The term “plating” is a shortened version of the longer word “electroplating”.
What is electroplating?
Electroplating is a process by which dissolved metal of one type is caused to adhere to solid metal of another type by using an electrically charged bath in which the dissolved metal is suspended. The item being plated, (the solid metal), is suspended in the bath and the positive/negative electrical charge interaction causes the dissolved metal to adhere to the item being plated. For instance: an eating utensil (like a fork), made of steel, could be suspended in a bath of dissolved pure silver particle. When the electrical charge is applied to the bath, the fork attracts the suspended silver particle, and adheres to the steel fork. When completed, the steel fork is coated in a thin layer of pure silver and is now “silver plated”
What kind of plating do we use at Greenwood Design?
For costume jewellery we most often use Rhodium (“silver”) or a costume jewellery quality of Gold. Higher quality kt gold is available (as seen below), but it is soft and does not wear quite as well, particularly for jewellery pieces that are worn on a regular basis. A high quality gold plate on an investment or heirloom is very nice to have as it greatly increases the value of the jewellery. However we most often use costume jewellery quality gold because we like our Gold to be mixed with other bright metals that make it more durable, while still allowing the Gold content to shine out…brilliantly standing the test of time.
- GOLD: We have a wide variety of Gold plating ﬁnishes that are available for your personal selection. These Golds will supersede the value of costume jewellery Gold. if you want your jewellery to have the and higher value of pure Gold plating. you request a higher grade Gold option. The qualities include 14 and 18 carat Yellow Gold and 18 karat Rose Gold, which has a very unique pinkish rosy cast to the colour. Rose Gold is particularly nice with pale pink, red and mauve stones like Siam Ruby or Golden Shadow. You could also opt for “double plating” which will send your jewellery through the plating process two times, in order to thicken the ﬁnal gold and help to make a hit more durable.
- RHODIUM: Of the platinum group metals, rhodium is the most widely used material when tarnish prevention and durability is of the highest priority. Among Rhodium’s desirable properties is it’s brilliant silver high reflection polish, and resistance incidental surface abrasion. it can be used as a ﬁnal anti-tarnish ﬁnish over Silver or Nickel items to eliminate discolouration. it is especially effective for necklaces and chains where contact natural oils from the skin can quickly dull non-gold jewellery.
- GUN METAL: A black nickel plating. it has a unique dark appearance that can be varied from a distinctive light grey through grey-black; it is a very striking and unique ﬁnish that looks particularly good with dark jewel-tone stones like Rubies, Emeralds and Amethyst.