Gold plated pieces of jewelry are quite common. They are perfect solutions for people who are not ready to spend on pure gold jewelry but still want to exude the class and elegance that comes with wearing gold jewelry.
There are different types of gold plated jewelry that you can buy. One common type is the gold plated brass.
Are you planning to buy gold plated brass jewelry? You should get some essential information about this piece of jewelry before making any decision.
One of the pieces of information that you need to know is the lifespan of gold plated jewelry.
How long will the jewelry last before it starts fading or tarnishing?
We’ve got you covered. Read on as we elaborate for you the estimated lifespan of gold plated jewelry.
What is gold plated brass jewelry?
First things first, I will start by elaborating the meaning of the gold plated jewelry.
Gold plated simply means that a thin layer of gold is applied to bond with a base metal. In our case brass is the base metal.
So, gold plated jewelry means that a layer of gold is applied to the brass metal. Since the brass is fully coated, it will remain invisible making the whole jewelry appear like it is made of gold.
Electroplating is a method used to apply a layer of gold on the surface of the brass metal. It can be done by dipping brass into a gold solution.
Contrary to most people’s opinion, gold plated brass does not mean that gold and brass have been mixed in equal proportions to make up the jewelry.
Only a very thin layer of gold has been used for making the jewelry.
So, do not be deceived by anyone to pay a premium price on the pretext that it has high old content.
The only thing that may matter is the thickness of the gold layer.
Some pieces of jewelry have a thick layer of gold and it can be thin on others. This means that you may end up paying a high price for thick gold plated jewelry.
How is gold plated on brass?
Although plating gold on brass seems to be a simple process, several steps are executed to ensure that the final jewelry attains the perfect desired looks.
The first step entails cleaning the brass to remove all kinds of impurities and pollutants. This process is vital as it will ensure that the gold forms a perfect bond when plated on brass.
The next step is to plate the brass with nickel. This is done to protect the final gold layer from being affected by the base metal (brass). In raw form, brass will leech on gold hence reducing its lifespan.
The final step is to dip gold into a gold solution that contains electric charges. This allows the electroplating process to take place whereby the brass will be fully coated with gold.
The video below illustrates the gold plating process
How long will the gold plated brass last?
Now back to the main question. Is gold plated brass durable? And how long can this jewelry last?
Generally, gold plated brass jewelry is capable of lasting for up to two years. After that, the jewelry will lose its luster and start fading quite fast.
However, this is not the ultimately defined lifespan of this jewelry.
Some pieces of gold plated brass jewelry can last for long while others have a short lifespan.
Different factors determine how long the piece of gold plated brass jewelry will last.
One of the factors is the thickness of the gold plating.
A heavily plated brass gold plated brass jewelry will outlast the one that is lightly plated.
Keep in mind the lifespan of a gold plated jewelry is calibrated by the amount of gold that is remaining on the base metal.
This means that it will take quite long before the layer of gold is completely depleted on the brass.
So, if you want a gold plated brass that will last for long, you better choose one that is quite thick.
Another obvious factor that will determine how long your gold plated bras will last is your frequency of wearing the jewelry.
It will not last for long if you wear it on a daily basis.
Also, how you handle your gold plated brass jewelry will have an impact on its lifespan. Since gold is pretty soft, try to handle it smoothly. Store it in a safe place where it will be protected from corrosion and abrasion.
How thick should a gold plated brass jewelry be?
As we have discussed, the thickness is one of the key factors that determine the durability of a gold plated brass.
So, what is the ideal thickness of this jewelry?
The plating thickness of most gold plated pieces of jewelry range between 0.17 to 2.5 microns.
The 0.17 microns thick gold features a very thin layer of gold plating and is sometimes known as washed or flashed gold. It is susceptible to wear and tear even when exposed to the best conditions.
Would you want to buy a gold plated brass jewelry that will last for long? Choose one whose thickness ranges between 0.5 microns to 1.2 microns. Even though it may not be very thick it can withstand scratches without fading fast.
Confirm with the manufacturer about the thickness of the gold plating before you buy any piece of jewelry.
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Tips for taking care of gold plated brass
After buying a piece of gold plated brass jewelry, you should focus on taking care of it. Otherwise, it will still lose its luster and fade within a short time, regardless of its thickness.
Here are some of the tips that you can use to make your gold plated brass jewelry last for a long time.
-Clean your hands before handling your gold plated brass piece of jewelry
-Keep the jewelry from other items that can expose it to frictional force or even corrosion
-Keep the jewelry away from chemicals that contaminate it and cause chemical damage
-Protect the gold from salty and chlorinated water
-Wipe the jewelry piece after whenever you get it off your body. This is to protect it from body fluids such as sweat.
Gold plated brass is an ideal jewelry material. If you were planning to buy it, then you are on the right track. The piece of jewelry made out of this material is worth the investment.
Give it the proper care and it will not disappoint you when it comes to durability.