Is Gold Plated Sterling Silver Worth Anything? Should you buy gold-plated sterling silver jewelry?
While you don’t necessarily buy jewelry hoping to sell it in the future, it’s gratifying to know that the purchased jewelry has some value, even if you will only have it around your neck, earlobe, or fingers most of the time.
As you can tell, the gold plated sterling silver jewelry contains only a thin layer of plated gold and sterling silver base metal, which means that you are not buying jewelry made of solid sterling silver or solid gold. With this realization, is that jewelry worth anything? Should you buy it?
Well, keep reading to find out more about the value of gold plated sterling silver jewelry.
First things first… You need to understand Sterling silver.
Is sterling silver worth anything?
The reason for this silver-copper mix has to do with the fact that pure silver is too soft to be crafted into jewelry, silverware, or tableware.
And to add to its resilience, copper is added to the pure silver. The silver ensures its shine and resilience, while copper gives sterling silver its sturdiness. Thanks to the high percentage of silver, sterling silver have some value.
But the sterling silver name isn’t enough in the determination of the value of the piece.
The sterling silver piece has to be examined carefully. The examination involves checking for the hallmark sign and the number 925. Lower numbers mean a lower proportion of pure silver.
Once the hallmark is confirmed, the piece is weighed, and its weight converted into ounces (from grams).
Once done, the value of the silver is determined. To determine the value of the sterling silver piece, the total weight of silver in ounces is determined then multiplied by the current post price of silver. You can obtain this value online.
Read more here: is sterling silver worth anything?
What is gold plated sterling silver?
Now that we have the basics out of the way, what does gold plated sterling silver jewelry mean?
First, the gold plated sterling silver piece is better known as gold vermeil. Gold vermeil can be defined as thickly gold-plated sterling silver jewelry.
The gold’s thinness for the vermeil is 2.5 microns (minimum allowable), and the base metal has to be sterling silver. Therefore, you could refer to the gold plated sterling silver jewelry as gold vermeil.
Most costume and fashion jewelry are gold plated, but the gold plating isn’t very thick, and in most cases, costume/ fashion jewelry is made of brass as the base metal. These pieces of jewelry are also cheaper than the gold-plated sterling silver pieces.
The other thing you need to know about the gold plated sterling silver jewelry is that such jewelry often comes with the (Confusing) 925 stamp. The 925 stamp is used in the gold plated sterling silver to indicate the 92.5% pure silver that makes up the sterling silver base metal.
It’s worth noting that although the gold vermeil has a lot in common with the gold-plated jewelry, not all plated jewelry is vermeil. For the gold plated jewelry, the gold layer is often significantly thinner than the gold vermeil plating layer.
The pros and cons of gold plated silver
- Gold plated silver is valuable – even without considering the amount of gold or the gold carats, the use of high-purity sterling silver as the base metal instantly adds value to the gold plated sterling silver.
- Beautiful finishes. Gold plated sterling silver makes some of the most brilliant decorations with an overall beautiful finish and unique designs. The gold plating is also naturally beautiful.
- Affordability. Solid gold and jewelry made of solid 14K or 18k jewelry are quite expensive. But if you are shopping on a budget, you still get to enjoy good quality; gold plated sterling silver jewelry at a lower price.
- Unique designs. Sterling silver is versatile, and jewelers come up with elegant jewelry designs using the plating. The gold plating not only brings unique designs to life but also allows you to have a wide variety of jewelry designs for different occasions.
- Easily accessible. Unlike jewelry made of genuine/ solid gold, which can be hard to come by and expensive, gold plated silver jewelry is easily accessible.
- It’s not water-resistant. Gold plated sterling silver wears off pretty fast when exposed to water often, especially where harsh chemicals are involved. This means no showering or swimming with the gold plated silver jewelry.
- The plating chips off. The gold plated silver is prone to scratching, and the gold layer chips off easily when it comes in contact with other metals. This is unavoidable given the very thin layer of gold on the sterling silver base metal.
- It tarnishes.Gold plated sterling silver jewelry tarnishes after some time. Often, the tarnishing is a result of the base metals’ molecules migrating to the surface, causing the discoloration of the gold plated layer. To fix this, you’d want to polish it regularly.
Is gold plated sterling silver worth anything?
Yes. Thanks to the 92.5% pure silver in sterling silver (the rest, 7.5% is made of copper), the gold plated sterling silver jewelry is worth something.
This value of the gold plated silver jewelry is referred to as the melt value, and despite the negligible value of the gold plate, separated gold from the silver will leave you with something valuable.
Gold over sterling silver durability. How long does it last?
Generally, gold plating over sterling silver lasts about 2 years. That gold plating will, however, wear off with time, and the flaking will expose the sterling silver base metal.
The gold plating also loses its natural luster over time, and it fades. You could slow down how fast it wears off by taking good care of your jewelry.
Sterling silver makes an excellent, high-quality metal base for gold-plating, and thanks to the high silver purity level of 92.5%, this kind of plated jewelry is valuable, besides being very beautiful.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.