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What is electroplated gold?



28788
(Courtesy of Debora Kroll)

28788-2
(Courtesy of Tina Sowders)

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Q. Hi,

We have gotten in the mail a Free Gift certificate about a Blue Topaz ring and we were wondering what Electroplated Gold is.

Your Friend,

Joseph Embury
- Woodstock, Ontario, Canada


++++

A. Hi, Joseph. It means that the ring is made of some less expensive material, but has a thin layer of gold on the surface.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

++++

Q. Does electroplated gold wear off really fast? Say like 2-3 days?

Justin Patenaude
- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


++++

A. It depends on how thick it is Justin. A good gold color can be seen with a thickness of under 10 millionths of an inch, which can wear off a ring very quickly, but would last longer on a pin or broach. But greater thicknesses, which could last years, are very possible. Some old gold pocket watches had plating thick enough to last a century.

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 15, 2009

Q. Is electroplated gold worth anything? I have a charm bracelet that was my mothers and it is in its original box with a tag saying 18k electroplate gold. I am trying to find out if it is worth anything.

Lauren Heiss
- Chandler, Arizona


December 13, 2009

A. Hi, Lauren. Jewelry is jewelry and much of its value is in its appearance and workmanship. Some very nice, and reasonably expensive, jewelry is gold plated.

But, sorry, the intrinsic precious metal value is probably very little because the plating is probably only millionths of an inch thick. Once it is not considered attractive jewelry, it's pretty much worthless, in contrast to solid gold jewelry which has intrinsic metal value.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Jewelry: Concepts
and Technology

Jewelry Making
Techniques


January 7, 2010

Q. I am also trying to find out what electroplate gold is but after reading your responses to the other same questions from inquirers, I finally understand. So what do you call it when a the jewelry item is a solid 18 karat gold not electroplated?

Suzanne Her
State Center Community College District - Fresno, Ca,


January , 2010

A. Hi, Suzanne. It would just be called 18k gold, which means the element gold comprises 18 parts out of 24, and other metals comprise the other 6 parts out of 24.

18k gold is quite pure and very valuable; gold of any higher purity of gold isn't very common in jewelry largely because it is quite soft and might not hold detail well. Most solid gold jewelry is 14k, 12k, 10k, or 9k.

(Although electroplated gold usually has little intrinsic value because it is so thin, the karat of the plating is apparently sometimes specified because it can effect the tarnish resistance, color, or engineering properties).

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 1, 2011

Q. I was wondering is electroplated lesser value then plated?

cindy weber
- lake stevens, Washington usa

January 2, 2011

A. They are the same thing, Cindy: plated is just an abbreviation for electroplated. But again, the thickness can range from a few millionths of an inch to much much thicker. But in any case, the value of gold plated jewelry is in the artistry and visual appeal, not the intrinsic value of the metal.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 23, 2011

Q. Would diamonds in a ring that reads 18 kgersc most likely be real or fake?

Katherine York
- Murphy


December 20, 2011

Q. Hi,
I have a 14K gold engagement ring and I decided to buy a 14K gold electroplated stainless steel wedding band online, when it arrived I was very unhappy to see the two golds do not match at all despite both being 14K golds, the electroplated gold is very yellow. Is there anything I can do to make the gold on the stainless steel ring match my engagement ring?

Rebecca Carpenter
N/A - Paisley, Oregon, USA

January 18, 2012appended

Q. I have an antique diamond ring, it has a yellow gold setting. Can the setting be dipped in rose gold?

Brian Johnson
- Bradley Beach, New Jersey, USA

January 19, 2012

A. Hi, Brian.

If you can find a jeweler or plating shop who offers rose gold, your ring can certainly be plated with it, but it may be hard to find because it requires that they maintain a tank of rose gold plating solution (this is gold with a rather exacting amount of other metals like copper to give it the rose tint).

If the ring is actually worn, however, the plating will wear fairly fast because rings (as opposed to broaches, for example) are very high wear items. Further, unless you see samples, there is a good chance that the platers' idea of the color of rose gold may not match your idea.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

March 4, 2012

Q. Hi, I just purchased a 1930's Gruen ladies wristwatch which has an octagon case with engraved designs in it. How can I tell if it is electroplated? I would like to clean it and I don't know what to use.

Sincerely,

Diane

Diane Beaudoin
- Calgary, AB, Canada


March 10, 2012

Q. I have 22 Karat Gold Electroplate Anson Cuff Links with some kind of stone in it. What's this worth? Thanks.

28788

Debora Kroll
- Chatsworth, Iowa


April , 2012

A. Hi, Debora. This is a technical site about metal finishing rather than an antiquing site, and to avoid being swamped in such questions and losing our focus, we don't offer evaluations. Sorry. But I think you can judge their value for yourself by following this link to very similar items on Ebay =>

Best of luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 26, 2012

Q. Hi, I bought an antique filigree bracelet marked 835. It is gold gilded but what metal lies beneath? It is not attracted to a magnet. I had it tested for gold using 14k acid..it failed...it was tested for silver..it failed...it was tested for platinum and the mark hung around for about 45 seconds then disappeared. So, that means its not platinum either right? What is it? I know its not a low grade silver because after it failed the silver test I took off my 800 locket low grade silver for comparison and it passed.

28788-2

Am I supposed to believe this bracelet is not of precious metal knowing someone took the time to hand make this piece of jewelry? It has file marks along the edges it was definitely handmade and antique. Please tell me your thoughts on it.
Thanks Tina

Tina Sowders
collector of antique jewelry - guston,Kentucky, meade

November 27, 2012

Q. I was left with a 18k electroplate watch by Salvi. I want to know if it is worth anything.

Angel Rivera
- Bronx, New York


November 28, 2012

A. Hi Angel. It's not worth anything for its gold value. But it might be worth maybe $25 dollars for its value as a watch or a collectible. Look for similar stuff on Ebay or Craigslist and go from there, or take it to a jeweler, antique store, or pawn shop. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 18, 2012

Q. I just bought a 14 karat gold ring, but it said it was electroplated. How much do you think that's worth?

Kassandra Johnson
- Des Moines, Iowa


December 18, 2012

A. Hi Kassandra. It's either 14 kt (14/24ths gold) or it's electroplated with a thin layer of gold on top of something else (like brass).

If it's 14 kt, you can weigh it, multiply by 14/24 and by the current price of gold to determine it's intrinsic value. If it's only electroplated with gold, it has zero intrinsic metal value and is only worth it's decorative value as costume jewelry.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 26, 2013

Q. I am interested in the process of creating "so-called 'gold' flatware. I purchased a chest full of it yesterday and it was advertised at gold plated. On the back of each piece it is stamped "EP China. I am assuming the EP means electroplating but, perhaps it means something else. What can you tell me about my purchase?

Shirley Coyne
- Cobb, California, USA


January 28, 2013

A. Hi Shirley. Yes, EP would mean electroplated, but I doubt that anyone can tell you much else. The gold plating will be thin, so hand wash it. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 3, 2013

Q. I have a Raymond Weil wristwatch which is 18k electroplated gold. How long will the gold plating last?

Craig Hdeleted
- Liverpool


February 6, 2013

A. Hi Craig. You probably don't know the thickness of the gold, nor whether there is a titanium nitride underlayer, not whether there is a clearcoat on top of the gold. So all you have to go by is other customers' experience and the reputation of the maker. But this is a very highly regarded brand, so I suspect the gold plating is quite thick and will last years.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 16, 2013

Q. Hello. I would like to buy an inexpensive EP "gold " chain that does not look cheap, e.g., brassy yellow ... from eBay. What type of EP finish looks closest to good quality gold?

lorna pappas
- andover, New Jersey usa


March 29, 2013

Q. . I bought a new Military Service ring, described as "Electroplated in 18K Heavy Gold Finish"
My question is, will it, overtime, turn my finger green as some cosmetic jewelry does?

Scott Stine
- Farmersburg, Indiana USA


April 1, 2013

A. Hi Scott. As I expect you realize, "heavy gold finish" is a salesperson's term, not an engineering term. It would not surprise me if the gold is very thin. If the ring is sterling silver under the gold it probably won't turn green; if it isn't, it probably will. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 6, 2013

Q. Is this gold electroplated giftware from International Silver Company worth anything?

gold electroplated giftware

Raul Ramos
- Glendale, Arizona, USA


April 8, 2013

A. Hi Raul. I hate being unkind or dismissive, but we've already said we don't attempt valuations here. But a picture gives no real data, like the gold plating thickness; and, despite posting hundreds of pictures of such items, not a single reader in the 18 years we've been online has ever offered a single comment on the value of another person's items -- it's just a waste of bandwidth. Apologies.

Please look on Ebay for similar items (I did, and sadly it looks like $7-$15), and take it to a local antique shop, and take it to one of the "We buy gold" shops on every other city street corner. Between those three strategies you'll have a very good idea. Best of luck with it!

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

April 16, 2013

Q. What options are there to coat an 18K gold electroplated ring to keep it from tarnishing when the plated gold fades?

Marci Cain
- Gardena, California


April 16, 2013

A. Hi Marci. When the gold plating wears off it must be plated again. After it's plated you could consider a UV cured clearcoat (same as clear nailpolish that is cured in a UV tray).

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 9, 2013

Q. Hi I'm thinking of purchasing a Lord of the Rings ring. It states that it is made of tungsten and combined with a small amount of nickel. It says it is 18k gold plated and will fade with fair wear and tear in two years time. Do you think it will start to tarnish before two years?

Charlene Matthews
- Tauranga, Bop, New Zealand

September 29, 2013

Q. Hi, I've just bought a 24k elecroplated ring. How long do you think this will keep its colour for?

Thanks,

Angie Mccluskie
- Liverpool, Merseyside, UK


September 30, 2013

A. Hi Angie. Sorry, but not long. Rings are very very heavy wear items, and the plating is probably very thin.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 8, 2014

Q. Hi,

My grandma left me Christian Bernard 18k gold electroplated 10m -- does this cost much?

Thanks

Alexa Yu
- United Arab Emirates


January 8, 2014

A. Hi Alexa. What is a "10m"? Christian Bernard made watches, rings, pendants, etc.

I suggest you look on ebay for similar items to what you have.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Want to sell 1500 gold plated stamps

February 23, 2014

Q. Hello I have 22 kt electroplated stamps. about 1500 of them. Will a gold buyer buy them for the price of 22 kt electrolyte?

garry mogg
- anchorage alaska usa


February 2014

A. Hi Garry. I'm not sure what you mean by "electroplated stamps". Do you mean some sort of commemorative issue of gold plated postage stamps by the Franklin Mint or something like that? If so, see Ebay where some sellers seem to be trying strategies like selling groups of 5 or 10 on given themes for $10; with that approach and patience you might make a few bucks. But as we speak one guy is offering 81 gold plated stamps in an album for $24.99 and has no bidders yet, so it's not a seller's market. If you can find a copy of the original ad that implied they might be worth a small fortune some day, it might help sell them :-)

Sorry, but the intrinsic value is probably nothing.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 24, 2014

A. At a $1333 gold market, you can figure about $0.05 per square inch of gold coated area. That is based on the average thickness of gold leaf being about 3.5 - 4.0 microinches.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA


May 25, 2014

Q. My granddad left me a 23kt electroplated gold half dollar coin. Does this have any value?

Tattianna Wright
- bklyn New York usa


May 2014

A. Hi. It probably has no intrinsic value. But it would be a great thing to leave to your grandchildren.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Is Southwest Mining Co. "California Gold" Bar Real?

June 29, 2014

Q. I have a 6 troy ounce gold colored bar, with the following information stamped on the top of it as follows:

28788-4 Southwest Mining Co
6 ounces troy
California Gold
24K GE
02003

Does it have any value, and if so, what is the approximation of that value?

Thank you!

Stan Caminada
- Mineral, Virginia USA


June 2014

A. Hi Stan. You obviously have either 6 ounces of real 24 kt gold at a value of a little over $1300 per ounce today, or you have a prop, or a forgery. The markings prove little because, if they did, forgeries would simply use those markings. For a quick disqualification test you could do the Archimedes thing of putting it in water, seeing how much water it displaces, then weighing whether it's 19.3 times as heavy as the water it displaces. Few things are as heavy as gold -- lead is nowhere close.

Many jewelers and all of the "We buy gold" stores, which are on seemingly every other corner these days, can tell you which one you have in a flash. Hope for the best!

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


July 3, 2014

It looks like what it is is stamped on it - 24K GE - 24K Gold Electroplate.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA


July 2014

thumbsup2Thanks Chris. I had read on some other sites that this "GE" on these ingots stood for "gold electroplate", and you are probably right that it does.

But I think it is no longer legal to stamp something with a carat designation that applies to the plating rather than the bulk of the object because it could be deceptive -- especially when combined with the other markings like "6 ounces troy" (who weighs lead and non-precious metals in troy ounces?). Everyone in the world knows what 24kt means whereas virtually nobody would know that "GE" meant gold electroplate. For demonstration, Google "24 kt" and then try to google "GE" :-)

Intentions certainly may have been pure originally, just to sell it as an amusing novelty, of course.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


August 21, 2014

A. I have the identical gold bar from Southwest Mining Co. It's a paper weight. I acquired mine in the early 80s.

JE Sinclair
- Greer South Carolina USA


August 2014

thumbsup2Thanks for the clarification, JE! Now that makes sense :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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