Do you want to know the value of 24 Karat gold plated jewelry? 24 Karat gold jewelry is the finest of gold jewelry. It is, however, the softest of precious metals, and you really can’t have a complete piece of jewelry made of 24K gold. The next-best thing – 24K gold plated jewelry.
But is the 24K gold plated jewelry any good? Is the plated jewelry worth anything? Should you invest in the gold-plated 24K jewelry?
Keep reading to learn all there is to know about the 24K gold plated jewelry.
What does 24k gold plated mean?
24K gold plated jewelry refers to jewelry whose plating layer is made of the finest quality 24K gold. The 24K gold plating means that the gold plating is made of 100% pure gold. The plated layer is an extra thin layer of real gold that applies to the surface of the base metal using electricity, bonding to the base metal and forming the plated piece (the base metal is pretty much whatever metal is chosen by the jeweler, and it could be silver or copper.
So, when you are buying gold plated jewelry, you are buying the base metal that comes with the 24k gold layer). In other words, the gold plated jewelry is merely jewelry made of ordinary metals, but with some color, in this case, 24k gold added to it.
What you need to know is that the 24K gold is regarded as the purest gold, and it’s also a very soft precious metal. The catch, however, is that despite its fineness, there is a durability issue that you have to deal with, which is why the 24K gold is rarely used in jewelry. The plated layer will, therefore, get scratched and lost easily.
Note that gold plated jewelry represents a form of plating applied to jewelry, with gold on the outside layer, specifically. The thickness of the gold layer on the plated jewelry outside varies greatly, but according to the Federal Trade Commission, gold plated jewelry represents all the plated jewelry with up to .5 microns, while the heavily plated pieces of jewelry would have a thicker layer of gold of about 2.5microns.
Note that jewelry with gold coats thinner than .5 microns are often regarded as mislabelled pieces of jewelry, and they are considered gold electroplates, especially the ones with a 1.75 microns plating. Jewelry with less than 1.75 microns of gold, on the other hand, are regarded as gold-washed, or gold flashed jewelry. Therefore, if you’d like to buy gold plated jewelry, it would be a good idea to first check the thickness of the jewelry.
During gold plating or electroplating, a process known as physical vapor deposition is used to ensure that the vaporized gold is easily blasted on the selected base metal.
The deposition process is important because once the gold is vaporized, it will fill up the base metal’s cavities, building u to form that perfect gold layer.
When plating is done this way, the jewelry ends up being more resistant to chlorine, sweat, and even saltwater. The plating process doesn’t, however, make the jewelry resistant to scratches.
Is 24 karat gold plated real gold?
While the gold plating means that the plated jewelry contains the best quality gold and is priced higher, the plated gold jewelry cannot, however, be regarded as pure or real gold jewelry.
The plating only adds a very thin layer of real gold to a base metal such as steel or silver. Therefore, if you are planning to buy 24K gold plated jewelry, you should know that this kind of jewelry, though highly-priced, isn’t made of real 24K gold in its entirety, and the gold is only added as a thin layer that adds to its allure while increasing its price tag.
Is 24k plated gold worth anything?
Now that you know all about the basics of the 24k gold plated jewelry, the next big question we’d have to answer has to do with the value or worth of the plated jewelry. Is the 24k gold worth much or really anything?
Well, the truth is that if you are buying the gold plated jewelry with plans to resell it and are interested in learning about the value of the jewelry, you should know that the gold plated 24k gold jewelry is really not worth much.
With regards to refining the plated piece of jewelry, you need to know that the cost of refining the jewelry will be higher than the cost of purchasing jewelry made of solid gold, even in the 10k to 24k range. Therefore, it wouldn’t be advisable to buy gold plated jewelry.
There’s also the fact that the plated gold layer is too low, which leads to the gold’s further low value.
And given the fact that the gold plating is too thin and susceptible to scratching and flaking off, not to mention the extremely low content of the gold, the value of the plated jewelry is significantly low.
How long does 24k gold plated jewelry last?
Depending on the thickness of the gold layer and how often you choose to wear the jewelry, the gold plating could last for up to 2 years.
The plating will not, however, last very long because the layer of gold flakes off over time, thereby exposing the base metal. The jewelry will also lose its luster, and it will fade away with time.
With proper care, however, the 24k gold plated jewelry will, however, last for 2 years or longer. To maintain the gold finish, you may want to replate the jewelry after some time.
Keep in mind that how often you replate the jewelry will depend on the thickness of the initial plated layer, the color of the base metal, the quality of the piece of jewelry, as well as the amount of wear and tear sustained by the piece over time.
Pros and cons of 24K gold plated jewelry
Although the plating is done primarily for aesthetics, the plated jewelry isn’t completely worthless, thanks to the nice finish that comes from plating. Below, we take a look at some of the pros and cons of gold plated jewelry.
- The gold plating offers that perfect vintage looks unattainable from all other types of plating.
- The gold plated jewelry will generally last a while
- An affordable way of having some fine, pure gold on your jewelry
- Replating is easy
- It looks just like the real thing.
- The gold plated jewelry is durable.
- Looks good
- Endless design possibilities
- It tarnishes over time, and the base metal will be exposed.
- It isn’t the real thing.
- The plating can be easily chipped or scratched.
- Lower value as a result of the low level of pure gold in the jewelry
The 24k gold is rather soft, which is why it isn’t used in jewelry making often. What this means is that the 24k gold plating, though attractive, is too soft, it won’t last long, and this drives down its value.
So, if you are looking to resell that 24k gold plated piece of jewelry and you wanted to know what or how much it’s worth, you’ll be a little disappointed to learn that this kind of jewelry isn’t really worth much – You may get some money off it, but it won’t be much.