How Long Does Gold Plated Jewelry Last?


Let’s be honest, everybody loves gold for its timeless beauty and high value. On the other hand, gold-plated jewelry comes with pros and cons. Fortunately, I’m here to help you make the best of gold plating jewelry.

Generally speaking, gold plated jewelry can last for up to 2 years (especially 22K-24K plated), whereby mainly the underlying metal jewelry type, amongst other factors, determines the ultimate degree of the wear-off. Plated jewelry that is not worn or exposed may last even longer.

Discover now in short, how long gold-plated rings and other accessories can last when applying the easy-to-follow information below.

Lasting of Jewelry Gold Plating Fully Answered

To understand how long gold-plated metal pieces of jewelry last we have to have basic knowledge of how the plating process work.

How Gold Plating Jewelry Works

Gold plating is a chemical process using electricity where a metal (e.g. rhodium or rose gold) is coated with real gold. This process is also known as electroplating results in the base metal being covered (plated) with gold.

Why Jewelry Is Being Plated

The reason for electroplating jewelry is mainly threefold and more than worth knowing:

  • First to protect the underlying metal like sterling silver from future damages.
  • Secondly, to give the jewelry that shiny look every necklace, earring, or bracelet buyer loves to wear be it a wedding ring or pendant for special events.
  • Third, and usually common is to save money by plating any jewelry with gold while the underneath metal can be of lesser value than expensive pure gold.

At the end of this process, jewelry may be stamped with a hallmark. Though many rings, chains, bands, studs, and ankle bracelets possess no stamp whatsoever. 

Jewelry Stamps you may encounter with some jewelry are:

  • Gold-Plated Jewelry Stamps
  • GP – Gold Plated
  • GEP – Gold Electroplated
  • HGE – Heavy Gold electroplate and 
  • HGP – Heavy Gold Plate

Herein lies the deeper knowledge of how long gold-plated body fashion metal accessories from cufflinks to bangles and so on can last.

Why Plating of Jewelry Doesn’t Last

Due to metal quality, plating quality as well as item exposure to external factors like detergents, fluids, light, and friction with other metals or products plating of jewelry may not last for good. Poor treatment and care by the owner too may influence the longevity of the coated accessory.

Metal Quality & Jewelry Plating

The quality of the metal that is used for coating it with pure gold is one of the main factors for the length of successful jewelry plated jewelry.

One can plate various metals with gold ranging from titanium to silver, and even gold itself. 

Yes, gold plating gold is also common (more on that interesting fact later).

Plating Quality

The thicker the plating layer is the longer your jewelry lasts and the thinner the layer, the shorter the gold plated jewelry lifespan is. Micron thickness is the technical term for electroplating quality.

Gold Plated Jewelry Exposure

Gold-plated earrings are less exposed to natural use and contact than, let’s say, engraved gold-plated jewelry rings. 

Makes sense, right? 

Therefore, rubbing, touching, and getting the gold plate in touch with various elements as you use your fingers more frequently than your ears in terms of physical interaction, the gold-plated engagement ring is exposed more frequently.

Does Gold Plated Wear Off?

It takes time, but yes, gold-plated jewelry does start to wear off. This can be a year up to two years process. The reason for gold plating tarnishing is the underlying metal quality used, the thickness of the outer layer (measured as micron), and finally the type of jewelry and its exposure to the environment.

However, where there is a problem, there is often a solution waiting. 

How To Restore Gold Plated Jewelry?

You can restore your gold-plated belongings either at home by using a soft cloth to polish it back to the shine (use warm water, a bit of soap). Or by simply bringing it to your favorite jewelry store for them to replate it for you.

These are the common ways of gold plating to restore your jewelry like teardrop earrings, birthstone rings, or collars.

  • Prevent your gold-plated rings and other accessories from friction to avoid the wearing off as they rub against other metals and elements around the house, work, or outside.
  • When exercising sports like swimming and other water-related activities take your jewelry off; otherwise the oxidant process can kick in and damage the gold plating.
  • Chemicals and gold-plated metal items aren’t a good fit. So, whenever you are running errands at home, cleaning, or using those body crèmes or sprays (to all my stay-at-home ladies and gents), then make sure to lay these aside.
  • Cleaning your gold plated hoops, mother’s rings, or chokers regularly will go a long way in restoring your valuable jewelry.

I hopefully needn’t tell you that keeping your valuable designer-made metal pieces away from any harmful substance or use is the way to keep them shining for years to come.

Is Gold Plated Jewelry Fake?

Gold-plated jewelry is not fake in the sense that plating is a process of coating a metal with real gold as a layer covering that metal. The covered metal can be any cheap or expensive metal like sterling silver, or platinum, including pure gold.

Why people sometimes refer to gold-plated jewelry as a fake is maybe because they either don’t understand what plating with gold means or, when they do, believe it is dishonest.

Fake & Not Fake Gold Differentiation

Gold is measured in karat, mainly popular are 10K, 14K, 18K, and 24K, whereby the purity increases with the karat.

The higher the karat, the more expensive the jewelry item usually is. The weight is measured in grams, the heavier the pricier too, of course.

For example, a 5 grams 14K engagement ring for her or him could cost around $120,00, depending on the current gold market price.

Adding 24K gold, a diamond (measured in carat with a “c”), as well as other factors like designer jewelry, demand, and so forth may increase that piece furthermore into hundreds if not thousands of US dollars.

Therefore, gold-plated jewelry is often the answer for many people who want an affordable wedding ring or a birthstone ring for their loved one, whereas pure gold (24K) is too expensive for most.

The great thing about gold-plated metal fashion products is that they can be of high significance without breaking the bank. Moreover, pure underlying gold metal also benefits from the shinning that can increase the perceived value of the entire jewelry.

The term fake jewelry, therefore, refers to jewelry traders who are selling unethically by stating that the charm bracelet or stud is pure gold, instead of telling the truth.

That is about the process called gold plating which translates into an affordable huggy, fish hook, or signet ring.

In other words, explaining that a gold-plated wristband or pendant are types of jewelry that are legitimate, worth their price, albeit not as valuable as fine gold, and should not be sold as.

Is Gold Plated Worth Anything?

Gold plated is mainly worth its value for the owner as romantic jewelry that reminds her of worthwhile memories of love. It is not worth the retail price you once bought it for, simply because gold plating usually uses metals (e.g. silver) that are worth less than real aureate, though gold on gold plating exists.

If you are thinking of selling all your jewelry dowry or inheritance, make sure you test first if your gold is pure gold (aureate), designer jewelry or “just” gold plated trinkets.

Again, gold-plated ornaments have value and space in the world of fashion, and design, but especially in your personal life.

Selling an 18k gold-plated bracelet or other jewelry to a pawn shop or a jeweler is like anything you consider valuable, they often see it as not much of worth – they are business people, even if it´s your great grandma´s 1913 necklace.

On the other side, if you are trying to sell a gold-plated Versace stamped pendant, you might be lucky that a collector may be interested, but even that is not guaranteed when it comes to this jewelry, though finishing, design, and brand play a part in valuation.

Gold plated rings for couples, friendship, or for yourself are worth their sentimental value rather than anything else.

Give them a personalized touch like engraved birthstone rings, and you have a bright smile, plus an unforgettable day as well an affordable gift to remember for years.

How Much Is Gold Plated Jewelry Worth?

Jewelry TypeValue in USD*
Bracelet$16,00 – $460,00
Ring$15,60 – $98,00
Necklace$24,00 – $220,00
Earring*Snapshot of retail prices at different jewelers online.

Depending on your budget and brand you can shop for an affordable goldilocks bracelet for as little as under $2000 up to a Hermés Le Cles bangle for more than $400,00 retail price, whereby the average gold-plated bracelet with a name cost around $50,00 for a Figaro chain bracelet for example.

A18k gold-plated bar ring costs on average $30,00 while on the lower end you can buy a plain multi-row rolling ring for $18,00 or lower. On the higher price level for a women stud ring, you may have to part with nearly $100,00.

While a stunning gold-plated initial willow disc necklace may go for over $200,00 over the jeweler counter, you can purchase on average your favorite personalized pendant chain for $75,00 and wear cheaper solitaire necklaces in the $20,00 price spectrum.

Yellow gold-plated small hoops or studs may be sold at around $50,00 on the median and even more, affordable earrings like 18k huggies or gold links go for about $20,00 while luxurious gold-plated freshwater earrings may retail for over $135,00.

What Is The Difference Between Gold And Gold Plated?

The difference between gold and gold plated is that pure gold consists of 24K (gold parts are measured in k for karat) out of 24 karats. Whereby gold-plated on the other hand usually contains less than 24K and other base metals like rhodium mixed underneath.

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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