on your car, or lifting weights with a gold-plated ring, remove the jewelry first.
It’s also important that you clean your gold plated jewelry from time to time. These pieces of jewelry come in contact with the sweat from your skin, perfume, lotion, and more. All of these elements can take a toll on your jewelry and shorten its lifespan.
To wash your jewelry and free it of accumulated oils, use warm water and mild soap. Clean the nooks and contours of your jewelry using a soft toothbrush that you move in a gentle, circular motion. Toothpaste may also be used but choose a gentle type without any abrasives or whitening agents. Avoid rubbing too hard as this may chip off some of the plating. WD-40 is an alternative cleaning agent for gold plated jewelry because it is tough on dirt and grime. Avoid using harsh metal cleaners on gold plated jewelry. These abrasive cleaners will only wear away the thin layers of gold and reveal the base metal.
The way that you store your jewelry also has an effect on its quality. Keep each item in its original box or wrapped in soft paper, and store it in a jewelry box with a cushioned interior.
Re-plating and Restoring Plated Jewelry
Over time, plated jewelry may become tarnished and worn in spots. If this happens, contact your local jeweler to get it repaired and re-plated. Make sure to choose an experienced jeweler for restoration work. Taking your jewelry in for an occasional “tune up” will breathe new life and luster into it and keep it looking dazzling for many years to come.