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-----

"How to do Gold Plating of Vinyl Records"



Current postings:

April 22, 2022

Q. Did anyone find a company or equipment to coat gold records -- as I've been looking for some time.
Can anyone help.

DAVE SOUTH
RECORDS - CONGLETON, England
^


April 2022

A. Hi Dave. Googling "gold plating of vinyl records england" showed a supplier of gold albums who claims under their 'personalized items' tab to offer any vinyl record; a shop in Japan who claims to gold plate anything; a gold plating shop in London which specializes in gold plating artistic stuff; and, moving onto the US, several shops specializing in gold plating for "individual consumer, crafts person". Apologies, but as you read on, you'll see some outdated answers about suppliers on this page, and hopefully appreciate that this site, unlike google which is for live searches, is intended to be a permanent technical reference, online since 1989, and is not really compatible with 'sourcing' info which instead can turn it into a wasteland of broken links & outdated contact info, or an impossible game of whack-a-mole, as well as a spam magnet :-)
You're very welcome to tell us to consider your posting an RFQ and then we will make your contact info available for people to contact you privately about such services.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


April 24, 2022

thumbs up sign Thanks Ted for advising me, but I've tried all the companies on google and they will not touch plastic records, I have tried for a week phoning everyone, and no joy, not even on the electroplating side, as it's high density gold. The whole music industry has a problem finding someone.
I was just hoping someone know somewhere on planet earth.

Dave south
GOLD RECORDS - Cheshire
^


April 2022

A. Sorry that sourcing discussions cannot be public on this "no registration" site ( huh? why?). But again, if you want people to contact you privately, tell us and we'll be happy to make your posting an RFQ with contact info available.
If someone offers this service, which you say the whole world's music industry is seeking, you'd think they'd inquire about advertising on the first hit on google and the world's busiest metal finishing site ... but no one has in the 33 years we've been on line :-)

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^




Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

2005

Q. HI THERE. CAN ANYONE HELP, I AM TRYING TO START UP MY OWN BUSINESS SELLING GOLD AND PLATINUM ON VINYL RECORDS. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT EQUIPMENT I NEED TO BUY TO DO THIS, PLEASE PLEASE CAN SOMEONE HELP AS I WANT TO GET MY BUSINESS UP AND RUNNING.

MANY THANKS

Mark H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
just starting up, no name as yet - Newport, GWENT, UK
^


2005

A. There are two generic ways of doing it, one is to use vacuum metal deposition, but that is expensive to set up. The second way is to use "plating on plastics" technology. This is not so expensive, but you need to know how to do it. The basic principle is that you etch the plastic, coat it in a conducting metal layer and then thicken the metal layer with a suitable metal such as copper or nickel. This can then be coated in a decorative layer of gold, silver, platinum etc.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK
^


2004 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

RFQ: I would be interested in buying the equipment necessary to gold plate vinyl records. Any help appreciated. Thanks

Trevor W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - Belfast, Antrim, United Kingdom
^

^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
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2004

A. Hello Trevor.

As for gold plating vinyl records, yes you can do it yourself; but there are safety issues and environmental issues and a relatively small market. The result is that you tend to not find 'packaged solutions'. Rather, you tend to buy an etchant from here, a lacquer from there, a silvering solution from a third place, the gold plating process from a fourth, and the tanks and other equipment from a fifth place. Plus, in the U.S. at least, you need a host of permits because plating was the first categorically regulated industry here. In short, pretty good knowledge of plating is pretty much a prerequisite, and it's hard to gain that from a few paragraphs on a website.

There are actually a number of possible metallization techniques before plating, as described in our FAQ, "How to Plate Flowers, Leaves, and Organic Materials".

You can certainly talk to suppliers of metallizing solutions like G.J. Nikolas [a finishing.com supporting advertiser]; then speak to precious metal specialists like Technic; and to suppliers of small hobby-level plating systems. But I really don't think you'll find what you are looking for in any catalog; I think you'll find that you need to apply yourself towards learning electroplating first. Best of luck!

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



May 12, 2013

Q. Hi! Not a finisher at all (though I admire the work done!). But super-curious about something....

Was reading about Third Man Records release of their "metallized" Great Gatsby vinyl albums. Curious how people here think they might have done this, if it's true what they say about using real gold and platinum in the mix somehow?

Obviously they're not solid (for $250 for the set!). Metal powder mixed with vinyl? Some electrodeposition process, like the old CED videodiscs?

Thanks for bearing with me.

Cara Mellow
total curious amateur who likes records - Hartford Vermont
^


May 12, 2013

A. Hi Cara. Gold & platinum records have been around for a long time as a decorative item, but I didn't know them to actually be playable before (although they may have been). Third Man claims that they use real precious metals, so it sounds like they are doing an electroplating process or a PVD sputtering process. I'm only guessing, since they don't say, but perhaps they apply a two-part silvering solution (silver nitrate plus a reducing agent) such as is done to lacquer masters in conventional vinyl record manufacture, followed by a thin nickel electroplating, followed by the gold or platinum electroplating.

The silver and gold would be very thin and probably can be done without disturbing the sound noticeably, but I wonder a bit whether the requisite thickness of nickel plating can be done without a problem or whether they need to cut the grooves differently to allow for the nickel plating thickness? Or maybe they just sputter a very thin coating of gold on the finished vinyl record.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


May 14, 2013

thumbs up signThank you! And thanks for the interesting site. Used to do hand-gilding aaaaages ago (with the sheets/agate/squirrel-hair brush). Should really get back into it.

Cara Mellow
- Hartford Vermont
^


May 15, 2013

A. When I worked for a major supply house, plating silver, gold and platinum discs was a frequent request.
There is no need to metallise a plastic disc - tho' that would be easy enough. We simply used redundant nickel stampers that were used to mould the disc. The discs were neatly framed for presentation and it never occurred to us that someone might want to play them. Hence the embarrassment when the winner of a heavy metal rock award tried and found that his record was an esoteric classical piece. Probably did wonders for his musical education!

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England
^


May 15, 2013

A. Now that's funny!

Thanks for the inside info on gold record manufacturing, Geoff. If I recall the terminology properly, a copper or nickel "mother" is electroformed from the original lacquer master and could in principle be used for stamping. But due to high volume needs, it's more common to electroform one or more "fathers" from the mother, and then electroform a number of "daughters" / "stampers" from the fathers. It sounds like the fathers would be the right polarity or sex to play just like a vinyl record.

The Great Gatsby is an excellent movie (and if you see it in 3D you'll appreciate the artwork on that album cover!). The music was good! Although rap does little for me, the director explains that jazz was new & avant-garde back in Gatsby days, but the bohemian feel he is trying to convey would be completely lost if the featured music was what has become by now just elevator music. His claim is that rap is to today's ears what jazz was to people's ears in the 1920's -- or something like that -- so that's why rap rather than jazz is in this movie about the 1920's :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


September 10, 2014

A. Forget all that. Get an old record presser and press aluminum. When you play an aluminum record you can only hear it backwards. This way you can gold plate the aluminum. It is very difficult to avoid drowning the grooves with gold or silver. Good luck.

Johnson Ben
- Deerfield Beach, Florida
^



April 29, 2016

Q. Hello,
Does anyone know who actually the producers for electroplating equipment are? Long time ago I have worked with AB Europa Film from Sweden. Does someone still exist in the market?
Thanks

Valentin Cotarta
- Brussels, Belgium
^

----
Ed. note April 2022: That company seems to no longer exist.


April 2016

A. Hi Valentin. There are dozens of manufacturers of electroplating equipment around the world, but I don't think that is really your question. I think you are asking about manufacturers specialized in a specific type of equipment, but I'm not sure what. Are you interested in getting into the gold plating of vinyl records (the topic of this thread), or the electroforming of masters for vinyl record stamping (since you mentioned EuropaFilm), or masters for CD molding, or some other type of electroplating/electroforming? What are you looking to make please?

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


April 29, 2016

Q. Thank you for your reply. I'm interested in moulds electroforming from nickel for vinyl. Meaning, a long time ago AB Europa Film did electroplating baths. Long time ago I have worked in Recording House factory electroforming department. I'm looking for the devices like this:

34017
"Largest Vinyl Record Factory In The World [GZ Media, Czech Republic]"

Thanks

Valentin Cotarta [returning]
Chem engineer - Brussels, Belgium
^


April 2016

A. Hi again. I believe that Digital Matrix (Farmingdale, NY, USA) and Record Products of America (Hamden, CT, USA) are still in business for the electroforming equipment portion of such projects. There may be others. But I have also read in several places that certain pieces of the equipment required for vinyl record manufacturing have not been built anywhere in the world since the 1980's.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^

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