Gold plated chain necklaces are the best way to get that bling look without spending that bling cash! But what happens when the gold plating’s starting to wear off? Here’s how to replate a chain necklace and get it back to its original look.
Gold Plated Chain Necklaces
Ranging from thin gold plated chains to thick Cuban-style chains, gold plated chains are affordable ways to get the gold look without the gold price.
These gold plated items are typically made from a base metal such as copper, brass, silver, or stainless steel, which is then covered with a layer of gold plating. Depending on the quality of the item, this layer of gold plating can be very thin or fairly thick.
What you need to keep in mind is that gold plating chain necklaces can be labor-intensive and expensive because of the design of the piece, and the amount of gold needed to plate the item. Here’s what you need to know about replating chain necklaces.
The Process To Replate A Chain Necklace
Before the jeweler proceeds with plating, think about how often you wear this piece. Do you wear it all the time? Is it an item that only comes out for special occasions? This is important to determine because that will affect the thickness of plating you should select for your item, and subsequently the cost.
If you happen to wear this on special occasions, flash plating or 1 micron thickness should be sufficient for your needs. If you wear the necklace very often, consider upgrading to a thicker plating such as 2-3 microns.
Once you’ve determined what thickness you need, the jeweler puts the item into work. First, the chain is thoroughly polished to ensure that the surface of the metal is smooth and contains no traces of the original plating. This is to make sure that the original plating doesn’t interfere with the new plating, as that can create a bumpy and uneven texture.
Next, the jeweler cleans the piece and prepares it for the chemical plating process. While some metals such as sterling silver can go straight into the gold plating tank, other metals such as stainless steel require a preliminary coat of nickel or palladium plating before it can take to the gold plating.
After the item is prepared, it’s submerged in the gold plating tank. Electricity in the tank fuses the gold in the watery solution to the surface of your chain, ignoring stones and enamel. When the correct amount of gold has fused to the surface, the item is removed.
Chain Necklace Replating Costs
Because chains are more difficult to polish, and require more gold to plate, the costs for replating a chain is different than your average ring or pendant. Expect at least an additional $60 on top of the regular gold plating charge for standard thin chains of about 18” and 1mm. For thick Cuban or curb chains, these items take a lot of work to polish and plate, and the cost will easily start at $250-$550 depending on the thickness and the length.
Now you’re all set on how to replate a chain necklace! Comment below if you’d like to get started on fixing up something and we can help you out.