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Gold electroplating is wearing off of silver spoons
Q. I had the bowl of sterling silver serving spoon electroplated with gold. It tarnished after a while, I rubbed it lightly with silver polish and most of the gold came off. I have old spoons from the late 1800s that are gold plated and the plate does not wear off when polished. Is there a way to electroplate something (besides using lacquer) so the gold doesn't come off when polished?Earl Williams
homeowner - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
A. Correctly plated metals will not come off unless they are abraded off. I suspect the gold was incorrectly put onto your cutlery ands your light abrasions have removed it. Tarnishing silver is a perennial problem and is best solved by careful cleaning of the metal, followed by the use of a clear lacquer that can be replaced as and when needed. In general, polishing articles that are plated with precious metals is something that should be avoided.
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK