Are gold plated chains fake or Real? You’re browsing the store looking for a gold chain to buy. You come across one that ticks all the boxes, but there’s a catch. In the description, it reads “gold-plated.” What does that even mean?
Your confusion is understandable, as not everyone is clear about the terms used to describe different items that contain gold.
In this article, we look at the authenticity of gold-plated chains and jewelry in general. It will also help you understand why that piece you thought was solid gold faded, and help you put your mind at ease about whether or not it was fake.
Even more, it will give you more understanding about what kind of jewelry to get in the future, especially if you’re on a budget.
What is a gold-plated chain?
Let’s look at the manufacturing process of a gold-plated chain to help understand what it is.
The operative word here when describing the chain is ‘plated.’ When jewelry is plated, it means a base metal gets covered by a layer of another metal. In this case, we have copper or brass with gold on top.
Therefore, a gold-plated chain is not real gold even though the added layer is made from real gold. The jewelry maker must state that a piece is plated to avoid false advertising, implying that an item is genuine gold.
White gold is a perfect example of plated jewelry. White gold gets its silver color from a rhodium or palladium plating.
The reason behind the plating is that the gold alloy is yellowish, so it needs to get the platting to have a pure white color. The plating does wear off with time, so you’ll have to get your jewelry plated again. You’ll know it’s time when you see a yellowish tint appear.
Are gold plated chains fake? Or real?
Gold plated chains, and generally anything that’s been plated, is not fake. The gold is real, and it doesn’t claim to be gold itself.
The fact that the word ‘plated’ gets used indicates that the item itself is not an imitation. What’s more, plating is using less gold to get the same look for a fraction of the price.
It is also about enhancing the metal underneath and providing it with qualities it wouldn’t otherwise have, for example, being corrosion resistant.
It’s safe to call gold-plated chains or any other item real. It is not a counterfeit. The gold that’s on top is the real thing, so it’s safe to call the whole article the same.
Some might take issue with the fact that gold plated chains look like solid gold chains.
While that’s understandable, the only time a gold-plated item would be called fake is if someone was not truthful about it, flaunting it as the legit thing.
Stating that actual gold is plated on the jewelry to give the same appearance would be a more accurate depiction of what you’re wearing.
Are gold plated chains any good?
Determining if gold-plated chains are any good requires knowing the good and the bad of gold plating.
Your answer is mainly personal, but it helps to be informed in your decision-making process. Let’s look at the pros and cons.
- Gold plated jewelry is affordable, particularly for those who don’t have the finances to purchase solid gold
- Though they are much cheaper, gold plated items look like real gold especially to the untrained eye
- Because of the price, you can buy in-style items without worrying that you’ve made a considerable investment. You can’t do the same with solid gold; you’re more inclined to purchasing classic pieces to suit your taste decades on
- Solid gold is soft, and the higher the karat, the more it is exposed to scratching. In that regard, one would state that gold-plated items are stronger and durable, being able to handle everyday wear much better
- Gold plated jewelry will tarnish, and the base metal will appear over time
- The gold later starts to wear off, flake off or chip over time because the gold layer is thin
- Gold plated jewelry has little gold on it, and thus not valuable like solid gold
Are gold plated chains worth buying?
Plated jewelry is the ideal alternative to gold if you’re on a budget. It’s worth noting gold itself is an alloy since pure gold is too soft to work within jewelry making.
Though mixed with other metals, gold is expensive, especially those of a higher karat. Getting something that’s gold plated is cheaper since the base metal is inexpensive.
What, therefore, you’re primarily paying for is the added layer of gold with pricing based on the karat gold used.
Another factor that would make purchasing a gold platted chain worthwhile is that it costs a fraction of a price and looks very much like the real thing.
People don’t typically police each other about the metals used to make one’s jewelry. If it looks like gold, whether or not it’s solid gold, people will still appreciate it.
From a chemical level, the layer of gold typically keeps the base metal itself from corroding since gold is the least reactive of all metals.
With that said, if you’re looking to invest, then a gold-plated chain is not worth buying. A gold piece has a good resale value, and it’s also something that you can keep with you for decades.
You can pass it on to someone after a long time, and the market value will still be favorable. Those with that direction of thinking would be short-changed when they purchase gold-plated jewelry.
What you’re looking for is what determines the value of such chains.
Are gold plated chains waterproof?
Gold plated items are not waterproof. When you continually subject your gold-plated chain to water or have it immersed for long periods, then the gold layer will come off.
To make the plating last longer, ensure that you remove it when you’re about to interact with water.
The last thing you want is to have spent money on something that you love only for it to last a short time due to water exposure.
Are gold plated chains magnetic?
Gold plated chains are not magnetic, and that’s one test that you can use to know if the item is gold plated.
Even though the base metal is highly magnetic, and the chain doesn’t stick to a magnet, then you’re assured that there was no false advertising.
For example, if they jeweler only painted the chain gold, you’d know from this test.
This test of authenticity works because gold is a non-ferrous metal, meaning it won’t attract a magnet.
You can purchase a gold-plated chain with the confidence that it is not fake. It is cheaper than solid gold or other karat gold items doesn’t mean that it’s any less real.
What it does communicate is that the only part of the gold that is real is the layer on top.
Though it will gradually fade, it’s worth purchasing if you’re on a budget and do want a solid gold look alike.