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Gold plating looks more silverish then yellow

I plated 24k gold on nickel and it turns out that the gold is not yellow enough. I mean it looks more like a silver mirror finish then a yellowish gold plated surface.

Would anyone know what could be going. I have tried the same gold solution on other items like stainless steel and the results were not bad. I guess I would rule out that the gold solution is bad.

Max Thomas
- London
November 22, 2011

Hi, Max.

Actually, I don't think this is unusual. Nickel plated surfaces can be very smooth and polished, with the result that light hits and is reflected once, and colors look unsaturated; whereas on rougher surfaces the light bounces around a bit, gaining saturation with each bounce. The same effect is seen with brass plating on nickel vs. on rough surfaces; and it can even be seen in black oxiding which will be matte black on a rougher surface and jewel blue on a highly polished one.

You probably can't afford heavy gold plating on your objects, but I'll bet they get significantly more yellow as the gold plating thickness goes up.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey
November 23, 2011

Ted I think you are spot on. I guess gold would come up much better if I give a little more to polishing and preparing the base metal plate.

Max Thomas
- London
November 27, 2011

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