Thank goodness for plated jewelry! We can’t all afford real gold, which makes gold plated jewelry the go-to for most people.
When the piece is new, most can’t tell it from the real thing, but time has a way of revealing the truth. Since it’s investable, many people become frustrated after some years, wondering how to revive their jewelry.
The good news is that you don’t have to throw the jewelry into the unwanted pile you have. Since plated jewelry is somewhat costly, the best alternative is having the item restored, that is, making it look brand new.
Here, we’ll look at how you can turn your dull jewelry into beautiful rose gold.
What’s Rose Gold plated jewelry?
Before we get into the intricacies of what rose gold is, we need to get to the basics first. Every gold jewelry that you purchase, about from 24k gold, is an alloy. (If you want to know about alloy, here is a detailed post for you: what is an alloy? Why jeweler used in jewelry making?) While the song by Bruno Mars made the idea that to be classy, you need to own 24k gold jewelry, maintaining the same comes with an equally hefty price tag.
The reality is that 24k gold is soft, and that’s why jewelers opt-out of using it. Even with a warranty, they wouldn’t be too happy about how often they need to keep them looking their best.
Thus, the gold you find in the market is alloyed. Typically, it’s a combination of gold and other metals in rose gold, copper. The copper gives the gold the necessary properties to make it strong and durable.
For the most part, the typical number of karats you’ll find in the market is 18k, and at most, 20k. However, the former is what’s preferred by a lot of buyers because of its longevity.
When it comes to rose gold, compared to the other available alloys of yellow and white gold, it is the copper that gives the rose gold its color and together form a pinkish hue.
The ratio of copper to gold, and other metals, is dependent on the karat gold you’re looking for when you’re plating.
For example, an 18k rose gold plating will have more gold content and less copper than 14k rose gold. That aspect does dictate the shade of your ring, but more on that later.
How to get an item rose gold plated?
Having an item that you have rose gold plated requires you to do a bit of research. It’s better to do it in person, but reviews can also somewhat tell you who to go for.
It would be best to look for a jeweler with the expertise and technology to plate whatever item you have rose gold. It helps to see what other kinds of work the jeweler has done so that you can have some faith in them.
Something to keep in mind is that different entities use different plating solutions. As a result, not all rose gold items have the same color.
Sure, they’ll all be pinkish, but they will vary in shade, some being lighter and others being darker.
If you have a specific shade in mind, perhaps something you’ve seen off the internet, then ask the jeweler if they can match that shade before you hand in your item for plating.
What is the rose gold plating process?
Once the item is in the jeweler’s hands, the first step ensures that all existing coating has been removed, revealing the base metal(s) used.
For example, if you have a silver piece once plated with yellow gold but it faded due to tarnishing, they will ensure that the plating is removed to expose the silver underneath. After polishing, that’s when the plating process begins.
However, before that, the jeweler has to see what the base metal is. If it’s sterling silver, then they can start the plating. If the base metal is copper, brass, or an unknown metal, the jeweler needs to do a chemical treatment.
The item will then be plated with either nickel or palladium so that the rose gold plating can stick to the surface. From there, the item is placed on the plating tank.
Within the tank, the solution contains metal salts, with rose gold included. For the rose gold to plate the item, electricity is run through the solution.
What’s great about this process is the rose gold only attaches itself to metal, so if there are any stones on the item, they won’t be affected. That’s good for those who want to re-plate their wedding rings or other pieces valuable to them containing precious stones.
How to use your rose gold plated Jewelry?
Once the jewelry is back in your hands, you ought to keep in mind a couple of things.
For one, please keep it away from chemicals, and that includes perfumes, deodorants, and nail polish remover. The same goes for lotions; for example, if you have a newly plated ring, ensure that you don’t apply any cream while wearing it. First, take off the ring and only put it back on when the lotion has absorbed in the skin.
Moisture also has a way of causing jewelry to tarnish. For that reason, take off the ring, bracelet, or necklace when you’re getting into the shower. Your bath soap might be kind on your body, but the same cannot be said for metals. If you forget and shower with the jewelry, ensure that you’ve wiped it dry. Chlorine and seawater also affect the state of one’s jewelry. Therefore, take your jewelry off when going for a swim in the pool or the ocean. That’s because the chemicals and salt in both will cause your piece to tarnish.
Sweat is another factor that people don’t keep in mind, so taking off the jewelry before exercising or doing anything that will make you work up a sweat is a good idea. Chores are an example, and even so, if there is a likelihood that the jewelry might come into contact with the cleaning products you’re using, you want to consider taking it off. Chemicals, as we’ve mentioned, will cause the rose gold plating to tarnish.
How to clean or maintain your rose gold plated Jewelry?
Cleaning rose gold plated jewelry is pretty straight forward. For one, when you take the jewelry off, wipe it with a very soft cloth to remove dirt or dust.
Doing this regularly also helps the jewelry keep its shine. Don’t use polishing cloth since it’ll strip away the plating.
When you notice the jewelry needs a thorough cleaning, use warm water and mild liquid soap. Let the item soak for a few minutes, and then rub it with a soft cloth.
When done, dry it using a non-abrasive cloth.
When storing your jewelry, ensure that it remains separate so that it doesn’t rub on other pieces you have.
That’ll cause scratches on the plating. You can place the jewelry in a Ziplock bag, wrap it in a soft cloth or place it in its own jewelry box.
Caring for our jewelry is the only way that we’ll get to keep them for longer. It might seem like work, but it’s the only way to preserve your rose gold plated jewelry.