Almost every person has jewelry regardless of how simple or sophisticated it is. This wide range has created room for jewelry plating.
Are you interesting in learning more about jewelry plating? Do you simply love being knowledgeable on jewelry matters? Are you considering going into the jewelry business? Or do you just like having beautiful jewelry that makes you stand out?
There is a lot that you can learn on the vast topic of jewelry plating. It is important to know what jewelry plating is all about, how it is done and what it involves. Knowledge on jewelry plating can also help avoid knockoffs in the market.
What is Jewelry Plating?
Jewelry plating is the process where jewelry is covered using a different material from the one its base is made of. The jewelry could be made from one material or an alloy. In most instances, the original piece of jewelry is coated with a more valuable material.
The material used in plating determines the type of plating and even the name given to the final product.
Why is Jewelry Plating done?
Usually, jewelry plating is done for aesthetic purposes. After plating, the jewelry is shinier and generally looks more attractive. It becomes easier to sell and nice to wear.
Due to the cost of plated jewelry, it would be easier for you to own a collection of jewelry without spending too much. This will make your jewelry last longer because wear and tear is reduced.
How is Jewelry Plating done?
Jewelry plating is done using either chemicals or electricity. The thickness of the top coat will determine the piece’s price and also its durability. If for instance a piece of jewelry is gold plated a thick layer means the piece has a lot of gold.
Understanding that some materials are more delicate than others, choose something that is less delicate or prone to scratches for everyday use. This way you will avoid ruining your jewelry when you wear it at the right time.
When is Jewelry Plating necessary?
In most cases, jewelry plating is done to change the appearance of a piece. Once jewelry loses its attractive look it is not appealing to sell or wear. Plating can also be done to add value to pieces of jewelry.
The base material used to make jewelry may not be the best looking. Adding something on it could make a huge difference in making the piece have a beautiful finish.
Advantages of Jewelry plating
Provides an affordable option
Most people cannot afford jewelry made from pure precious materials. If you don’t intent to spend a lot on jewelry, jewelry plating will offer a cheap option for decent pieces of jewelry.
If you prefer having a lot of jewelry and don’t have a fortune to spend, then plated jewelry is for you. Affordability is what makes plated jewelry popular among many consumers.
Makes pieces look better
Whether a piece had been plated before or not, plating will definitely make your pieces look better. Jewelry plating not only makes the jewelry pretty but also makes it more valuable.
Instead of wearing a stainless steel ring, why not add some plating which will give your piece a classy look.
The materials used in plating are not easily corroded. Plating is a good way to preserve your pieces and make them durable. You should however take good care of your jewelry to ensure it last longer.
The different types of plating provide alternatives for you to choose from based on your need. Jewelry you wear every day is likely to be corroded easily and faster. Plating with a material which isn’t corroded easily will fix the problem for you.
Prevents allergic reactions
In case you are allergic to the material your jewelry is made of, plating will help you out. All you have to do is pick a coat that is agreeable to your skin.
You will have to replace or have your jewelry plated again when the coating comes off. Good thing the jewelry will have served you well.
Makes jewelry more durable
Jewelry plating is the way to go instead of throwing away your favorite piece because it has lost its luster. It is a convenient alternative to buying new jewelry.
While the type of plating plays a crucial role, plated jewelry will generally last longer. Always remember to take good care of your jewelry to avoid ruining it.
Variety in designs
Plated jewelry comes in many amazing designs. You can easily get unique designs for your jewelry without much hustle. Additionally, you can have something custom made according to your preference.
Most jewelry that is made of pure precious metal is likely to come in plain designs. If that is not your cup of tea, you may prefer plated jewelry.
The materials which are used to make the jewelry before it is plated, is in most cases stronger that the coat. A good example would be gold. While it is precious, it is not a very strong metal when used alone to make jewelry.
Disadvantages of Plated Jewelry
Could be overpriced
Jewelry plating provides a good chance for some people to sell plaited pieces at the price of pure pieces. You will need to be careful or get an expert to help you distinguish between the two.
The price you buy a piece of jewelry should help you know whether the piece is pure or plaited. When buying jewelry you should have a rough idea on how much it costs. It is also important to stick to your budget.
Not water resistant
While plaiting provides a cheaper alternative to owning amazing jewelry, they require extra care. If you have plaited jewelry you will need to remove them to minimize their contact with water.
If you are wearing plated jewelry you will need to know the dos and don’ts. Otherwise, the jewelry will not serve you for long and this could be quite inconveniencing.
The plating will come off with time
Taking good care of your jewelry will definitely make it last longer. Despite this, the jewelry plating will come off at some time. It just won’t be so bad if you have had the pieces for a while.
Having a thick coat will be a good way to have your jewelry looking good for longer. The only problem is that you will have to dig deeper into your pockets. If the cost was an issue for you, thick coating may not be your best choice.
If you intend to keep having your jewelry plaited, it will be a recurring expense. The cost will depend on how thick the coat is. As mentioned before, a thicker coat will last longer so it is worth investing in.
Since plated jewelry is not expensive, it cannot be used as an asset like its pure counterpart. The good news is that its value does not affect how it looks. Unless you buy plated jewelry unknowingly, you will know the value beforehand.
Should you go for plated jewelry?
The main reason you should go for plaited jewelry is its cost. If you do not want to spend too much on your jewelry, this will be a good choice. Note that you will need to take extra care of your jewelry to make your purchase worthwhile.
If you are in business and are looking for a product that is easy to resell, you may opt for plated jewelry. High end jewelry is costly and does not attract a lot of clients as most may not afford it. Most importantly, understand who your potential clients are and what they want.
Types of jewelry plating
Rhodium has silver like look and is a common type of plating. It is a good plating material because it is strong and bright. It provides a durable option for plated jewelry.
If you like variations of silver, then this would be good for you. It is also suitable for those who prefer beautiful yet inconspicuous jewelry. When used along with shiny stones, it makes a good contrast that makes the stones more visible.
Rhodium plating reduces the chance of your jewelry getting corroded. Its grey color can also help you get away with a little chipping before you consider plating your jewelry again.
In silver plating, pure silver is used in coating. The thickness of the coat is all up to you and of course how much you want to spend. With silver plating you are assured of durability and your jewelry will not get scratches easily.
Gold plating is arguably the most common type of plating. Gold stands out and is loved by many people. This being the case, if you want your jewelry plated, gold plating may be the most readily available option.
In comparison to silver, gold plating can get scratches more easily. You will need to be more careful will the gold plated jewelry. You can also avoid wearing the jewelry a lot by having several pieces.
Rose Gold plating
This is a copper and gold alloy. Like pure gold, the rose gold is a lovely option when considering plating. It offers a shiny finish.
The rose gold plating is not as durable as most of the other options. You have to be careful with your rose gold plated jewelry as it is prone to getting scratches. It is also commonly used as a base material in jewelry making.
Also called black rhodium, this kind of plating offers a black finishing to your jewelry. The color black makes jewelry look expensive and the wearer looks sophisticated.
Ruthenium can either be matt or shiny depending on your preference. With ruthenium, you have a choice of the texture your jewelry will have.
This plating helps in preventing oxidation making your jewelry look good for long. Apart from jewelry plating, ruthenium also helps blend other metals with dark stones.
Oxidation is one of the main reasons why jewelry plating is done yet it serves as a solution. In this kind of plating, the base metal is coated with its oxide. This will make your jewelry more durable.
The downside is that with oxidation plating your jewelry will not have a smooth or shiny finish. If that is what you were going for, you may want to consider something different.
Chrome plating involves the use of chromium. Uniquely, the chromium is used on the base material. The end result is that the jewelry has a mirror effect.
Using electricity in coating is referred to as electro-coating. This method makes perfect plating. It creates an even coat and does not leave out any spots despite the design of the jewelry.
Mostly used with silver, e-coating will not only get you shinny jewelry but it will also make it long lasting. So how does this happen? E-coating is basically a plastic coating on your jewelry. Plastic is not easily corroded which is good for your jewelry.
Jewelry made of stainless steel greatly benefits from ion plating. It makes the jewelry bright and durable. Since it gives a hard finish, ion plating is becoming the preferred plating method.
Ion plating is somewhat a new entry in the plating realm. It seems to be better than electroplating which has been most common
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Jewelry plating is the best option for people who want to own jewelry on a budget. It provides a pretty yet durable alternative to jewelry made of pure precious metals. Plating offers variety on what you want your end product to look and feel like. It is not so limiting.
Always pick a coat which will serve you best depending on your daily activities. Gold both pure and rose gold would be more suitable for occasional use because it gets scratches easily. Silver or rhodium would do well for daily use.
Do you have a question or thoughts on jewelry plating? Leave a comment below.