Pros & Cons of Gold Plated Jewelry: Is it any good?

Pros & Cons of Gold Plated Jewelry: Is it any good?

Are you willing to elevate your look by giving your jewelry the outward semblance of gold without breaking the bank? Gold plated jewelry may prove to be the exact solution you are looking for. With gold plating, you can add elegance to the appearance of any piece of jewelry without spending hefty amounts. 

But is gold plated jewelry good? Since it’s nowhere near as expensive as gold jewelry, can you rely on its quality? You may have a lot of questions that I have tried my best to address in this guide. Let’s begin by understanding what gold plated jewelry is. 

What is Gold Plated Jewelry?

Gold plated jewelry is a piece of jewelry composed of any particular alloy or metal and covered with a layer of gold. The reason behind the affordability of such jewelry is its thin layer of gold plating. 

However, the thickness of this layer of gold plating may vary. If a ring made from silver or copper is covered with a layer of gold, it will be considered gold plated jewelry. You can gold plate any piece of jewelry by dipping it into gold-colored alloy or gold. 

In order to deposit a layer of gold on jewelry and add the elegance of gold to it, an electric current is shot into it. This results in an electrochemical reaction that coats a layer of gold on your jewelry. Although this layer deposited on your jewelry is real gold, gold plated jewelry is also called “fake gold” because the jewelry is made from a metal alloy that is not gold. 

As per the Federal Trade Commission, gold plated items are labeled at 0.5 microns, whereas heavy gold plated items are labeled at 2.5 microns. If the coatings are of 0.175 microns, they are labeled as “gold electroplate.” On the other hand, coatings thinner than 0.175 microns are called “gold washed” or “gold flashed.”

Quality Difference between Gold Plated Jewelry & Solid Gold Jewelry

Gold plated jewelry allows you to refine your look without being as expensive as solid gold jewelry. However, there are noticeable quality differences between gold plated jewelry and solid gold jewelry, which may become apparent later. 

Since gold plated pieces only comprise a thin layer of gold on a metal alloy that is not gold, they will not prove to be as long-lasting as solid gold jewelry. On the other hand, solid gold jewelry may not offer you an affordable price tag, but it will last longer than gold plated jewelry to offer unmatched durability. 

Even the thickness of gold filled jewelry won't beat solid gold. You may be required to re-plate gold plated jewelry over time. You may notice a loss of shine on your gold plated jewelry when its base metal begins to corrode or oxidize. Moreover, your gold plated jewelry will not take long to tarnish and discolor if the coating happens to be too thin. 

Pros of Gold Plated Jewelry

1. Affordable 

Gold plated jewelry comes with an affordable price tag to offer the elegance and shine of gold without making you spend as much as you will on solid gold jewelry. You can enjoy the look of real gold at an affordable rate. 

2. Solid Gold Look

The elegant look offered by gold plated jewelry is almost indistinguishable from that of solid gold jewelry. You can enjoy the outward semblance of real gold without anyone noticing. 

3. Accessible

In places where you cannot find solid gold jewelry, it may be easier for you to locate gold plated jewelry. You can find it in online jewelry stores, supermarkets, or other department stores. 

4. Design Possibilities

Gold plated jewelry broadens the possibilities of different designs without burdening you with the worries of huge investments and higher price tags. You even don’t have to worry if it gets misplaced.

Cons of Gold Plated Jewelry

1. Discoloration 

Gold plated jewelry is likely to tarnish over time due to its base metal. Since its base metal is not gold, it is susceptible to oxidization and corrosion. When its molecules break down the thin outer covering of gold, your jewelry is bound to tarnish and lose its shine. 

2. Value

The base metal of gold plated jewelry is not gold. It is just a thin layer of gold that is coated on your jewelry to give it the brightness of solid gold. Due to the low content of gold in it, gold plated jewelry has lower value and worth. The layer of gold deposited on the outer covering of the base metal is so thin that it is likely to flake off. 

3. Scratching

The gold plating is likely to flake off, scratch, and wear over time, especially if it is not protected from water and sun rays. You may be required to re-plate your gold plated jewelry if the layer of gold starts to come off. This will bring back the shine of your jewelry but will incur additional costs. 

4. Risk from Water

Gold plating may wear off over time if it is exposed to water. Even the rays of the sun may result in fading and tarnished gold plated jewelry. Apart from protecting your gold plated jewelry from water and sun, you will also have to clean it properly to avoid dust. 

How Long does Gold Plated Jewelry Last?

Gold plated jewelry is susceptible to tarnish, discoloration, and scratches, especially if the gold layer deposited on it is too thin. If kept away from water, protected from sun rays, cleaned regularly, and stored properly to avoid wear, gold plated jewelry can last for months and even up to a year or more. 

Getting your gold plated jewelry re-plated will also bring back its shine but will lead to additional costs. How long your gold plated jewelry lasts depends on your care and precautions. However, it cannot match the durability of solid gold jewelry. 

Is Gold Plated Jewelry Good?

Gold plated jewelry is an excellent choice if you are looking for a luxurious appearance. It will allow you to enjoy the elegance and shine of gold without burdening you with huge investments. It comes with an affordable price tag and offers a graceful look that is almost indistinguishable from a solid gold piece. 

However, there is a noticeable quality difference between gold plated jewelry and solid gold jewelry. Since its base metal is not gold, gold plated jewelry is prone to tarnish and discoloration. 

The base metal may corrode or oxidize, eventually breaking down the coating. Opting for gold plated jewelry is an affordable way of elevating your look, but it is essential to ensure proper care for it and protect it from water and sun rays to make it last longer. 

FAQs

Is Gold Plated Gold Worth It?

Considering the affordability and investment level, it is worth getting gold plated jewelry. You can get the look of solid gold without spending much. However, failing to ensure proper care for your jewelry may lead to discoloration and tarnish sooner than expected. 

Will Gold Plated turn Green?

The molecules of the base metal of gold plated jewelry may break down the gold coating, resulting in tarnish and discoloration. Lack of proper care or exposure to chemicals in lotions or perfumes may turn your gold plated jewelry green. 

Is Gold Plated Considered Cheap?

Gold plated jewelry comes with an affordable price tag as it does not demand huge investments, as in the case of solid gold. Due to the lower content of gold and a thin layer of gold plating, gold plated jewelry is considered cheaper and has a lower value.


Written By:
Christiane Bilodeau

Traveling and exploring fashion for the last couple of decades. A passionate curator for your stylings, providing access to hundreds of the most fashionable jewelry. Rosé, parties, and bikinis are her favorites. And jewelry. FIERCE METAL GRACES HER NECK! When she`s not designing jewelry, you can find her mixing cocktails.


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