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topic 6773

Storing gold plated flatware

A discussion started in 2000 & continuing through 2017


Q. I have purchased gold plated flatware and want to know if it can be stored in a chest designed for sterling or silver plated flatware. If not, how should it be stored?

Marcia M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Petal, Mississippi, USA


A. Gold plated flatware is very corrosion resistant and can be stored safely practically anywhere. The problem you should be addressing is scratching and wearing of the gold surface -- the items should not be stored in contact with each other (even tissue paper, plastic or thin cloth should be used to separate the items), plated items should be washed by hand and dried by hand, and in general be gentle with them.

Special care will help to prolong the condition of the surfaces. Polishing should not be necessary and will, in fact, reduce the luster of the gold (most polishes are way too abrasive for gold).

Dale Woika
Surface Conversion Sciences - Bellefonte, Pennsylvania

Stains on gold plated flatware after automatic dishwashing

December 30, 2008

Q. Hello Mrs. Mayard,
What a coincidence that I was was looking for answers about cleaning spots off of gold plated flatware and came across your question! I have kept mine in the original box and each piece in its own plastic sleeve since 1990. I've always wanted a chest to store it in, but it's one of those things that I keep forgetting about. I've only used the gold set maybe two or three times since I received it. Mom always told me to hand wash it, dry it immediately and keep each piece separate while being stored. I deviated this Christmas (2008)and put it in the dishwasher. I just assumed that it was not clean and ran it through a second time. I tried hand washing and using one of those soft "scrubby" pads, but the white looking spots won't come off. Mom told me I could try her favorite silver polish brand - Hagerty silversmiths' polish, but it didn't make any difference. I'm going to try to get answers from the Towle company that made it.

Paula T [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Lexington, Kentucky, U.S.A.

December 2008

A. Hi Paula. Sad to say, I think you found Dale's advice too late. Gold plating on flatware is not only very soft, it's very very thin -- maybe 30 millionths of an inch. Think about that number: it means light gauge aluminum foil is about 20 times thicker. Twice through the dishwasher plus a scrubby pad and metal polish, there is almost surely no gold left in the whitish spots, so you're seeing the underlying stainless. Sorry to have to tell you.


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


Q. I also have recently purchased gold-plated flatware, and it also has developed some marring in the finish here and there. I knew not to use any citrus-y dish soaps, and have used only good old-fashioned Ivory. Sure would like to know how to get those little dark stains off the finish.


Patrick Cremeens
- San Diego, California, USA


Q. How can I polish tarnished gold plated flatware? I have just purchased a set of tarnished gold plated flatware. How can I polish it? How can I keep them from getting tarnished? Do some foods tarnish the pieces more than other foods?

Donna Hanley
student - Bethel, Alaska

To minimize searching and offer multiple viewpoints, we've combined multiple threads into the dialog you're viewing. Please forgive any resultant repetition or failures of chronological order.

Seeking a shop to restore fading gold-plated flatware


RFQ: Hi, I purchased some discontinued gold plated flatware from a pottery outlet and had no instruction for how to care for it. I obviously washed everything wrong because most of the coloring has faded off of my flatware.

Does anyone know if there's a place I can send or take it to have the color restored.

These pieces were so beautiful when I bought them, and deserve to be restored to their original beauty. Thanks for any help available!

G. Decatur
- Richmond, Virginia, United States


A. Can you give me a little more guidance as to exactly how you "washed" the flatware? And, any idea what the base metal is? The more clues you can give, the closer a guess might be:)

I've seen sterling items which were very lightly gold plated take on a very lovely tarnish at times - I wonder if that's what you were looking at?

Nick Boltuch
Rostand Mfg Co - Pennsylvania


A. Hi G. The plating is thin and very soft and does not survive a dishwasher. Sorry.


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

Gold-plated flatware: what to look for in terms of quality


Q. Hi:

I would like to buy a set of gold-plated flatware. What should I look for in terms of quality? What is the difference between zinc and stainless as the base metal? One set is advertised as "dishwasher safe" -- can this be true? Thank you very much!

Monica P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Boston, Massachusetts

A. Stainless is the same stainless that you are already familiar with. Zinc is a much lighter and much more corrosion-prone material.

Gold costs more than a thousand dollars an ounce, so you want to minimize wear and tear on your gold surface by avoiding the dishwasher no matter how it's advertised. But if it's not really gold -- just something that looks gold-ish -- then, sure, you might be able to put it in the dishwasher without risking the gold value. It will also resist the dishwasher a while if the gold plating is topped with a clearcoat.

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

Searching for "International Co." -- mfgr. of Gold plated flatware


Q. My husband bought a set of gold plated flatware for me. The company said it would not tarnish or they would replace it guaranteed for life. Well, it has tarnished; I have only hand washed it and used it 2 times. International is the company does anyone know how to contact the company? Thank you for your help.

Elizabeth M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Twin Falls, Idaho, USA


A. International Silver Company Consumer Returned Goods Dept. 175 McClellan Highway East Boston, MA 02128 phone 617-561-2200

Sam Obermeister
- Brooklyn, New York

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

Q. I have a set of gold plated flatware by International, made in China. A couple of the pieces seems to have some tarnish & some spots, how can I safely remove this? Also, what is the proper way to clean after each use & store. This set came with a velvet lined flatware chest. This is a service for 12!

Thank You,


(2005) -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Please advise how I can properly clean a set of gold plated flatware.

Thank You in advance,

Daniel W.Block
hobbyist - Gainesville, Florida

January 10, 2017

Q. Although this question has been asked, I have yet to see the answer: Is it possible to have gold-plated flatware re-plated? I have around 40 place-settings and, even with hand-washing, some are getting pitted and stained. I am one who likes to use my stuff when entertaining, so I do use it several times per year.

Sandy Michitsch
- Reno Nevada USA
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

January 2017

A. Hi Sandy. Yes, gold plated flatware can certainly be replated. The question is whether you can find a plating shop or silversmith to do it for you though.


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

June 16, 2017

Q. I have a set of Oneida silverware that has just a touch of gold on the base of each piece. It is about to become my every day silverware. What will happen if I put it through the dishwasher?

Karen Piveral
- Arlington, Texas Usa

June 2017

A. Hi Karen. The gold will probably wear off in pretty short order.


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

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