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"Can you plate white gold/platinum over yellow gold?"
Ed. note; This is an interesting thread, and only one of many. Before you get too confused, you might want to start with our FAQ on Rhodium Plating and White Gold to get an overall understanding :-)
I have a 18k yellow gold engagement ring. Please could you tell me whether it would be possible to get this plated and if so how long would the finish last. I am looking for either a white gold or platinum finish. It seems a shame to buy a new ring if I can get it plated.
Thank you in advance.Natasha Groves
- Cardiff, Wales, UK
Yes, it is possible to rhodium plate yellow gold. Rhodium is a precious metal much more expensive than gold, with the brilliant chrome-like finish you associate with white gold. The life of the plating will depend on its thickness and the amount of wear. If heavy enough it may last for a few years if rarely worn, but perhaps not long if worn every day. A brooch that you rarely touch might last many years. If the plating is thin it will last for only weeks before the yellow starts showing through. Tell the jeweler you want a x-year guarantee of whiteness.
Ideally, rhodium plating is done on a white gold ring of a very good shade so there is little contrast as the plating fades. And remember that engagement rings wear all the way through over the years, and a plating cannot last anywhere near as long as the solid metal under it.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey