Is Gold Plated Jewelry Worth Anything?(Pros and Cons)

Is electroplated gold worth anything? A question that people ask is whether any jewelry with a label ‘gold’ is worth anything. The quick answer is yes; however, it depends on what type of gold you’re talking about.

There is gold jewelry, gold plated, or gold filled. In this article, we are going to look at gold plated jewelry and answer whether it is worth anything. That should help you make an informed decision about what type of gold to get.

Before answering: is gold plated jewelry worth anything, we will tell you what is gold plated jewelry; is gold plated jewelry fake? We also will tell you guys the pros and cons of gold plated jewelry in this post.

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What is gold plated jewelry?

Gold plated jewelry is not gold jewelry. The jewelry itself has a base metal and has a thin layer of gold added. The base metal can be whatever the jeweler chooses. It could be copper or silver, and that is what the jewelry is made of. Simply put, when you’re purchasing something that is gold plated, you are purchasing the metal that is underneath. So, you are buying silver or copper that is gold plated.

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The layer of gold that gets added is quite thin that you can scratch it off with a coarse pencil eraser. Some do have a thicker coat, but even then, it is not gold jewelry.

To help you understand what the gold plating on your jewelry is, think of it as merely color that they have added for aesthetic purposes. Mostly, the gold plated is not graded. The grade of gold that gets used to getting the plating done doesn’t matter in this case.

Having established what gold plated jewelry is that is not to say it is worthless. They provide a perfect vintage look that you cannot get from other types of plating. Currently, the modern trend is not to wear gold jewelry for everyday use but rather gold plated jewelry that, even despite wear and tear, it retains that classic and vintage appearance.

Equally, remember that the base metal is worth something.

 

Is gold plated good?

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When compared to gold electroplating or gold coating, gold plated jewelry tends to last longer. Therefore, if you were to pick what jewelry to go for, opt for gold plated. Let’s get a bit into how it is made. During the electroplating process, the method that gets used is called physical vapor deposition. How that happens is that the vaporized precious metal, in this case, the gold, gets blasted onto the base metal.

The reason why this method is useful is that the vaporized precious metal fills the cavities on the base metal and then builds up to make a perfect layering. With this kind of plating, the jewelry will be more resistant to sweat, chlorine, and saltwater. However, as mentioned, it is not as resistant to scratches. The other upside of gold plating is that you can always have whatever ornament it is re-plated, which is not expensive to do.

The give a comparison, let’s look at gold filled jewelry. The gold filled jewelry does have a layer of actual gold that gets bonded to a base metal. If you want a piece with gold but you don’t have the money for pure gold, you can opt for gold-filled jewelry.

For that reason, it is more valuable but also more tarnish-resistant. The good thing about it is that it can last you 10 to 30 years. For that reason, gold-filled is more expensive than gold plated jewelry.

 

Is gold plated fake?

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Gold plated jewelry is not fake, even in the real sense. There are different grades of gold plated jewelry that look at the top layer, and depending on the weight of the gold, it is rated. The Federal Trade Commission labels plated gold as following: anything graded under 0.5 microns is lightly plated. Anything that is about 2.5 microns is heavy gold plated.

What unfortunately happens in the market is that merchants mislabel what is gold plated and what is not. Anything lower than .5 microns is gold electroplated and not gold plated. If it is less than .175 microns, it becomes something entirely different. It is considered gold washed or gold flashed.

Now, back to the question, is gold plated fake? The answer is no, and yes- the gold used on the plating is real gold, albeit thin. For some, however, the fact that the entire based metal is not gold; people consider it to be fake gold. For gold to be considered real gold, it has to be between 10k and 24k.

 

Is gold plated jewelry worth anything?

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The worth of gold plated jewelry depends on the amount of gold that got used. In general, you will find that gold plated jewelry is cheaper than gold filled jewelry. If you want something that is of more value, then you should get gold filled jewelry because it will have at least five percent gold, which cannot compare to what you have with gold filled jewelry.

Is 24k gold plated worth anything? 

24k gold is soft, and it doesn’t get used to making jewelry. It means that 24k gold would equally be too soft for use in platting, and it won’t last long.

18k gold plated value?

18k solid gold much more valuable than 18k gold plated jewelry. When we say a piece, it plated it only has at most 2.5 microns of gold, which cannot be compared to the total value of an actual gold piece.

I really hope you read this post. A lot of our readers ask this question: are lifetime jewelry real? Lifetime Jewelry is a very famous gold plated jewelry brand.

 

The pros of gold plated jewelry

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There is much to appreciate about gold plated jewelry. Let’s get into it.

Affordable: Gold plated jewelry is affordable. They are a lot cheaper than getting solid gold pieces or those that are gold filled. Depending on the plating and the stone, they go for about $5 to $50. Given they are so affordable; you’ll find people rocking this jewelry.

It looks like the real thing: If you want to look like your fashion idol that can spend thousands on real gold but you can’t, then gold plated jewelry is the route to take. You look like you’re wearing the real thing, but only you know that it cost you a fraction of the real thing. Don’t worry; a lot of people can’t tell it’s not the real thing.

You have more options: real gold, especially those above 18k tend to be softer to work with. It can also mean that you can’t make as many intricate designs (and have them hold the shape) as you would with other base metals such as silver and copper. For you, that means you can keep up with the fashion jewelry trends and not feel the pinch when it’s time for a fashion upgrade.

Durability: As mention, solid gold tends to be softer, and you can’t take it through the rough and tough of everyday wear. Gold plated jewelry is stronger than that, and you can shape them into whatever you like. You can wear selected jewelry as long as you like and not have the stress of thinking that you’ll ruin it entirely.

 

The cons of gold plated jewelry

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Sure, there are a ton of nice things to like about gold plated jewelry, but let’s look at the disadvantages to keep in mind when you consider making the purchase.

It tarnishes: given that it is not solid gold, gold plated jewelry will tarnish. Over time, the base metal will become exposed as the gold on top wears off. That happens when the base metal begins to react with the gold, causing the layer to break down. Once that happens, even the base metal will begin to tarnish as well. When that does happen, you have to go get it re-plated or polished.

It is not the real thing: over time, you and those around you can tell that the gold is not real. It means that if you want to keep the gold look going, you have to invest some money to get it re-plated. Be sure to look at the cost; it could be cheaper to purchase a different piece.

 

How long does gold plated jewelry last?

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 As stated, the molecules on the base metal travel to the gold top layer. That means that after a while, the gold plated jewelry is going to tarnish. If you care well for the piece, it should last you for a year or more. If you want that, then you have to consider taking off your jewelry before coming into contact with chemicals and other elements and cleaning it after storage.

The other trick that you can use is to apply clear nail varnish to coat the jewelry. It will chip after a while, so you will need to recoat it every so often. You can also talk to your jeweler to suggest something that you can use to clean, polish, and apply vanish to your jewelry.

 

Conclusion

Gold plated jewelry is a fantastic alternative for when you want to wear gold, look amazing, but only for a fraction of the price. They don’t last as long as solid gold or gold-filled, but with proper care, you should have it serve you for a year or more.

If you want to read more jewelry metal articles, read here. 

Guys, come back for more posts in the coming weeks.  See you guys in the next post.

 

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