The best alternative to luxurious solid gold jewellery is gold-plated jewellery. What if we told you that you can have the best of unique handcrafted designs in high-quality gold plating? We have here a curated selection of stunning handmade designer gold-plated jewellery for you, from some of the best designers and brands in the world.
• Learn more about gold-plated jewellery
• Real gold or gold plated?
• Types of gold plating
• Affordable luxury styles in gold-plated jewellery
What is gold-plated jewellery?
In earlier times, buying authentic gold jewellery was a privilege mainly afforded by the nobility or the wealthy. In 1805, an Italian chemist—Luigi Brugnatelli—invented the process of plating silver with gold. Jewellery designers have not looked back since then! Some of the best designs in handcrafted and sculptural jewellery come in gold-filled and gold-plated categories.
Is gold-plated jewellery the same as real gold?
No, gold-plated jewellery is not pure or solid gold jewellery. Gold plating of jewellery involves electroplating thin layers of gold over less expensive metals, such as copper, brass or sterling silver.
The purity of the gold layer may range from 10K to 24K. The purer the gold used, the brighter yellow it shines, and the closer its resemblance to gold jewellery.
Types of gold plating in rings
Jewellery made from silver or brass can be plated with a layer of gold in varying purities. High-quality gold plated jewellery has a 2-3 micron thick layer of gold plating on hallmarked 925 silver. Other plated jewellery may have from 1-1.5 microns thick plating on brass.
Gold Vermeil jewellery
Gold-plated silver jewellery, also called gold vermeil is best quality in the luxury fashion jewellery lines today. Silver is a precious metal that is more affordable than gold and makes an excellent base for gold plating because unlike other metals it does not require a nickel coating. 22K or 18K gold vermeil jewellery has a solid 925 sterling silver base that helps to keep the plating shiny for longer. Such jewellery could change colour over time, but proper care can slow this down.
Plated jewellery with white gold and rose gold finish
You can have any hue of gold in plated jewellery. However, white gold plating is rhodium plating on the base metal. Rose gold plated jewellery has a copper alloy of lower-karat 10K-18K gold.
Gold-filled or gold-bonding
Next to solid gold jewellery, gold-filled jewellery has more gold than gold-plated jewellery. Bonded jewellery is created by fusing a layer of gold to a metal core. Gold-filled jewellery lasts longer than plated jewellery.
Gold coating, flash plating, gilding
Gold-coated jewellery has a thin layer of gold over other metals. The coating is a minimum of 0.175 microns thickness. Jewellery coated with less than 0.175 microns of gold is called flash-plated or gilt jewellery. Thinly plated gold jewellery is more affordable if you love trying new jewellery styles every season. However, these are not long-lasting.
Shop for the best gold-plated jewellery
What is the best gold-plated jewellery for you? It depends on your budget, how long or often you wear it, and how well you can take care of it. If you are looking for rings or chains for daily wear, we advise gold vermeil jewellery. Buying from a reliable designer jewellery brand also ensures that the plating and materials used are durable and authentic.
To shop for premium gold-plated accessories, like earrings, bangles, necklaces and rings, always choose gold vermeil with gold hallmarking. This ensures good quality for the price you pay for the jewellery.
How long will gold-plated jewellery last?
Jewellery plated with a lower karat gold is best for durability. Plus, the thicker the plating, the longer it will last. The price of good quality gold-plated jewellery items will be more and last about two years.
But here's the good news: if the gold plating on your favourite jewellery items begins to wear off or look dull, it can be re-plated and restored. However, this is only possible if the earrings, rings, or other accessories have no fine detailing, texturing, or gemstones.
Gold-plated jewellery care
As with all jewellery, gold-plated jewellery requires some TLC. Here are a few pointers:
♥ Take them off first and put them on last
♥ Wipe your gold-plated jewellery with a soft cloth after every use to remove sweat or chemical deposits. And clean the occasionally with mild soapy water.
♥ Store plated earrings and rings in clear, separate pouches or slotted boxes to avoid friction with other jewellery items in your collection.
If you fancy jewellery with a luxurious look without the hefty price tag, you are on the right page. You don't have to be limited to sale prices and discounted imitation jewellery. You can shop for gold-plated designer jewellery to your heart's content and add as many designs and styles to your personal jewellery collection!
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