is the process of covering a piece of jewelry made of a specific metal or alloy with another layer of precious metal.
I’m sure you think of costume jewelry when you think of plated jewelry, but fine jewelry can also be plated.
And what is the distinction between costume jewelry and fine jewelry?
Costume jewelry is made of less expensive metals like copper, bronze, or a mix of non-precious metals. This means they will eventually lose their color and turn rust, black, or green… yuck!
As a result, the plating process contributes to the longevity of this type of jewelry. They are coated with precious metal, such as gold or silver, and thus appear to be made entirely of gold or silver, but at a lower cost.
on the other hand, is entirely made of precious metals like platinum, gold, or silver.
What’s the point of plating them? Simply to achieve a particular color. It’s common practice, for example, to plat white gold with rhodium to ensure that it looks the right color.
In either case — costume or fine plated jewelry — the coating will wear off, raising the question of whether these pieces can be related.
It is conditional.
To determine whether or not you can replate your jewelry, you must first understand the plating process.
How does plating work in practice?
This is a lengthy process involving numerous chemical products and steps that must be meticulously followed. The preparation is heavily influenced by the metal to be plated and its condition.
Any trace of oil or dirt on the surface of the metal to be plated must be removed, and the piece must be polished. Once the piece has been cleaned, it should be placed in a tank containing the precious metal that will serve as the outer layer.
However, these tanks are contaminated by low-cost metals. So, when it comes to costume jewelry, they require something known as a buffer layer.
Yes, you read that correctly: double plating.
This in-between layer prevents contamination and improves the adhesion of the gold or silver layer.
So the person who will be replicating your jewelry will need a great deal of specific knowledge, experience, and equipment.
As a result, I can repair anything.
Fine jewelry, on the other hand, is easier to replate when and if that is the case. Replating is usually included in the maintenance process when you buy fine jewelry from a reputable store.
When it comes to costume jewelry, it’s a matter of finding someone who is qualified and has all of the tools necessary to replate your piece.
Zinc, for example, is a metal that is extremely difficult to plate without the proper equipment and someone with extensive experience in metal plating.
If you truly adore a tarnishing piece of jewelry and plating is not an option, consider a long-term investment, such as replicating it in precious metal.
This is a method of ensuring that your jewelry lasts longer (hopefully forever) without the need for frequent maintenance.