Gold Plated jewelry is the best option for wearers who are jewelry obsessed but need to stay in a budget (pretty much everyone out there). It gives the impression of luxury while not causing you to break the bank every time you see a cute, trendy piece of jewelry. Gold plated jewelry is made by using electricity or chemicals to deposit and bond a very thin layer of gold over another metal. This process creates a layer as thin as 1/1000 to 3/1000 of an inch of gold over a more affordable metal, usually stainless steel, silver or copper.
The downside of gold plating is that the gold layer fades and tarnishes over time. The reason being that molecules of the base metals slowly transfer into the thin layer of gold causing it to break down.
To decrease the chances of wearing out, here are easy ways on keeping the luster of your gold plated jewelry. As it is a thin layer of gold, extra care should be taken to maximize its lifespan.
Do not spray on perfume or other sprays while wearing your gold plated jewelry. Wear your jewelry after you have sprayed on your favorite perfume so that chemicals on the spray or perfume does not interact with your jewelry’s metal.
Wait until your lotion or cream is dry or has been absorbed by your skin before you wear your gold plated ring, bracelet or necklace.
Substances like oil, nail polish, nail polish remover, chlorine, perfume and the like may react with metal/plated jewelry and will cause it to tarnish easily. This also goes with sweat, so make sure you don’t forget to remove your gold plated jewelry when you exercise or anything that would require heavy physical work, and also when swimming.
Every after use, clean your plated jewelry with a cotton ball or a very soft cloth to remove any dust and dirt it has acquired. Gently rubbing the surface of your gold plated jewelry using a soft jewelry cloth also helps restore shine.
If your jewelry needs more cleaning you may clean it with warm, soapy water. Soak it for a few minutes and you may clean it with a soft brush. Stay away from jewelry cleaners and antibacterial soaps which may have certain components that will just make your gold plated jewelry tarnish more quickly.
To avoid scratches, wrap your jewelry in a soft cloth after cleaning or keep it in a jewelry box separate from other types of jewelry you have.
Showering with gold plated jewelry can eventually cause the gold layer to wear off completely, therefore you should definitely refrain from doing so.
The surface will show some wear from daily contact and that is normal. This will happen long before the plate is worn through. Trying to polish out the wear from daily contact will only help remove the plate and greatly reduce the life of the ring.
There are simply no fast rules as to how long a plated jewlery item will last since each person has a personal life and conditions are different.
If your jewelry is tarnished beyond what a good cleaning can remedy, all is not lost. You can breathe new life into your jewelry by having it re-plated, or you can plate or re-plate jewelry and other products with an 18 or 24k gold plating kit.