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topic 28788 p3

What is electroplated gold?



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A discussion started in 2004 but continuing through 2019

June 24, 2015

Q. I have a 24kt gold stamp in a ripped open envelope I found outside. Is this real gold? Would a pawnshop take it?

vanessa ortega
- san pedro, california, usa


July 2015

A. Hi Vanessa. If it was actually 24kt gold it would be worth over $1000 per ounce, so you could weigh it and estimate its value. But considering that gold plated stamps are a commonplace, whereas I've personally never heard of solid 24kt gold stamps, the bad news is that I suspect it's worthless. See the discussion initiated above by Garry M.

Sorry.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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July 10, 2015

Q. Please help, can you explain 14k coated gold?

Linda de Waal
- Luderitz, Namibia


July 2015

A. Hi Linda. Sorry, that phrase is so vague as to be completely meaningless. Sounds like it's there to induce you to buy without telling you anything.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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July 11, 2015

Q. Hi Ted,

It's electrolytically coated with 14k gold not plated and thicker than normal. Maybe the word should be gold filled?

Linda de Waal
- Luderitz, Namibia


July 2015

A. Hi Linda. Electrolytically coated, but not plated, sounds like a contradiction although I suppose it's possible that it's some sort of paint with gold particles in it could be electrolytically applied while not counting as gold plating.

As a minimum, to call it "gold filled" you would need to say what fraction of the item's weight is 14K gold, like "1/20 14K gold filled". Certainly not "thicker than normal". It still sounds like you are asking someone to put a fine point on a vague description and I don't see how such a thing could be possible.

Please spend two or three paragraphs and explain your situation.

Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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July 9, 2015

Q. How much is 7 grams of 18k yellow gold plated worth if it has no stamps?

shane barr
- HAMBURG Pennsylvania united states


July 2015

A. Hi Shane. Unfortunately that description doesn't mean much. If it was solid 18 kt gold, 1/4 ounce would be worth something like $200. But "gold plated" could mean $2 worth of gold on it, but more likely $.05, and only recoverable at a cost 100X higher.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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sidebar July 18, 2015

Q. I want to know about "Anodized". Is this a form of gold plating or is there any gold in it?

Thank you,
Arvey

Arvey R Kruse
- Scottsbluff, Nebraska U.S.A.


July 2015

A. Hi Arvey. Anodizing is a dyeable, corrosion-proofing treatment for aluminum. It contains no gold. "Gold anodizing", such as found on shower doors, just means that the dye is a gold-ish tone. This site has thousands of threads about anodizing, and you might start with our "Introduction to Anodizing of Aluminum".

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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August 23, 2015

Q. Good Morning,
Is a 18 KT ELECTROPLATE, Piaget watch worth much in value? Thank you, Kathy

kathy Filippo
- cape may court house, New Jersey united states


August 2015

A. Hi Kathy. You need to take it to an upscale jewelry store or watchmaker and find out. Piaget is a super-premium very expensive ($5K-$35K new) watch, but replicas and counterfeits abound.

Regards,

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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
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Caribbean cruise gold wore off in weeks

November 12, 2015

Q. I bought a nice 5mm gold necklace and bracelet by the inch on a recent Caribbean cruise line. Made sense at the time and looked great! Now only weeks later the precious gold is wearing off. Can this be refinished or dipped in gold and last?

Frank Massari
- Redmond, Oregon, USA


May 29, 2016

Q. Hi, I have a large quantity of thread that was supposedly made in the 1920's in Japan. It was also said to be 24k pure gold leaf wrapped around silk. But when I took it to a jeweler, three jewelers in fact, I was told that there wasn't a scrap of gold in it. So I took it to a lab that said that it was 98% silver and .003 in gold. They said the gold was likely electroplated onto the silver. So can it legally be called 24k gold if we disclose that it was electroplated onto silver? Does this measure in micrograms?
Believe me, I look forward to your reply. I have many photos but don't know how to attach them.

rose estes
The Hauser Gallery - waldport Oregon USA


September 2016

Hi. Karat means 24 x % by weight of pure gold. This is not 24 kt gold, in fact it's not karat gold at all. But it is gold plated sterling (or better) silver. You can't call it gold. I don't know what you mean by ".003 in gold". If you mean .003", that's pretty thick.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever



December 18, 2016

Q. Hi, I bought Druzy Amethyst electroplated gold earrings. Does electroplated gold come off quickly from the earrings?

Gerda Kabel
- Koivukyla Vantaa, Finland


December 2016

A. Hi Gerda. Unfortunately there is no way of saying how long electroplated gold will last without more detail on the gold plating and the topcoat, if any. Gold plated pocket watches have lasted a century. Gold plated super-premium watches of today will last several decades. But sometimes gold is applied just barely thick enough for visibility and can wear out in a month or even less. Remember the brand name and the store you bought it from, as that is the only measure you have if you don't have detailed specs.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
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March 12, 2017

Q. I have a 9k gold (not plated) mans heavy bracelet. It's dull after 30 years. Can I have it plated to 18k or rhodium to enhance it?
Thank you for your time and expertise.
Bill

William Fennelly
Marine surveyor retired - League City


March 2017

A. Hi William. Best would probably to have a jeweler polish it. Second best would be to have it gold plated. Rhodium plating is a poor idea because the yellow color of the underlying gold will show through the white color of the rhodium plating in short order. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever



August 15, 2018

Q. Hello everyone,
I'm newcomer in Au plating. So I would like to know more things about this process. So, could everyone help me understand more about this process. Everything about technology ... chemical types ... chemical reactions...
Thanks and best regards!

Anna Yoon
- Viet Nam


August 2018

"Gold Plating Technology"
by Reid & Goldie
from Abe Books
or

Digital version
mfg_online

(No longer published, but Elsevier hasn't yet de-commissioned the online version of the Guidebook)
Download it before it disappears.

A. Hi Anna. Gold plating may be used for functional purposes like the contacts of cell phones, or decorative purposes as on jewelry. Please review the "Gold Plating" chapter of the Metal Finishing Guidebook for a quick understanding of gold plating. The Guidebook also covers many other issues about plating in general =>

After that you can either search this site for 'gold plating' to read hundreds of Q&A's on the subject, or get a copy of a book about gold plating if you need to learn in more tutorial fashion. Good luck.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever



August 20, 2018

Q. HI, I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT IS THE MEANING OF GOLD ELECTROPLATED IN MY FIDELLO WATCH. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

JANE HUSSAIN
- PASAY CITY/ PHILIPPINES


August 2018

A. Hi Jane. I can't find Fidello watches, but Raymond Weil has a line of "Fidelio" watches if that's what you have. Please check carefully if the Fidello you typed was a typo; if not, it's probably a cheap knockoff.

"Gold Electroplated" simply means that a thin layer of gold has been applied to the outside of the watch by electroplating. This gold is probably so thin as to have no intrinsic recoverable value, but my understanding is that "Fidelio" is a good line of semi-luxury watches worth a couple of hundred to several hundreds dollars, maybe more.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever



28788-6a
28788-6b
December 31, 2018

Q. Hello, I am a jewelry collector and I found a 1960s gold locket with a pretty ugly engraving of flowers and a star with a tiny diamond in the star. It sounds prettier than it looks but it is oval with a nice size of over an inch long and a little over half an inch wide. The best part is it opens up to reveal 4 places to put photos.

I want to remove the engraving and have an Art Deco engraving I saw on another locket added instead. The one I liked almost looked like a highly stylized scarab engraving, but it might be an abstract. The locket I own is a dime a dozen so I am not worried about its historical importance. Can I add gold to get rid of the old engraving? I am afraid if I take off gold I won't have enough left to add the engraving I prefer. If gold can be added to get rid of the old engraving, what is the process called so I can ask for it by name? The scarab-like locket engraving was very deep and also had a contrasting rose color to the engraving but not on the locket. It was not enamel. Do you know how to get that effect. Thank you, Kathy

Kathy Tobacco
- Jasper Georgia


simultaneous January 4, 2019

A. Pulse arc welding is better solution for removal of old engraving ( http://www.ascasonline.org/ARTICOLOGENNA190.html )...Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb,Croatia


January 4, 2019

A. It's probably possible to add enough gold via electroplating to level out the engraving, but may be cost prohibitive and wouldn't be my first preference.

As for the scarab engraving, based on that picture I would guess that it's actually a rose gold or copper base with a gold layer plated on top, which is then revealed by engraving - it would be the easiest way to get that effect at least. It may be possible to produce a similar effect by doing the engraving, masking the raised surfaces very well, and then plating the recessed surfaces with rose gold or copper.

Brendan McNamara
- Rochester, New York, USA



March 14, 2019

Q. Nicki here. I bought a "18k rose gold over 925 silver" ring on eBay. The seller says it is electroplating but how would she know that or that it's sterling without a stamp on the inside? I think I paid $50 for a $5 ring that's going to end up turning my finger green. Does the ring have to be stamped that it is electroplated? How long will 18k rose gold over silver last? I read somewhere you can coat with clear nail polish to make last longer. Help!

Nicki James
- Athens, Georgia, USA


March 2019

A. Hi Nicki. There's no way for us to reasonably conjecture how a seller unknown to us knows what they have, or whether they know. If the ring is sterling (92.5%) silver, it should have a "sterling" or "925" stamp, but if it was custom made by a small craftsperson, it might not. You can have the ring tested by a "We buy gold" store if you wish, but it probably isn't worth the cost and effort.

It's not possible to even hazard a guess as to how long the rose gold plating will last, but yes, clear nail polish will extend its life. Good luck with it!

The overall thrust of your question seems to be how can we buy such items from people with no established reputation without risk of being scammed -- and you probably already knew that the sad answer was going to be that we can't.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever


March 14, 2019

Q. Nicki again! Yes you are right. I did know better (feeling foolish). Question, so am I understanding you correctly that even if it is 18k rose gold electroplated over silver it will not necessarily have a 925 stamp inside? Which is better? 18k or 14k electroplating on sterling silver for the amount of time before tarnishing? Any suggestions besides a clear coat of nail polish for keeping in good condition longer?

Nicki James [returning]
- Athens, Georgia


March 2019

A. Hi. There may be laws requiring a "925" or "Sterling" stamp on sterling silver; and since silver is fairly expensive, suppliers would stamp it anyway. But my point was that there are home-based small designers making one of a kind items, maybe as a micro business or a paying hobby, and they might not necessarily stamp their creation. Your unmarked ring is probably not sterling silver, but it's not impossible that it could be.

The gold plating on inexpensive jewelry can be so thin that it costs only a couple of cents regardless of karat, so whether it's 14 kt or 18 kt probably doesn't matter. All pure 24 kt gold is yellow, so when you have rose gold it's because the gold is mixed with other metals, probably copper. The best karat would be whatever gives the best rose color that you like, whether that means 14 karat (14/24's gold) or 18 karat (18/24's gold). Clear nail polish is probably the most practical coating to extend it's life, but the UV-hardened kind they use in nail salons is probably thinner, tougher, and clearer than the air dry type. Good luck with your ring.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever



April 1, 2019

Q. It appears that overlay and plated, electroplated, finished looks are very common subjects on the Internet. Yet nobody is talking about 10k gold that's plated with another gold, in my case, a real 10k gold plated with 18k gold. Because 18k gold color looks more vibrant and yellow than the 10k is (which is faded compared to other gold purities, more of a pale yellow gold) I wanted to ask how would this turn out in time, after wearing this necklace daily?

28788-7b   28788-7a  

Yes, cologne, body wear, sweat, clothes friction would all speed up the fading, I do understand that. Months or years later, would it be a rough look with spotty and visible marks of 10k pale yellow that shows between the links or overall look of the 18k electroplating? More to the subject, is the process of overlaying 10k gold with 18k layer a fairly common thing, durable or recommended, what are your thoughts? I haven't heard about this until recently. Please respond.

Alex Cass
- Miami, florida


April 2019

A. Hi Alex. Plating gold onto a gold base is not unusual at all. Some people call it "gold coloring", some call it "color gilding". You might make some progress googling those terms.

When you see a 'rose gold', 'green gold', or 'pink gold' fine gold watch case or jewelry item, it's probably made of regular yellow gold and plated or 'colored' with an alloy of the desired shade. And even that may not be the whole story ... there may be a relatively heavy gold plating of very close to the desired shade and then a final 0.5 micron of the exact color.

"Gold Plating Technology"
by Reid & Goldie
from Abe Books
or

Unfortunately I doubt that anyone could possibly predict the life span. Very high quality coatings of 8-10 microns are possible, but these days who can say.

If you can find a copy of Reid & Goldie's "Gold Plating Technology" in the library, it will tell you more than you'll probably ever want to know about the subject :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever


April 9, 2019

Q. Morning Ted,
I used those terms and I was able to find more information on it. So I want to thank you for that.
About the finishing thickness, probably I would never be able to tell how thick that 18k layer is unless I get in touch with the company that made and stamp it but that is very less likely to be disclosed. If even answered. On a every day use, about three weeks now, and so far, the necklace has darkened in color and seemed to come back to its sparkle 18k look when polished lightly with a cloth. Other than that no signs of any fading yet.
Once again Ted, thank you for taking the time to respond to us all and for all the useful knowledge you share with us.

sidebar2 Lastly, I have one more question just as important to me but unrelated to our topic. I have a little 925 silver pendant which has a tremendous emotional value to me. The option of having it copied and made in gold is there but I prefer the silver original and would like to know if I can have this attached to a gold cross pendant. Welded somehow over the gold and create this way a bigger pendant. I would have to do that since the necklace is very thick, about 12 mm and 28 inch long, and the pendant is practically too small. Would that even be possible?

Alex Cass [returning]
- Miami, Florida


April 2019

A. Hi Alex Thanks for the kind thoughts. My experience is in plating; I have no experience in jewelry techniques, and can't help. Hopefully someone else can :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever



May 19, 2019

Q. I'm still planning on buying a solid gold piece. But I've been experimenting with some gold plated stuff trying to find the look I like. I have also been interested in .925 sterling silver as of late and have quite a few silver rings. I was wondering, I want to buy this chain that said it was "5 times electroplated", how thick would that be or does that depend?

Daniel Chrosts
- New York USA


May 2019

A. Hi Daniel. Apologies, but sales blather like that is not translatable to thickness. You can ask them but I doubt they would answer; in fact you probably won't get connected to anyone who could answer. All you can go by is the company's reputation, or reports from other buyers. Sorry.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey
We need "Aloha" now more than ever

----
Ed. note: Sorry, but we've had to reject a lot of submittals on this thread because we do not print any requests for valuations, nor anything which could possibly be interpreted as a "for sale" listing. Technical questions only please!




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