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topic 34692

Gold plating imitation/costume jewelry



A discussion started in 2005 & continuing through 2017

(2005)

ACRONYMS:

XRF = X-Ray Fluorescence

Q. Normally 1/8 microns is plated on imitation jewelry, i.e., acid gold & alkali. We are using proprietary baths from a reputed company. However the gold seems to wear off pretty soon for some reason. Thickness is checked on an XRF machine and there is no problem with the thickness. Any suggestions?

Gunor Basu
- Calcutta, India


(2005)

A. Hi, Gunor. Although you may say that "there is no problem with the thickness", all you really mean is that you are putting on the thickness that you specified -- not that the amount that you specified is adequate. The reason it wears off so quickly is simply that the thickness you have specified is only 1/8 micron -- very thin.

- "Micron plating" is 8X as thick as yours.
- "Vermeil" is 2-1/2 microns, i.e., 20X as thick as your plating.
- Old pocket watches have a thickness of 20 microns and up, i.e., at least 160X as thick as your plating.

I'm not sure that you should bother with gold at all at that thickness, knowing that it's just barely visible such that if it wears even a millionth of an inch or two it becomes invisible -- but you could add a clearcoat on top of the jewelry. You should probably just do titanium nitride deposition instead. Good luck!

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



Titanium nitride as an alternative to gold plating

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wikipedia
Titanium nitride

(2005)

Q. What is titanium nitride treatment? Appreciate a response Mr. Mooney. Thanks.

Gunor Basu [returning]
- India


(2005)

ACRONYMS:

PVD = Physical Vapor Deposition

A. Titanium nitride is a high capital cost PVD process which may or may not be practical depending on production volume, but it puts an extremely hard gold-toned finish on the parts, which will offer great wear properties, without the material cost of a precious metal. It is the same process that you see on gold colored high speed drill bits.

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


(2005)

A. Mr Basu,

While titanium Nitride is one ideally suited method which will work well over jewelry, you can consider what is done in Delhi and Mumbai by similar units as yours.

1) The Gold Bath is a Proprietary Hard (250 vickers) acid Flash bath that's pore-free. I presume Nickel is the undercoat.

This is followed by Clear Electrophoretic lacquer for protection and guarantee.

2) The second route is Dye gold. The Gold Plating step is followed by Gold dye based Electrophoretic lacquer.

Low Gold thickness simply provides a thin gold coat which is then protected and enhanced with Gold dyed Electrophoretic lacquer to protect the gold and increase life.

3) the third route is NO GOLD. Just Dye gold over jewelry for a true gold look and economy as well.

asif_nurie
Asif Nurie
- New Delhi, India

With deep regret we
sadly advise that
Asif passed away
on Jan 24, 2016



(2005)

A. No flash gold coating will last any significant wear, unless it is protected. In the imitation jewelry industry 5 millionths of an inch are typical for earrings or pins, but not for rings. And you cannot expect this product to last for long. If not protected, the gold will wear off in a matter of weeks, and in the case of rings the coating will wear in a few days.

ACRONYMS:

E-coat = Electrocoating (essentially the same thing as the previously mentioned electrophoretic lacquer).

An epoxy based E-coat will improve this a lot; you can expect an earring with 5 millionths of an inch gold coating and 8 microns of properly cured epoxy E-coat to last for several months and in some cases for years. Somewhat less if you are using an acrylic E-coat.

For a ring, you will need to apply no less than 1 micron (40 millionths of an inch) and then 8 microns of E-coat and even then it will last no longer than a few months of frequent use. If the ring is a white metal casting, it is likely to be worse. Joal E. Paiva
- Lima, Peru



(2005)

Q. Sir,
On what base metal is this titanium nitriding done? Is it done on Pb-Sn alloy or it is done on Titanium metal? If so, what will be the Cathodic Temperature and alloy withstanding temperature should be, and what is the anode? Kindly brief?

Panjala Mukesh Panjala Mukesh
     fashion jewelry mfgr.
Hyderabad, India



(2005)

A. Titanium nitride is deposited by vacuum technology and does not use an electrolyte. Process details are widely available on the Internet. Capital outlay is expensive, but the finish is excellent; it has a gold colour and is used by the jewellery industry to put down a hard coating that has micro "valleys" in it that can be filled with a small amount of gold. The TiN "peaks" protect the gold in the valleys from erosion. It is a good way of making cheap jewellery look expensive. TiN can be deposited onto a multitude of surfaces, so you would need to talk to a supplier about specific requirements.
I would not recommend using nickel as a barrier layer in jewellery because you will not be allowed to sell it in Europe. Try using white bronze; this is acceptable in Europe.

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


(2005)

Q. What is the base metal for cheap Jewellery, over which this Titanium Nitriding is done. Will that base metal withstand Titanium Nitriding Temperature of 450 °C - 750 °C?

Panjala Mukesh Panjala Mukesh
     fashion jewelry mfgr.
Hyderabad, India


November 2013

Hi Panjela. Although I don't know much about Titanium Nitriding, it can be applied to steel, titanium, and aluminum. Titanium and aluminum sound like reasonable substrates for costume jewelry.

But if we want to go cheap, there is almost no bottom. Even plastic can be vacuum metallized with aluminum and then be given a gold tinted lacquer.

Regards,

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



E-lacquer is blistering

(2005)

Q. White metal jewelry especially finger rings tends to blister a lot after E lacquering. It is baked at 130 °C. Why is this problem acute in rings and not in others namely earrings, necklaces, etc?

Gunor Basu [returning]
- Calcutta, India


November 2013

Hi again Gunor. No responses have been offered to your inquiry, so my tentative conclusion is that there is nothing generically special about rings that explains the problem, and that you would therefore need to supply some data about your situation in order to get an answer.

Regards,

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



(2005)

Q. Hi

I am doing three types of Electroplating for my jewellery shop.
It includes Copper, Nickel & Silver. Now I am having plan to introduce gold plating in my business.

I have used AuCN salts as Electrolyte, the thinking is I am getting gold plating but the life of that coat is one week only. I want to increase the lifetime of coating. So what can I do?

One chemist suggested the AuCN electrolyte. It is right or wrong?

J.Ramalingam
leg chains - Salem, Tamilnadu, India


Gold Plating Technology

November 2013

A. Hi Ramalingam. Yes, potassium gold cyanide can the basis for jewelry plating, and has been for 150 years. So it's not "wrong". But there are alternatives like gold sulphite plating solutions. Unless you want to spend decades in study though, it's probably best to profit from the experience of people who have done so, and buy packaged gold plating solutions.

What thickness of gold plating are you applying that is only lasting one week? (Please see the opening question and response in this thread).

Regards,

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



July 17, 2008

ACRONYMS:

GPC = PGC
= gold potassium cyanide
= potassium gold cyanide

SS = stainless steel

Q. I am planning to gold plate cheap items to supply for a small imitation jewellery shop. Is GPC solution with Stainless steel anode, the only option? I want to reduce the cost further by not opting for any real gold. Can gold dye be used with SS anode and have original bright gold type finish?

Can anyone suggest me that for Gold Electroplating on imitation jewellery, 100 amp rectifier is needed, or any lower ampere will do? Where can I find the same ?

Indranil Roy
hobbyist - Kolkata,West Bengal, India


November 2013

A. Hi Indranil. Gold dye is not something you put into a cyanide gold plating tank as you are discussing. To my knowledge, the gold dye is put into a lacquer, most typically an electrophoretic lacquer, or is applied as a post-dye after the electrolytic lacquer and before curing.

Regards,

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



September 7, 2008

It is submitted that we want to do durable gold plating on imitation jewelry as watch case. Durability is prime consideration; please suggest.

Arun Agarwal
buyer - DELHI, India


September 9, 2008

A. Hi, Arun. The most durable while economical process might be to apply titanium nitride by PVD and follow it up with a thin electroplating or PVD coating of gold.

Regards,

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


September 14, 2008

Q. Thank you Mr. Ted Mooney for your reply and suggestion. Please disclose the full form of PVD and oblige.

Arun Agarwal [returning]
- DELHI, INDIA


September 18, 2008

A. You need to locate someone who has a vacuum chamber capable of titanium nitride physical vapor deposition to learn more about it, Arun. The process requires expensive machinery, but the result is an inexpensive, very hard, almost gold colored deposit. You've probably seen it on high speed drills. Myself and other readers can answer limited and specific questions here, but you won't realistically get "full form" plant layouts and start-to-finish work instructions in a public forum -- you need to retain a consultant for that level of assistance. Good luck.

Regards,

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



April 19, 2011

Q. I have looked all over the internet and cannot find anything on how long the gold color will last on a ring made of stainless steel with Titanium Nitride coating. Let's say it will be worn daily.

Can anyone help me?

Asa Jenkins
employee - Detroit, Michigan, USA


April 20, 2011

A. Hi, Asa. Rings are extremely high wear items which wear away to "gone" over the years. But I would expect a quality plating, including a TiN PVD coating to last a year or two based on experience with TiN on watchbands, and other coatings on rings. If the coating is not subject to severe wear conditions (for example if it was a stainless ring with the coating in engraved or embossed areas), the life should be pretty much indefinite.

Please tell us your situation. Are you a manufacturer looking into offering this process on a line of rings? Are you a consumer looking to buy a ring that claims it includes a TiN coating? A purchaser whose ring has failed and inquiring about what life you should have received? Thanks.

Regards,

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



March 12, 2013

Q. Sir,
How can we apply a heavy gold wet plating after TiN coating in PVD machine? After TiN coating which anode is used in PVD machine for getting best adhesive power for plating gold.

Dileep Kumar
- Ernakulam, Kerala, India



March 20, 2013

Q. How can we obtain a gold color on brass items without using genuine gold, which is too expensive?
What is the method of coating brass items in artificial gold (to look like gold plated )

Siri Francis Perera
electroplating, metal finishing - Wattala, Srilanka


November 2013

A. Hi Siri. There is more than one way to skin a cat (love those barnyard metaphors), but one way being discussed here is to do PVD coating of TiN on the jewerry in lieu of gold plating. Another way is to electrophoretic lacquer the jewelry with a gold colored dye in the lacquer tank or in a post-dip tank. Good luck.

Regards,

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



Looking for pen / brush plating kit

adv.   gold touch banner

June 24, 2013

Q. Hello ... I'm based in Mumbai India. I have a retail store offering imitation jewelry. Most of the jewelry is on base metals brass, copper. These pieces of jewelry are studded with CZ stones and other colored stones as well as resin. The pieces are yellow gold plated and others are nickel plated or rhodium plated.
Looking at the growing demand of the customers, if I have a piece in yellow gold plating they want it in white and vice versa. Because of this I am losing a lot of sales.
Can this community please guide me where can I get a plating kit that will fulfill my need.
Also need your expertise, if pen plating or brush plating is the right kind of kit I'm looking for. As the imitation jewelry is already studded with stones I would not want to damage the stones while working on plating. Also I would not want to contaminate the solution and would want to use the solutions in small quantities.
As it is imitation jewelry I'll be working on, please suggest me an inexpensive way to work this out.
Thanks a lot.

Munesh Khawani
- Mumbai, Maharashtra , INDIA.


June 2013

A. Hi Munesh. To locate a vendor of brush plating equipment you can view our Equipment Directory, which lists several international suppliers, or you can contact any plating process distributor in Mumbai, or you can google "hobby plating india". We don't suggest vendors in this forum because it's unfair to supporting advertisers and has repeatedly led to a race to the bottom, with sales managers trying to outclaim each other, sometimes even posing as satisfied customers.

Jewelry usually can be tank plated, and you'll probably prefer that to brush plating. Normally the plating process will not harm stones or vice versa (pearls and artificially tinted stones might be an exception), but "resin" is a very broad term so I wouldn't be too confident about that being safe in a plating tank. Good luck.

Regards,

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


June 25, 2013

Q. Thanks a lot Ted for the reply. Also have some jewelry that has stones glued on. Like for example earrings, some stones are glued on. Will the tank plating harm the glue and stones will fall off ?
I'm new to this so want to be sure before I put my money on any kit.

Thanks a lot.

Munesh Khawani
- Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


June 30, 2013

A. Hi. My guess is that most glues can withstand the plating process, but some can't. Without any trial-and-error experience in this myself, I wouldn't have any way of knowing the signs of likely success versus impending trouble. I hope someone with experience will let us know, but it's always very difficult to enter a business where you have no experience, and receive no training, and not run up against a steep learning curve :-)

Regards,

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


July 2, 2013

Q. Hello Ted, Thanks for your reply.
I've been watching videos of pen plating, looks quite simple. If anyone who is experienced in the field of jewelry here can shed some light and guide with his experience, will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks once again.
Munesh

Munesh Khawani [returning]
- Mumbai, India



Is there such thing as a really long-lasting gold plating?

July 17, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hello,

I am a jewelry artisan, and I make pieces cut out of sterling silver sheet which I then have gold plated in 18K. I am really frustrated with the whole process of plating and I'm in desperate need for a better solution.
I have opted for a nickel free process, and the thickness of the plate is approximately 0.4 micron (I have had the thickness analysed by a company that had the required machine).
The plating thickness is the maximum which I can find here in small plating shops, since the larger ones require volumes which I don't have.

My problem is that the current plating isn't durable enough, it begins to tarnish after about 6 or 7 months. Customers are really disappointed when this happens because they kind of expect gold plated silver items to last as long as solid gold...

My questions are:
1 - Would using a nickel under plate really increase the durability of the plating?
2 - Is there a coating that can be applied on top of the plating that would significantly increase the durability?
3 - Would increasing the thickness to 2 microns really increase the durability? (to several years I mean)? For some reason the plating shop says that the current thickness (0.4 micron) is the maximum they can do. Why is increasing the thickness so complicated?
3 - I have heard about PVD nitride or titanium coating, can that be applied to jewelry? Would such a coating on brass be more durable than my current gold plated silver? And would the costs be prohibitive?

Thank you in advance for your expert advice.

Sebastien Guy
Jewelry designer - South Korea


July 2013

A. Hi Sebastien.

We appended your inquiry to a thread where most of your questions are answered. But I'll summarize for a sense of continuity . . .

Gold plated pocket watches have lasted a century and more, but the plating was very very thick -- outrageous by today's standards. So, if there were no economic restriction, the answer would simply be thick gold plating. 0.4 microns is 16 millionths of an inch; the plating on those old pocket watches was 50X as thick. There is no technical reason your local platers should restrict you to 0.4 microns, although there may be logistic reasons.

So, you can thicken the gold plating and/or protect the gold plating with something else, and/or simulate gold plating -- or mix any or those ideas in any combination, as discussed above:

- One approach is simply to clearcoat the gold plated jewelry, and there are many ways to do that. Asif mentions electrocoating; others have used UV hardenable clearcoat such as you may see used in a manicure salon; another approach is 2-part automotive clearcoat. Which approach is best depends on volume as well as technical issues. Building an e-coat facility for a handful of items will be impractical, and even contracting the work out for electrocoating may be prohibitive, but buying UV clearcoat and a UV lamp may work for you and other low-volume artisans.

- The titanium nitride PVD idea is great for high volumes but involves a multi-million dollar vacuum chamber and you may not find a shop that will do it for an artisan.

My feeling is that your best approach may be to insist upon 1 micron of gold plating, and then apply a UV curable lacquer yourself. That should give you reasonably durable and long lasting jewelry. A "barrier layer" plating between the silver and the gold is not a bad idea, but it probably shouldn't be nickel because that is already restricted in some countries and may become restricted in additional ones. I'd say try just the additional thickness and UV clearcoat.

Regards,

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



How long will 20 micron gold plating last?

September 22, 2013

Q. Thank You Mr. Mooney in advance for your wonderful responses to all of the questions being sent your way. I am not in the Jewelry business, just a consumer looking to get an honest answer. Now here is my question:

I am considering the purchase of a luxury watch from a well known and respectable 100 year Swiss manufacturer. It has a 2-tone bracelet that is stainless and 18 kt gold. I have been told it is 20 microns gold plated and on their website the cite the plating as 2N. I gather the 2N is a reference to the color? Since I cannot afford a solid gold link bracelet timepiece, I am curious as to how long I can expect this plating to reasonably last? I am hoping to pass this down to my grandchildren so my concern is with durability.

Thanks again.

Kim Moon
- Flint, Michigan, USA


September 23, 2013

A. Hi Kim. Thanks for the kind thoughts. I am no expert in this but, yes, I do understand "1N", "2N" and "3N" to be European color standards for gold. 20 microns is a very very very substantial thickness, as people in the costume jewelry business often find 1 micron unaffordable, and are perennially seeking an alternative as you see on this page. 20 microns will last 20x as long as 1 micron.

Although you can eventually wear through anything if worn every day. . .

Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky -- Kansas, "Dust in the Wind"

. . . 20 micron gold is very very high quality that should last at least a few decades in everyday wear, and probably many many decades if more rarely worn. It's super, super high quality.

Regards,

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



adv.   coatec india banner

November 13, 2013

I want to start golden dye color plating plant on imitation jewelry.
Which company can I trust and get training also?

abhishek agrawal
- khandwa mp india



Golden yellow costume jewelry brooch -- what is it plated with?

November 10, 2013 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I am a science buff, and have a number of varied interest including any sciences associated with metals. I recently found a bright, gold-colored costume jewelry brooch buried in the sand at an ocean beach. It had been set with a number of glass "rubies", some of which were missing from the piece. It was obviously a very cheap piece of costume jewelry, but despite the salt, sand and abrasive wear it still shined with a fairly impressive gold finish. There were no signs of corrosion on the plating at all. The piece was certainly not worth restoring, but being a frugal metals "scrapper", I decided that if the piece were actually gold electroplated, it might be worth saving the gold plate and adding it to a small container of gold flakes that I've ben accumulating from various sources for a while. So I snipped the brooch up into smaller pieces and submerged them in a small container of muriatic acid. As the pieces dissolved over the next 24 hours, it was apparent that the base metal for the piece was some sort of "pot metal" (maybe high in zinc) due to its high reactivity and quickness to dissolve. The pot metal core had a copper coating that took longer to dissolve and ultimately turned the acid that characteristic emerald green color. What I didn't expect was to see that ALL TRACES of the gold-colored plating dissolved along with the copper! The acid was plain muriatic (definitely not gold-dissolving Aqua Regia). This was a fun exercise, but I am very curious as to what the gold-colored plating on this piece of costume jewelry might have been. Hours of internet searching have not produced a satisfactory answer. Does anyone know what this yellow-gold-colored plating might have been? Thanks!

Ed Hathaway
- Raleigh, North Carolina, USA


November 13, 2013

A. Hi Ed. We appended your question to a thread about gold plating and imitation gold plating of costume jewelry. The coating might have been a gold-toned lacquer over nickel plating, but was more likely a titanium nitride PVD coating..

Regards,

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



March 13, 2014

Q. Dear Sir, we want to know whether it is possible to do PVD plating on copper items with soldering which will look like gold. And it has some parts micro dull and some parts ball soldered and some parts diamond cut. Right now we are doing forming plating and it looks like gold. So is it possible that in PVD plating we can maintain same color? We also want to know PVD plating life. As we are getting 2nd hand plant available in india.

Mehta Dipesh
Imitation jewelry - Mumbai. Maharashtra, INDIA


March 14, 2014

A. I would not recommend PVD directly on copper. The copper will tarnish even with the PVD coating, greatly limiting the life of the PVD finish. Suggest you consider first nickel electro-plating the copper, then plating with a thin layer of chromium. Same process for a brass substrate.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
- Vista, California



Common and responsible thickness of PVD plating on stainless steel jewellery

March 29, 2014

Q. Hello!

Currently I am concerned with the offer of a new potential supplier for stainless steel jewellery from China. They are offering a PVD plating with a thickness of 0.015 µm and I have the feeling that it is definitely too thin, especially for rings, because of the daily contact with water and soap.
As far as i know, and I am not an expert, but usually my other suppliers are offering a thickness between 0.02 and 0.07µm. So is it worth a try or absolutely dubious?

Many thanks for your feedback in advance,
Manuel

Manuel von Stauffenberg
- Berlin, Germany


April 1, 2014

A. All of those thicknesses seem way to small. Have you moved a decimal point? Typical thicknesses for decorative PVD are ten times that value, and functional coating with high wear resistance are ten times the decorative PVD.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
- Vista, California


April 7, 2014

Q. Dear Jim,

Thanks for your helpful reply. My business is retail and therefore I am sadly only a greenhorn referring to the production process.
Nevertheless, I did my research in this matter and I am absolutely sure that i did not moved the decimal point. However, in the meantime I had some further change of information with that specific supplier and got some further information, of course.
At this point I would be very happy about another useful feedback here.

Back to their statement:
They mentioned that it is maybe a misunderstanding regarding the thickness. The thickness of 0,03-0,04 µm is only the thickness of the real gold plating and not the total thickness. They said that the total thickness, including the real gold plating and gold color plating should be 0,2 µm.

Is it reasonable and plausible?
Does PVD plating really contains two separate layers respectively two working stages?

Many thanks guys!

Manuel von Stauffenberg
- Berlin, Germany



April 7, 2014

A. That makes sense. They deposit a base layer of a hard gold nitride, probably titanium nitride (TiN), and follow up with a thin sputter deposit of gold. The gold wears off fairly quickly, but if the wear is uniform no one will notice the change in color. Most decorative coating companies in the US have gotten away from the gold top layer, and in fact use ZrN with a little carbon rather than TiN so they can get the color closer to 24 kt gold.

jim treglio portrait
Jim Treglio
- Vista, California

April 9, 2014

thumbs up signThank you, Jim!

It sounds also reasonable for me in the first moment, but I don't have the background knowledge. So I'll give it a try, because everything else is entrepreneurial risk from now on.

Thanks again and greetings to California!

Manuel von Stauffenberg
- Berlin, Germany



June 14, 2014

Q. Hi
I have a small electroplating shop. I usually use gpc for gold plating show pieces, but unfortunately they are not lasting long. Can anyone please help me in this matter?

jayanta das
- kolkata , west bengal , india


June 2014

A. Hi Jayanta. I'm sure the readers can help you, but not without any information. Do you know how thick you are plating?

Although some gold deposits are a bit harder and longer wearing than others, the most important factor is the thickness ... if you are putting on only a thin plating, it will unfortunately not last long. If you can't afford thicker plating, consider clearcoating. Good luck.

Regards,

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


June 19, 2014

Q. Hello sir
Thanks for responding to my letter; my next query is: What is the process of clearcoat? Is it long lasting? Is it available in kolkata? Is it cost effective?
Thank you.

jayanta das [returning]
- kolkata west bengal india


June 2014

A. Hi again Jayanta. "Clear coating" simply means applying a coating that is clear, and there are many different technologies to do it: Asif Nurie mentions electrophoretic lacquer (electropainting) as one approach. Automobile paint uses a two-component clearcoat as the top layer. Women who have their fingernails polished often use a UV-cured clearcoat to prolong the life. There are nano-ceramic clear coatings as mentioned in letter 59642. There are lacquers and single component clearcoats ...

Although I'm not a jeweller and have no real experience, my first thoughts are that because you run a "small electroplating shop" ...
a). The capital cost and space required for an electrophoretic lacquer line is probably not practical.
b). Automotive clearcoat is cheap and available everywhere -- you can certainly try it, although it's not optimized for jewelry use.
c). UV curable clearcoat is worth considering -- it can be a very hard surface, and can be cured with a UV lamp that costs well under $100.
d.) If you buy your gold solutions from Technic or Degussa or another known vendor, they can probably also offer a nano-ceramic coating.
e). Lacquers and air-dry single component clear coats are probably not hard enough and thick enough to substantially improve the life of gold plated jewelry.

Regards,

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


July 14, 2014

Q. Sir
Can I use Dupont 2-component lacquer as protective coating on jewellery? Is it long lasting?

How can I do gold plating on an egg? Can you please give me the necessary steps.

Thanks.

jayanta das
- kolkata west bengal india


July 2014

A. Hi again. We don't compare brands here, but I've just finished telling you what little I know about the use of 2-component automotive clear coat as a protective coating on jewelry. Please try it and let us know what you find.

Please see letter 001 for gold plating of eggs. If threads about gold-saving measures for costume jewelry veer off into how to plate eggs, then people & search engines can't find what they're looking for. I'm very of guilty doing that over the years and it's been a real struggle trying to sort the threads back out :-)

Regards,

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



May 7, 2016

Q. Good day
I'm starting to sell jewelry individually. I did not study jewelry; therefore there are various questions I have. My provider sells 18k gold coating jewelry with crystals from Swarovski. I've received complaints from 2 clients after 4 months of purchasing a necklace that it turns dark. I've read lots of the posts on this website and would appreciate your professional help to evaluate if the jewelry is of good quality. The properties of the jewelry are the following:
- 18k gold plated (either white gold, yellow gold or rose gold)
- 0.03 micron of gold plating over brass.

Could you please assist me evaluating if it is a good quality fashion jewelry.

Thank you

Monica

Monica Escobar
Jewelry seller - Guatemala


May 2016

A. Hi Monica. I doubt that the plating is 0.03 micron (1.2 millionths of an inch), as I don't think you could even get any gold color from such a thickness. I'd suspect that inexpensive jewelry might have 0.3 microns (12 millionths of an inch) of gold followed by a clearcoat.

But you already know the answer to your question: the jewelry is turning black in 4 months, and you have multiple complaints, and neither you nor your customers are satisfied with it. What more can be said about its quality?

Regards,

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


May 9, 2016

A. Hello, just an addition to Ted's comment. I agree this is not quality decorative jewelry. Because the gold plating is directly on brass tells you a lot. The brass is migrating to the gold layer because there is no barrier plate between the brass and gold to prevent the migration. As Ted mentioned the .03 micron thickness of gold is hard to imagine. Most jewelry makers will use a white bronze or nickel barrier plate.

Mark Baler
Process Engineering - Phoenix, Arizona USA



January 14, 2017
wikipedia
Pyrite

Q. This may be a silly question because I'm totally new to the whole concept of electroplating. Is it not possible to use Gold Pyrite to electroplate surfaces?
Thank you for your reply.

Russell Kruger
Electronics - Durban, South Africa


January 2017

A. Hi Russell. Sorry, no it's not. Electroplating does not move small particles (atoms) intact. It dissolves metal into positively charged ions which migrate through the solution, and negatively charged electrons which are propelled through the external wiring. If you were able to maintain electrical contact to the pyrite such that iron dissolved into the solution, and if you were able to move those positively charged iron ions through the solution, when they regained their electrons at the cathode they would form iron not iron pyrite (FeS2) anyway.

That is not to say that it is impossible for any process to deposit FeS2 onto an article; it might be. But metal finishing is about depositing practical coatings, and even if you could form FeS2 on a surface, I don't know how useful it would be in terms of corrosion resistance, adhesion, wear resistance, etc.

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



June 19, 2017

Q. Hello everyone.

I have started a jewelry business wherein I manufacture customized,personalized jewelry with base metal being brass or sterling silver. I have orders of about 20 per day. I have a detailed question about tarnishing.

I cannot go for bulk PVD coating as every piece is unique.
But for chains used in the necklaces, I decided to go with PVD coat.

Q1. After the PVD coat, can I electroplate it with actual gold as to match the colour of the pendant/locket. As I manufacture different lockets daily, I need to match them with chain colour which is PVD coated

Q2. For the locket to have substantial life I am having a white bronze undercoat then gold coat and then electrophoretic lacquer. Tried gold die lacquer but it gives a non metallic finish. Is there a substitute for the electrophoretic lacquer and UV cured lacquer as a few customers don't like the feel of it. And I too want to avoid as I am not able to get them done easily with the low quantity I have and very few people provide this facility in my city. And I don't want the locket to lose colour while the chain remains the same.

Q3. Do we have to use the same process of undercoat i.e white bronze for rose gold plating as well. Or are there some other barriers for rose gold plating over brass and silver.

Q4. Is white bronze layer over brass of about 2 microns thick enough to withstand on its own. I want to skip rhodium plating as it costs a lot more as brass jewelry is quite inexpensive. Does white bronze layer give a rhodium like finish

Thanks to finishing.com, I was able to get a clarity on a variety of issues regarding tarnishing.

Ashish Jain
House of moksh - Hyderabad, India


August 23, 2017

A. Hi Ashish,

Q#1- If you are going to plate the pendents anyways I would suggest just holding off on the PVD coating and have them done together. No sense in PVD coating then sending them all through a plating line after. plating the sputter deposit will depend on the material that was evaporated and deposited on your chains. What is it?

Q#2- E-coat is about the best protection you can expect from a lacquer. That being said many people do not like lacquer on there decorative jewelry. I'm not fond of E-coat on high polished and hand engraved typed finishes either. If you use corrosion resistant materials when you plate you can avoid E-coat. Gold, Zinc, metals of the Platinoid family. That all comes with a higher price tag then the E-coat though.

Q#3- Whatever you use as a diffusion barrier in your gold process will be sufficient for a rose gold process. Ni, white bronze, Pt, Pd.......

Q#4- No. There are many "white bronze" type baths. The majority of which are comprised of Zn,Cu,Sn. It will have a white finish and be more corrosion resistant then standard 70/30 bronze due to the amounts of Zinc and Tin but can't compete with Rhodium. Rh is a Platinum family metal. Brilliantly bright and very resistant to elemental effects such as corrosion and discoloration. You can try Pt, or Pd, as the market is not as volatile for those metals and much more is mined as far as annual tonnage but they are also much more pricey.

For jewelry that is intended to be inexpensive, the "white brass" might preform fine. I could only suggest you plate a hand full of parts that will be typical of the parts you intend to sell and try them out in the real world. Apply them to conditions you believe your products will face and then check them for defects to find if the finish is acceptable. Hope this helps.

chance dunstan
Chance Dunstan
Electroplating/Forming/Coating Manager
Placerville, California USA




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