It is possible to have a beautiful piece of jewellery at a more affordable price thanks to the existence of gold plating. However, its production requires special authorization and is subject to very strict obligations.
Gold plating: a reproduction of gold
It is by the application of a gold plate on another metal that a gold lining or gold plating is obtained. It is done by rolling, welding or forging. The metals used can be bronze, copper, brass (an alloy of copper and zinc)…, and according to a recent method, the metal is plunged into an electrolytic gold bath in order to obtain gold plating. We also talk about electroplating: the brass is to be covered by a layer of gold of 16 carats and a minimum thickness of 3 microns according to the legislation. 1 micron is equivalent to 1/1000 mm and corresponds to a layer of gold plating.
How to recognize a gold-plated brass?
Gold plating, which is a very successful reproduction of gold, is mainly used to make jewellery such as necklaces, rings, earrings and many other ornaments. Seeing gold-plated jewellery from a distance is quite difficult to distinguish from real gold. It is therefore necessary to check the hallmark that bears the manufacturer’s initials. It is square in shape and indicates the carat unit of the gold used. Each piece of jewellery sold as gold-plated must be compulsorily hallmarked by its manufacturer.
Gold-plated is harder and heavier than real gold, so if you bite into gold-plated jewellery, there will be no teeth marks on the jewellery unlike gold jewellery which is much softer. Real gold is resistant to life, withstands the acid that the skin produces and never loses its shine over time, whereas gold-plated can change its appearance after several years. Nevertheless, if you take good care of your jewellery, it will stay shiny much longer.
Advantages of gold plating
A gold-plated jewel is as beautiful as a gold jewel especially when it is still new. Choosing gold-plated instead of real gold is more economical, because gold jewellery is usually twelve times more expensive than gold-plated. The latter is less resistant than gold, but you can wear gold-plated jewellery at any time, even if you take a shower, during physical exercise, etc…