Rose gold plated jewelry is the trend today. Jewelry crafted out of rose gold is not only beautiful and works with different skin tones, but it’s also affordable.
But even with the allure of this metallic finish, you may be wondering if it’s a preferable option for you, especially if you are about to spend buckets of your money on it.
If these are some of the questions you are struggling with, you are in the right place. In this article, we’ll look at everything you need to know about rose gold plating, its value, and durability.
But first, let’s look at the basics of rose gold plating.
What is the rose gold plating?
Rose gold plating can be defined as one of the simplest ways of adding value to metallic jewelry made of non-precious metals. The plating process results in the bonding of the thin layer of rose gold onto the base metal.
It’s shorthand for electroplating, and it means that the rose gold jewelry is covered by an ultra-thin, microscopic layer of rose gold. This cover is applied through chemical and electrical processes. In the plating process, the chemical solution forms a bath in which the material to be plated is dipped into. In the case of rose gold plated jewelry, the bath contains some rose gold, which will grow on the base metal.
Some of the metals that can be rose gold plated include stainless steel, brass, nickel, copper, and silver. Tungsten and titanium could also be plated with rose gold, but the most common metals plated and used for (costume) jewelry include copper and silver.
What usually does gold plating last on jewelry?
Though the initial use of gold plating was to give different household and jewelry items a permanent layer of gold, the bonded layer of old is too thin, and it cannot withstand extremes, including rough exposure.
So, gold plating wears off over time, resulting in the exposure of the actual base metal underneath. The gold plated piece of jewelry will also lose its luster, and it will fade over time.
Essentially, any plating, whether made of gold or rhodium, will fade. However, how long the plating lasts will depend on a number of factors, including the thickness of the gold plating and the usage plus care by the owner.
The type of gold plating is also consequential, with the flash-plated jewelry featuring an ultra-thin layer of gold, even as the micron-plated pieces of jewelry have a thicker layer of gold that will last significantly longer.
What this means is that the nature of the gold plating matters, just as much as how well you take care of the jewelry.
Therefore, you should avoid exposing the jewelry to harsh elements, including chemicals, heat, or even moisture. At the same time, you need to keep the jewelry in a dry, airtight container or storage bag.
How long does rose gold plating last?
Some jewelers note that their gold plated jewelry will last anywhere between 2 and 3 years before they rust. However, the time it takes before the rose gold plated jewelry starts to tarnish and lose its luster is subject to a number of factors, including your skin’s chemistry, how much or often you wear it, and how well you take care of it.
Essentially, the layer of rose gold peels or wears off in a more natural fashion, and though there won’t be any chipping, the layer of rose gold will get lost in your clothing and skin, and you won’t really notice when it happens until the tarnish patches become apparent.
To answer your question above, the plating will last up to 2 years if you take good care of the jewelry. （Note that some cheap lousy fashion jewelry made in some small factory may only last 3-6 months, Some only lasts for few days)
How to care for your rose gold plated jewelry
Though meant to enhance the longevity of jewelry, add luster, and value rose gold plating is not an invincible process, and the primary issue around plating is that the layer of gold incorporated on to the base metal is ultra-thin, with micron thickness, and this means that no matter how much you pay for it or even care of it, the plated layer remains very vulnerable to damage in comparison to jewelry made of 14k or 10k gold.
Besides its thin profile and the vulnerability that comes with the thin layer, there’s also the issue of PH and the fact that the rose gold plating will react with pretty much anything that is not PH neutral.
So, how do you care for your rose gold plated jewelry correctly/ properly?
- Remove the jewelry before going for a swim in the ocean or the chlorinated swimming pool.
- Remove your jewelry before any activity that would cause a significant amount of sweating, for example, sweating.
- Don’t wear perfume, makeup, or apply lotion to your body with the jewelry on. The jewelry should be the last item of jewelry/accessory that you wear before leaving the house and also the first to remove. On the same note, you shouldn’t spray yourself after wearing the gold plated jewelry. And only wear jewelry once your makeup or lotion dries off.
- Don’t wear your jewelry when handling anything heavy or strenuous, for example, before lifting weights.
- Store the jewelry separately to avoid the pieces rubbing against each other.
- Your nail polish, oil, and nail polish remover could react with the rose gold blend causing tarnishing. Therefore, avoid contact with such compounds.
- To clean gold plated jewelry, use a cotton ball or super-soft jewelry cloth to remove the dirt or dust gently, restoring that rose gold finish.
- If the jewelry is dirtier and it needs more cleaning, you could use some clean, warm soapy water and a soft microfiber cloth to clean it up. You could also soak it for a few minutes, rinse it, then dry and store it properly. You shouldn’t, however, add any abrasive cleaning materials, jewelry cleaners, or antibacterial soap to clean it; these are all cleaning products with harsh chemicals, and they will damage or remove the rose gold layer, causing instant tarnishing.
- Once clean and dry, wrap it in a soft cloth and keep the pieces separate in a jewelry box. You could also use small ziplock bags.
- Always store like items together. So, keep rose gold plated pieces together and not with the silver-plated pieces. Different metals possess different properties, which means that rubbing between the pieces will result in even faster tarnishing.
If you are looking to buy rose gold plated jewelry and you aren’t sure if it’s a good idea or not, and whether the gold plating will last long enough, this article offers all the answers to your questions.
But generally, rose gold plated jewelry should last for two years if well cared for.