How to Replate Rose Gold Jewelry

Rose gold jewelry has become the recent rage thanks to its unique color and aesthetic! Solid gold jewelry can be expensive to purchase, so many people opt for plated jewelry instead. While it’s affordable and pretty, the color fades over time. Here’s how to replate rose gold costume jewelry so you can restore the appearance of your item.

What’s Rose Gold?

Rose gold is a commercial alloy made from gold and copper. The red color of the copper gives rose gold its signature pinkish tone. Unlike pure yellow gold, rose gold does not occur naturally and has to be man-made for jewelry and other items. 

rose-gold-ring

Two rose gold rings.

Getting an Item Rose Gold Plated

The first thing to do is to check for a jeweler who can replate your item in rose gold. Some jewelers are very limited in terms of color, while other jewelers don’t even have a plating tank.

Once you’ve found a jeweler who has the capability to do the work, the next thing to understand is that rose gold plating is not always consistent in color. Different jewelers and facilities have different plating solutions, and the metal of your item will also affect how the final result comes out. While the rose gold plating will always be pink in color, it may be lighter or darker based on these factors.

The Rose Gold Plating Process

After you turn your jewelry over to the jeweler, the process to replate the rose gold begins! The jeweler first polishes the piece to remove all existing plating. This is to ensure that the existing plating doesn’t show up underneath the new plating and cause a bumpy texture. 

replate-rose-gold-bangle

An imitation bangle with remnants of rose gold plating.

Next, the jeweler checks the newly exposed base metal. If the item is sterling silver, it can go straight into plating. However, other base metals such as copper, brass, bronze, and unknown costume jewelry alloys will need chemical treatment before they can go into the plating tank. 

The jeweler may plate them with a layer of palladium or nickel to ensure that the rose gold plating takes to the surface.

Once the item is polished and treated, it’s placed into the plating tank. This tank contains a solution of metal salts, including the rose gold. Electricity runs through the water, attaching a thin layer of the rose gold to the top of the jewelry. The rose gold only sticks to the metal, and will not adhere itself to any stones in the design. 

rose-gold-bangle

The bangle, after rose gold plating.

Maintaining Your Rose Gold Plated Jewelry

Once you receive your item back, remember that it’s not solid rose gold! In order to make sure that the plating lasts a long time, you should be mindful of the following:

  1. Don’t swim with your jewelry on: Chlorine is an extremely harsh chemical and will destroy the gold plating almost immediately. The salts in seawater can also wear down your plating very quickly as well.
  2. Take it off and wipe it down after wear: Don’t sleep with your jewelry on! Your skin creates sweat and oils that will cause the plating to fade over time. To extend the lifespan of your plating, make sure to remove it and wipe it down gently with a soft cloth to remove the residue from your skin. 

Now you’re all set on how to replate rose gold jewelry! Touch up your favorite pieces or restore a sentimental item today with gold plating. If you’re ready to get started, comment below.

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