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What’s More Cost-Effective: Gold Plating or Solid Gold Custom Creation?

Written by Annabelle
May 5, 2020

Gold plating is a great way to touch up costume jewelry and make it look far more expensive than it really is. However, after constant plating and replating, you might be wondering if it’s just too much of an expense as the gold plating costs add up over time. So is it worth it to just get a new solid gold custom creation? Here’s what you need to know.

Gold Plating: Cost and Worth


A silver elephant ring gold plated with thick micron plating.

A lot of people gold plate for several reasons; they’re tired of the color of their item, they want to restore a piece that has a lot of sentimental value, or they want to give it a coating that is hypoallergenic.

Whatever the reasons, gold plating isn’t a cheap service. At the minimum thickness, gold plating is $81 and it steadily increases for thicker plating levels. A good plating can last years if properly maintained, but constant wear, the chemistry of your body, and the metal of your jewelry are all factors that can affect the longevity of the gold plating. Some individuals can go for years without having to do a touch-up, while others come back every year to plate the same item.

Given the cost of gold plating, this can steadily add up over time. For example, $121 every 8-12 months for 1 micron gold plating can increase to hundreds spent on gold plating. This is why we urge many of our customers to consider custom recreation.

Solid Gold Custom Creation: Cost and Worth


A custom-created ring in gold.

This process is exactly what it sounds like; the jeweler takes your item and recasts it in solid gold. The solid gold custom creation eliminates the need for gold plating as the item will no longer wear out in terms of color. Depending on the item being recreated, this can easily range from $300 to $1000 and upwards. While that seems like a large expense, compare it to the accumulation of gold plating costs over time- a recreation is an investment, and if you deeply love your item it’s far more worthwhile to remake it than to spend hundreds of dollars plating it over and over again.

What’s the Best Solution for You?

Now that you’re aware of both options, here’s our weigh-in on the situation.

Gold plating is the best service for items that don’t receive a lot of physical contact, like earrings or brooches. For these items, it’s more cost-effective to plate as they will last a longer time if the plating is properly maintained by the wearer.

For items that are constantly worn and almost never removed, such as rings, bracelets and necklaces, we recommend solid gold custom creations. Rings receive the most wear out of all jewelry types as they’re worn on the hand, and gold plating comes off the fastest on rings as a result. In addition, costume jewelry items of great sentimental value should be recreated for two reasons; the plating will wear off, and the metal underneath the plating is usually not conducive to repairs. Making it in solid gold means that you can size the item or fix it easily if it gets damaged in the future.

Now you’re up to date on gold plating vs. solid gold custom creation! If you’re interested in one of these services, comment below and we’ll help you get started.

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