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topic 6773

Storing gold plated flatware

A discussion started in 2000 but continuing through 2019


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


Silverware Tarnish Bag

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 Marcia,
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 at best. 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 probably 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
Striving to live Aloha


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

Silver Tarnish Strips

April 2018

A. Hi Donna, I would expect the same storage bags and storage strips that are used for silver will work for gold plated flatware by keeping corrosives out of the atmosphere. For removing the tarnish, see if the aluminum foil plus washing soda trick discussed in topic 4785 helps you. The advantage of this over silver polishing cloths is that it doesn't remove any of the gold.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

To minimize your searching efforts and to offer multiple viewpoints, we've combined some 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
^- Sorry, this RFQ is outdated
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? 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
Striving to live Aloha

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
Striving to live Aloha

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
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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 and at an affordable price.


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

February 25, 2018

Q. I have a set of Oneida "Golden Duet" that I inherited from my parents.

(photo courtesy of

I opened up the set this past Thanksgiving and found that a few of the pieces had a darkened color to them. How do I get this off? And tell me how to care for my beautiful flatware? Thank you!

Jan Swallows
Retired RN - Ringgold, Georgia, USA

April 2018

Silver Polish Cloth

A. Hi Jan. Silver polish or a silver cleaning cloth should work. I would expect the aluminum foil plus washing soda trick discussed in topic 4785 to work as well, and without causing wear like polishing will.

But you should probably store it in a storage box in silver storage bags or with anti-tarnish strips. They probably work similarly, but the bags would presumably lessen scratches as Dale suggests above.


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

April 8, 2018

Q. How do I determine if a set I bought is real gold plated or just a colour? Is there some kind of stamp I should look for?

Yasmine Zamzam
- Alexandria, Egypt

April 2018

Puritest gold, silver, platinum test kit

A. Hi Yasmine. The short answer is it probably doesn't matter to most people for most purposes. The longer answer is that the gold plating is so thin that it doesn't really have intrinsic value. That is, the cost of separating the very thin gold plating from the base metal can be almost as much as, or even more than, the value of the recovered gold. Because it has little intrinsic value, it's very possible that the regulatory bodies don't require marking. Nonetheless, your flatware might say 'gold plated' if in fact it is. There are 'gold test kits' which involve seeing what color a drop of acid turns, but they might stain your gold plating.


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

May 4, 2018

Q. Hi Everyone,
I bought gold plated flatware. The site I bought it on says it's dishwasher safe which was very important to me since this is intended to be our everyday flatware. But then I got the instructions for care and was blown away. I wasn't sure if this was generic for the brand and their 'fancier' silverware and haven't received a response from them when I asked.
How do I care for everyday flatware that is gold plated.
Thank you,

Lauren Cohen
-NYC, New York

May 2018

A. Hi Lauren. You have to demand an answer from the supplier; they have dozens of flatware lines and nobody but them knows what you actually have in order to give you care instructions.

As already mentioned on this page, if they were actually gold plated, you surely should not put them in a dishwasher. However, I very strongly suspect that there is no gold on your flatware, and that you have stainless steel flatware with some sort of a "gold tone" PVD finish (titanium nitride or something similar). I think it's entirely possible that such a finish can resist an automatic dishwasher.


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

March 23, 2019

Q. Do you have any recommendations on a good gold electroplated flatware? I have seen gold colored flatware that does not maintain the finish. Is there a brand or line of gold flatware that you can recommend? It would be used 2-3 times a year on formal occasions.

Mary Ann Soucie
- Strongsville, Ohio, USA

March 2019

A. Hi Mary Ann. People are welcome to suggest that you get bronze flatware, or simulated gold via PVD titanium nitride deposition, or real gold plated, or whatever on a technical basis but, sorry, we cannot suggests brands or sources (why?)


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

Removing faded gold accent on silverplate flatware

March 28, 2019

Q. I have some silverplated flatware with gold accent. Much, but not all, of the gold is faded. Is it possible to remove the remainder of the electroplated gold? Can I just run it through the dishwasher over and over?

Penny VanOurkerk
- Eugene, Oregon

December 12, 2019

Q. I have a set of Oneida flatware it is 18/10 stainless (made in China) .
After hours and hours on the internet searching, trying to find out the pattern, I came across the exact pattern, (Daphne) but it has 2 small areas of gold plate, probably gold plate colour. 2 questions,
1- can this gold plating be removed to match my existing set?
2- can someone help me find the name of the set that I presently own.
Thanking you in advance, for any help that you can give me. Michel

Michel Levesque
- Kissimmee Florida

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