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Chain plating

Problems in plating gold filled rope chain after soldering on chain tips. We’ve been buying bulk g.f. rope because of the price of karat gold items. We find that welding 14k chain ends onto the rope gives better results than g.f. components. We’re using Stuller low temp. paste solder compound, and had been getting adequate results. Yesterday, after soldering findings, light pickling, and cleaning, I attempted to gold plate the ends to even out the color. My military friends have a term for the results. First, on removing from the plating bath, large areas of the chain were white (this was yellow gold filled). I used fresh plating solution, and a clean 18k ring for an anode (I know…I know). After several attempts to clean this up, I tried polishing. This restored much, but not all, of the yellow color. It is still not satisfactory, and I’m having trouble getting it to take plating. Perhaps I’m being foolish to “cheat” on the anode? Any advice appreciated.