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Silver plating directly onto gold





September 18, 2012

Q. Dear All, I would like to plate sterling silver onto 9ct gold and could anyone tell me if I can plate directly or would a copper plate be required first. If you are wondering why anyone would do this it is for inlay work.
Regards
Steve

steve_thompson
Steve Thompson
- Lincolnshire UK



September 19 , 2012

A. Hi Steve. Although I'm not a hands-on plater, I have no reason to suspect you will encounter any difficulty in this. But remember that gold and silver diffuse into each other (albeit slowly at room temperature), so no sense making the silver plating too thin.

Regards,

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



September 19, 2012

thumbs up signHello Ted, many thanks for the response I appreciate your help, must just add that I have found the site of great help over the years.

Regards
Steve

steve_thompson
Steve Thompson [returning]
- Lincolnshire, UK



First of two simultaneous responses -- September 21, 2012

A. Hi Steve
I am a little concerned that you intend to plate sterling silver. Plating alloys is always difficult and therefore expensive. I think that you will find that plating pure silver is a far more economic process.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England



Second of two simultaneous responses -- September 21, 2012

A. Hi Steve,

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver and another metal, usually, copper. Alloys are more difficult to plate than single metals, so plate pure silver.

I am not a lawyer but I believe that electroplating other metals onto gold is illegal in the UK. It is to do with prevention of smuggling, etc.

harry_parkes
Harry Parkes
- Birmingham, UK



September 23, 2012

thumbs up signHello Geoff, yes excellent point; I will try pure silver, thank you.

Hello Harry, interesting point - never thought of that, I might get away with it as I am not plating the whole surface but I will ask the assay office in Birmingham for guidance, many thanks.

Regards
Steve

steve_thompson
Steve Thompson [returning]
- Lincolnshire UK



September 25, 2012

A. Hi Steve,

If you do find out about the legality please post the answer.

Sterling silver is used because it is harder than pure wrought silver. Electrodeposited silver will be also be harder especially if it plated from a bath containing brighteners. I doubt if there is much knowledge about the rate of diffusion of silver into gold, but based on diffusion into copper, I guess at least 25 microns (1 mil) would be needed. If you want to use a thinner deposit, consider using a nickel flash between the gold and silver.

Harry

harry_parkes
Harry Parkes
- Birmingham, UK



October 8, 2012

A. Hello to all, I approached the assay office in Birmingham regarding plating silver onto gold and have received the following response;

"Unfortunately the Hallmarking Act allows gold to be plated with gold, platinum and rhodium only. Not silver. Nickel plating on any precious metal is not allowed either."

Regards
Steve

steve_thompson
Steve Thompson
- Lincolnshire UK



October 8, 2012

Q. Just a matter of curiosity: Is it legal to plate other metals (besides gold/platinum/rhodium) on 'gold plating' where the substrate is not solid gold pieces?

SK Cheah
- Penang, Malaysia



October 21, 2012

A. Hi SK,

It's legal to plate other metal onto gold plated part. One example is platinum credit card which is usually silver, or palladium is plated onto nickel gold plated memory chip to create whitish appearance with good corrosion and wear resistance.

Regards,
David

David Shiu
David Shiu
- Singapore


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