Gold plated jewelry is becoming more and more popular, but maybe you’ve been afraid to try it. There are several advantages to opting for gold plated stainless steel jewelry in particular.
- Affordability- Gold-plating is a great way to get the look of gold without paying the same price.
- Variety- There’s no shortage of options regardless of the look you’re going for.
- Hypoallergenic- When stainless steel is the base for gold-plated jewelry, you don’t have to worry about nickel, which can cause allergic reactions.
In this blog post, we’ll explain how gold plated stainless steel jewelry is made, how to care for it, and what to consider when you shop for your first gold plated stainless steel piece.
How Gold Plated Stainless Steel Jewelry Is Made
Gold plated stainless steel is made by adding plating to a thin layer of stainless steel. While that sounds simple enough, it’s actually an intricate chemical process.
First, gold particles are fused to the jewelry’s surface by running electricity through a solution. The gold plating becomes thicker the longer you leave the piece in the solution. Regardless, the end result is a thin layer of gold over the item.
How to Care For Gold Plated Stainless Steel
The thin gold plate layer can be anywhere from 0.17 to 2.5 microns thick. For context, one micron is equivalent to 0.0001 centimeters. Even on the thicker end, this is still a very thin layer that requires specific care.
Over time, daily wear-and-tear, chemicals, and other factors will affect gold plated stainless steel. Still, there are steps you can take to keep it looking new as long as possible.
- Wear it intentionally. Daily activities like sleeping, cleaning, and swimming can affect your jewelry’s look. Sweat and oil from your skin can damage your jewelry while you sleep. Plus, household cleaners and chlorine can wear down gold plating and damage your jewels.
- Clean it after use. Your body oils and sweat while you’re awake can damage your gold plating too. As often as possible, wipe it down after wearing. Also, use a jewelry cleaning solution or mild soap to clean your collection frequently. Stay clear of harsh and abrasive cleaners and methods.
- Watch out for friction. Although gold plating is real gold, even the thickest options are very thin layers. You’ll want to avoid any type of rubbing or abrasion. Don’t wear your gold plated stainless steel in contact with other plated jewelry. Clean your pieces gently, and don’t rub them while cleaning. Lastly, store your gold plated numbers separately in their own pouches or soft cloths.
If your gold plated jewelry starts to fade over time due to daily wear , replating is always an option by your local jeweler.You can even change the color if you decide to replate your jewelry.
Shopping for Gold Plated Stainless Steel Jewelry
There are several factors to consider when buying gold plated jewelry.
How often will you wear the piece?
You might want to select gold plating for pieces you will not wear frequently and you can be careful with. If you choose to wear your gold plated jewelry daily, avoid harsh chemicals, lotions, and body sprays. EffinyJewelry suggests applying your body care before putting on your jewelry. This daily routine will help your gold plated jewelry last longer regardless of how often you wear it.
How much should I pay for quality gold plated jewelry?
Quality gold plated jewelry may run anywhere from $40- $100. The price point depends largely on the base material of your choice. For example, a high-value base metal like stainless steel or silver may run you a bit more. Of course, there are other factors as well, like the type of plating and size of the item.
Do you have any allergies?
Gold plated stainless steel is hypoallergenic. But, this is not true for other base metals used for gold plating. If you’re prone to allergies, make sure the base of your jewelry is really stainless steel.
If you’re ready to get your gold plated stainless steel collection going, we’ve got lots of great options for you to choose from.