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5 Things to Consider Before Getting Your Jewelry Gold Plated

Written by Anna Currell
December 29, 2023

Do you have a piece of jewelry that could use a little love? Sometimes, a golden layer can make all the difference. Whether your piece of gold jewelry is a little worn and tarnished, or you want to give another material the Midas touch, getting it gold plated can completely transform it into something new. If you’re considering gold plating your jewelry, there are a few things you should know first; we’ll walk you through the details you need to be prepared. 

What is Gold Plating?

Gold plating is the process of adding a thin layer of gold to the surface of a metal. It's done through electroplating, which uses an electric current to adhere liquid gold to the base metal while it’s submerged in a tank. Gold plating can give cheaper metals the glow of gold at a lower cost compared to more expensive solid gold or alloyed gold options. The gold plating process can breathe new life into worn down jewelry or transform the look of a piece entirely. 


A silver elephant ring gold plated with thick micron plating.

5 Things to Consider Before Getting Your Jewelry Gold Plated

If you're thinking about getting your jewelry gold plated, there are a few key factors to consider:

#1: What type of jewelry are you getting gold plated?

Most metal jewelry can be gold plated, but there are always exceptions. Non-metal jewelry typically doesn’t work with the electroplating process. A piece of jewelry made of silicone, rubber, or plastic won’t work, for example. Or perhaps you have pieces of costume jewelry with stones that are glued on rather than set in metal; those will be an issue since the jewelry has to be submerged in water for the gold plating process, and the water will loosen the glue that holds the costume stones in place.

#2: What’s your budget?

The price of gold plating your jewelry will depend on several factors and can vary widely. Understanding your budget before you begin the process can help you to make decisions about how to get your piece gold plated. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on this piece of jewelry, first of all. The price of gold plating can range from $75 to over $500, so it’s important to determine whether gold plating your jewelry is more cost effective than buying a new piece. 

#3: How many microns do you need?

When getting jewelry gold plated, you can choose how thick the layer of gold will be. Plating thickness is typically measured in microns. A thicker layer of gold will be more durable but also more expensive. You have a few options:

  • Flash plating adds less than 1 micron of gold. This is the cheapest option, but will wear off more quickly.
  • 1-5 microns of gold is a moderate option; it’s cost effective and still more durable than flash plating. Most people choose between 1-3 microns.
  • More than 5 microns is a very durable thickness, but because you’re applying more gold it’s also more costly.

In summary, the more microns of gold you choose to plate your jewelry with, the longer it will last and the more you will pay. You'll need to decide what combination of cost and durability makes sense for your particular piece.


this silver ring has been gold plated

#4: What hue are you looking for?

The kind of gold you choose will determine the aesthetic of your pieces and the price of the service. While classic yellow gold is a popular choice, it’s not your only option. Rose gold will add a pinkish tone for an additional price, and white gold will add a silvery white sheen for an even higher price. Choose a gold hue that matches your jewelry collection, or branch out to try something new. It doesn't have to be the same color as your original piece!

#5: Will you keep up with gold plating maintenance?

The last question to ask yourself is an important one; are you willing to keep up with the maintenance of your gold plated jewelry? Because of its relatively thin application, gold plating will likely need to be touched up. Depending on the base material, how often you wear the gold-plated jewelry, and how well you care for the piece, you may need to replate it once or twice per year. 

If you take very good care of your jewelry (like removing it before swimming and showering and storing it in a cool, dry, and soft place), and are willing to get a touch up when necessary, then gold plating your jewelry will be a beautiful, lustrous way to enhance your jewelry. 


A refurbished Victorian locket after gold plating and polishing.

Do you have a piece of metal jewelry that could use a bit more shine? Consider all of these questions first, and then give it a glow. Have our team at Quick Jewelry Repairs gold plate your jewelry with an expert touch; our jewelers have perfected the craft of gold plating to ensure that you walk away with a totally transformed piece of jewelry that looks as good as new.

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