How Long Does Gold Plated Brass Jewelry Last?


We all in our lives have maybe at least once touched or worn gold-plated brass jewelry thinking we possess one of the latest fashion accessory rings, bands, or necklaces.

Years later, older and wiser after gaining in-depth jewelry knowledge I now know better how long gold-plating brass accessories actually last, why, and what you can do, if any, to prolong the shine and value.

Gold plated brass is inexpensive and a fine gold imitation that, without care lasts approx. 2 years (longer with care). Only a thick gold coating of 2.5+ micron and 10K is considered gold-plated. Moreover, brass coating metal alloys like red gold-plated brass exist too with varying jewelry durations.

Let’s quickly figure out briefly what you should consider before buying gold-plated brass or how to take care of it once you’ve added it into your fashion collection.

What Gold-Plated Brass Jewelry Means

To fully understand how long gold-plated jewelry made mainly of brass really lasts we have to first make one little step back.

What is Brass?

Brass is a metal alloy of copper (55% or more) and zinc (10% and more). Brass is sometimes mistakenly for bronze. The difference between the two is that bronze is a mixture of copper and tin, whereas brass is a copper and zinc composition instead.

How Gold-Plating of Brass Works

Gold plating brass jewelry works by coating brass with a thin gold cover using a modern method named electroplating. The result is a new gold-plated alloy with brass as the underlying base metal.

Therefore, yes, brass can be gold-plated using galvanization running an electric current to bind the brass atoms to the covering gold coat.

9 Benefits of Gold-Plated Brass Jewelry

  • Gold-plated brass engraved necklaces, studs, or wedding bands are cheaper than pure gold jewelry
  • Gold-plating fashion brass jewelry like birthstones rings for mom or dad are popular
  • Brass that is gold-plated has nearly the same elegant look like the much more expensive fine gold
  • Gold-plating brass increases its real and perceived metal jewelry value
  • Gold-plating protects the brass jewelry against oxidation and other negative effects of exposure
  • Brass is ideal for gold-plating due to its metal flexibility characteristics and “golden” color
  • Gold is a great anti-rust protection metal and therefore ideal for plating brass
  • As for gold flaking you can easily re-plate your brass accessory
  • Gold-plated brass is an anallergic metal alloy

5 Disadvantages of Gold-Plated Brass Jewelries

  • Though this jewelry metal is hyperallergenic, for extremely sensitive ears it may still cause issues like swollen ears (better get biocompatible earrings)
  • Gold-layered brass accessories are not as valuable jewelry gift like pure gold
  • Gold-plating brass means your jewelry may not last forever (the thicker, the better, though)
  • This gold-brass metal alloy may scratch or even chipped due to its composition (therefore care-taking counts)
  • Gold-plated body jewelry with brass as a base is not ideal wearing before a shower, or during swimming ´cos it can wear off when in water for a longer period of time

Types of Gold-Plating a Brass-based Jewelry

To determine the thickness of gold-plated earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces, or wedding bands and other accessories within the jewelry manufacturing industry, a micron is used as a unit for thickness.

  • Gold flashed / Gold washed – gold layer thickness less than 0.5 micron
  • Gold-plated – gold layer thickness greater than equal to 0.5 micron
  • Heavy gold-plated / Vermeil – gold layer thickness greater than equal to 2.5 micron


Remember that fine gold is durable, but a rather soft precious metal. Therefore, a thick micron supports the strength of the entire gold-plating of brass though e.g. gold-filled jewelry is much thicker or an alloy than brass-based material.

Does Gold Plated Brass Turn Green?

The process of gold-plating with brass as a base metal leads to the effect of color fading and eventually, yes, to the skin turning green phenomena (patina). The underlying causation is of chemical nature as brass atoms migrate towards gold which correlates the coating erosion, tarnishing.

How To Clean & Preserve Your Gold-Plated Brass Accessories

The good news about gold-plating brass is that although it may slowly tarnish when not taken care of, there is a simple solution to the problem.

Gold-plated brass jewelry like inscribed wedding bands can easily be cleaned using cheap household products like toothpaste.

Just apply toothpaste on your precious chain pendant with a clean anti-static cloth and wait for an hour, then carefully remove the paste.

Basic warm water and a soap treatment or purchase of a gold jewelry cleaner for home usage may also produce positive results for your solid brass gold-plated fashion item.

A safe jewelry storage bag that disallows air to come in and start the unwanted oxidation process should be strongly considered too, regardless of whether it’s 14K, 18K, or more gold karat in terms of process or final results.

Applying these time-tested jewelry cleaning strategies will not only keep your heirloom from tarnishing, but make your lustrous jewels a focal point with friends, workmates, and family members alike.

The vintage appearance of many gold-plated brass accessories is another argument for delaying or by timely care, even preserving your best brass pieces.

 Is Gold Plated Brass Worth Anything?

Since gold-plated brass is not real fine gold it is not worth as much when trying to resell it to a pawn shop or metal processor. On average, this gold-plated alloy diminishes in value from the point you buy it, whereby thick-coated gold-plated brass jewelry may keep its actual and sentimental value higher and longer.

Gold-Plated Brass or Gold-Plated Silver Jewelry?

Gold-plated silver rings, collar chains, or band jewelry is worth more than gold-plating brass accessories because although both gold-plated alloys tarnish over time, the silver base possesses material strength superior to brass which eventually tarnishes and wears off.

Final Words: Gold-Plating Brass 

Gold-plated brass jewelry like a lovely mother’s heart necklace with birthstone is not just a cute gift idea for moms or other loved ones you care about, but also an affordable fashion purchase.

Unlike other gold jewelry types which can be pricey in comparison though might have their own value.

This brass base metal alloy is available in a glittering or matted design to suit all kinds of tastes from young to older generations.

If you think you can buy common accessories like necklaces or rings only, then you’re not up-to-date with the anklet jewelry trend (don’t worry, wasn’t either until my social media crazy niece showed me the way:).

The benefits of gold-plating brass are hopefully by now crystal clear, as well as the few and avoidable drawbacks to deal with.

The best promise ring vows for her or him don’t always need to be said with a thousand words or cost you an arm and a leg.

Gold-plated brass is the inexpensive vintage statement jewelry you can get yourself, knowing with good care it can last for years to come.

Your insider’s knowledge gained here on how to keep, preserve, share, and enjoy the pendant, ring, band, or hoops gold-plated brass piece on your or someone else’s body part is hopefully a good start for a  brass-inspired jewelry collection.

Bill Dominic

Bill is an art history and business graduate. Moreover, he loves to test, compare, shop jewelry & fashion items for his 5 sisters, girlfriend, nieces when not enjoying a great novel.

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