If you love the look of real gold but aren’t so fond of the price, gold-plated chains are a great alternative. They are also a perfect choice for jewelry makers who want to create beautiful yet affordable pieces. Modern gold-plated chains look just as good as the real thing, and when properly cared for, they can last for several years.

Here are a few tips for keeping your gold-plated chains looking brand new.

gold chainWhat Does “Gold-Plated” Mean?

Gold-plated jewelry refers to jewelry made from a base metal that has been coated in gold. The process involves an electrochemical treatment during which a layer of genuine gold is applied to brass, copper or another base metal. The thickness of the gold plating varies, and the thickness generally determines the price. Jewelry with thicker plating costs more than pieces with thin plating. The thicker the plating, the longer it will last before wearing off.

All colors of gold are available for plating. Whether you are looking for yellow, white or rose gold-plated chains, there are options to suit your tastes.

Maintaining Your Gold-Plated Chains

Gold-plated jewelry doesn’t last forever, but it can last a long time when it’s properly cared for. Keeping it clean is one of the most important steps in keeping it looking brand new. To clean your gold-plated chains, mix a few drops of dishwashing detergent into a few cups of warm water. Rinse your jewelry in this solution and let air dry. Once they’re dry, buff them with a microfiber cloth — but be gentle! Scrubbing too hard could cause the gold to flake off. Never use a polishing cloth to clean gold-plated jewelry, as it can strip away the plating and destroy your chain.

When it’s clean and dry, place the chain in a small plastic bag. Squeeze out all the excess air and seal it up. This helps keep your jewelry clean and dry while not in use. It also protects the piece from oxygen, which could cause the alloy metals in a gold-plated chain to tarnish.

Everyday Wear Tips

If you love your gold-plated jewelry and want it to remain beautiful for as long as possible, you need to take certain precautions when wearing it. Here are a few tips for everyday wear.

Last On, First Off

gold chainsWhen you are gettingready in the morning, your gold-plated chain should be the last thing you put on. Put it on after you do your hair and makeup and apply perfume. If you use any type of lotion or moisturize, allow it to completely absorb into your skin before putting your jewelry on. This helps protect the piece from chemical substances that could cause it to tarnish.

At the end of the day, your jewelry should be the first thing you take off. Never wear it to bed. Extra rubbing as you toss and turn during the night can cause scratches, and nighttime sweat can make the gold layer wear off faster.

 

Protect from Liquids

If you are going to work out or engage in strenuous activities that are likely to make you sweat, take off your chain. The chemicals in your sweat can discolor plated jewelry. Never wear gold-plated jewelry in the shower, bath, swimming pool or hot tub. Water and chemicals are not your jewelry’s friend. Also, remove your jewelry prior to cooking, as the acids found in certain vegetables and fruits can damage it.

Watch Out for Abrasive Surfaces

Since plating is just a thin layegold necklace with jewelr of gold, it can easily be scratched off by abrasive surfaces. Even a scratchy wool sweater or jacket could cause the plating to start flaking off a chain. Be careful at the beach, too. All that sand can act like sandpaper and destroy your jewelry. When storing your chains, place them in individual bags or wrap them in microfiber cloths. If you store multiple pieces together, they could rub against each other and cause the plating to wear off.

Final Thoughts

When you are in the market for an affordable metal chain that offers the beauty of real gold without the high price tag, gold-plated chains are a good option. They are available in numerous colors and styles, and with proper care and cleaning, they will remain lustrous and shiny for several years. Whether you are shopping for yourself or for jewelry making supplies, you can’t go wrong with gold-plated chains.