What is Gold Plate and How to Care for it
What kind of gold plate do you offer?
Our gold plate “Vermeil style” is offered in a satin finish 24 karat soft yellow gold color, a shiny finish 14 karat soft yellow gold color, or a shiny finish 18K Rose Gold color. The plating process uses 98.5% pure gold. It is a gem quality plating that is 40 micro inches thick over sterling silver or bronze with a fine layer of nickel in between. The plate is very reliable and extremely popular with our customers. However, please keep in mind that bending a gold plated item may cause the gold layer to crack.
Our 24K satin finish requires a little more care than the 14K shiny or smooth finish. If you were to look at a satin finished item through a microscope, you would find that it resembles a carpet (thus making it harder to clean) rather than a smooth wood floor. Anything that adheres to the satin surface can be difficult to remove. Please read our instructions on how to care for your gold plated jewelry.
Will your gold plate wear off?
Our gold plate is 40 micro inches (1 micron) thick. It is a gem quality plate.
Many people who are nervous about gold plate have had negative experiences with gold plated jewelry that has a thin wash of gold as little as 1 micro inch thick. Our gold plate is 40 TIMES as thick, at 40 micro inches (1 micron). We find this thickness to be extremely durable.
However, please keep in mind that bending a gold plated item may cause the gold layer to crack. Additionally, repeated friction on the surface of the gold plate can cause the gold layer to wear away, revealing the core metal beneath. For example, the inside edge of the hole on a large hole bead that slides along a chain all day long will eventually wear away the layer of gold plate. A cluster of charms on a chain that swing back and forth over the surface of a gold plated charm may wear away a “skid” mark on the surface of the gold plated charm.
Although our gold plated finger rings have the same 40 micro inches of gold as all of our other gold plate items, finger rings receive more wear and tear than any other item of jewelry. Expect the gold plate to wear off more quickly on them than on our other items like charms and pendants.
How should I care for my Gold Plated jewelry and findings?
Metal is particularly reactive in moist or wet conditions. Regions with humid weather like the seacoast and tropical areas are especially challenging for metals as chlorides combine with moisture and perspiration to form a corrosive element.
The best way to maintain the beauty of your gold plate is to take proper care of it from the beginning. Below are some tips on caring for and cleaning your gold plated jewelry.
- Store your gold-plated jewelry in velvet, satin or any soft fabric-lined jewelry box. You can also wrap it in a soft material or place in a re-sealable plastic bag to prevent scratches. Keep all your pieces separate from each other to prevent scratching.
- Remove all gold-plated jewelry before showering, applying lotion, make-up, hairspray and perfume. Soap and lotion usually won’t harm gold, but it can cause a film residue to form, making it appear dull and dingy.
- Remove all gold-plated jewelry before cleaning. Household cleaners and other harsh chemicals will reduce the luster and can permanently damage your gold-plated jewelry over time.
- Remove all gold-plated jewelry before entering swimming pools, hot tubs and before using chlorine bleach or any chlorine-based cleaning solutions. Chlorine can react with metals, particularly at high temperatures. Exposure to chlorine can erode, discolor and permanently damage your gold-plated jewelry.
- To clean your gold-plated jewelry at home, you’ll find many commercial cleaners available. Choose a non-abrasive cleaning material as abrasives can remove the layer of gold-plating. Please take care in making sure the product is safe to use on GOLD.
- Buffing your gold-plated jewelry with a soft cloth is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your pieces lustrous. If you use a jewelry polishing cloth, make sure the cloth is meant for polishing GOLD. For example, do not use a Sunshine Polishing cloth, which is formulated for silver and contains micro-abrasives, on gold plate. Using a polishing cloth that is meant for another metal besides gold could permanently damage your gold-plated items.
- Gold plated jewelry may also get dirty, making it appear dull and dingy. You can remove the dull film with a jewelry cleanser, soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or commercial window cleaner (like Windex), which contains ammonia. Use a soft cloth to carefully clean the item. After cleaning, rinse with lukewarm water and allow it to dry completely.
- If the gold has developed spots, a stronger jewelry cleaner can do the job. Be sure that the cleaning product is designed for cleaning gold and follow the manufactures’ instructions. We use Tarn-X to remove reddish brown spots that may develop. If a cleaning substance is too strong it can remove the gold.
We quality control all of the gold plate before it leaves the office to ensure it has a lustrous, flawless finish. However, we have heard from some customers that after several weeks, the gold plate has developed reddish brown spots on the surface. To remove them, we recommend using Tarn-X. We suspect the spots are the result of environmental factors such as perfumes, humidity or other chemicals.