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Gold Plate Tarnishing?


#1

I purchased a lot of brass, made it up into designs, and had it
goldplated. It is now beginning to tarnish, even though I only had it
plated over the summer, have kept it wrapped in tarnish-resitant pape
and have kept it out of direct sunlight.

Does anyone have any advice about what I should do? I am really
worried about this. Thanks in advance to those who respond.


#2

Try an underplate of nickel. If the brass is porous plate copper
underneath that. You can put a heavy deposit of copper, then buff
that before plating the nickel. If you have very visible cracks or
pits you may be out of luck. Deep openings trap the electrocleaner
and leach it out over time, affecting any plating. Typically, cast
pieces are more prone to pitting than milled stock.


#3

It would seem that your brass underneath is tarnishing…You could
dip them into a tarnish remover and rub down with a baking soda
paste. But it would only last for a short while…Maybe your pieces
need to be replated-perhaps a sealer of some type and then re-apply
the gold plate…I’d check with a professional plating shop. There are
several here in the Bay Area…

Good luck,
Jo-Ann Maggiora Donivan


#4

i recommend apreplating of rhodium or nickel - rhodium is harder
giving the plating more resistance to scratching or wear through to
the base metal and nickel is a cheaper alternative to rhodium but
offers the same essential protection.Also investigate the plating
services record, and policy for replating an obviuosly poor job. If
you had the material plated less than 6 months ago and it is already
tarnishing, perhaps there voltage regulator was off or their
immersion time, or a number of other factors…on the other hand what
brass alloy you chose initially could potentially bear on the
situation. I recommend you try using Hoover and Strong’s Tigold
alloy instead of brass due to the look feel and characteristics of 14
kt that it gives to samples, etc. they guarantee the stuff too
against tarnish for i believe a year- with no plating…it’s really
low cost as an added benefit and the flow is better than yellow
brass…3M makes anti-tarnish strips that help absorb sulfuric
elements from storage containers, or sample cases They are superior
to most tarnish resistant papers…that could actually have
accelerated the process to a degree as well…most tarnish resistant
paper is made with bleaching agents that are sulfuric acid based it
is not always totally dissipated when the final product is released
for sale, and tarnish resistant is not anti-tarnish…some
unscrupulous dealers call their standard jewelers tissue tarnish
resistant when in fact it is simply tissue paper that is supposedly
acid free…3M strips or rolls ( as it also comes in rolls and
squares that are i believe 4x4 inches) are a reliable product, and
there is also a polypropelyne zip type bag with an inner liner of
tarnish proof material on the market as well, but i don’t think its
made by 3M.once youclean and polish your materials and store them
away they shouldn’t tarnish for at least 12 months unless you live
next to a copper refinery or other factory emitting something out of
a stack other than steam ! I’d reproach the plater or consider
investing in your own plating system particularly if you work with
gold filled and base metals regularly- many companies are featuring
the PEPE digital plating system on sale this month…


#5

Thanks to those who responded. Actually, I went to a professional
plater to have these items plated! And they are now tarnishing. One
of the platers I went to gave me special paper that he said that I
had to keep the jewelry in to keep it from plating. The other one
made
no mention of this and the jewelry is tarnishing! What should I do? I
am very distressed as it cost me a ton of money and time to get these
items plated.


#6
Thanks to those who responded. Actually, I went to a professional
plater to have these items plated! And they are now tarnishing. One
of the platers I went to gave me special paper that he said that I
had to keep the jewelry in to keep it from plating. The other one
made no mention of this and the jewelry is tarnishing! What should
I do? I am very distressed as it cost me a ton of money and time to
get these items plated. 

Copper and gold are almost exactly the same atomic size, due to this
the gold will actually diffuse into the brass even at room
temperature fairly rapidly. This will bring the copper to the
surface ( the thinner the gold plate the faster this will happen) and
this will tarnish. To prevent this there must be a barrier layer of
nickel plated over the brass before the gold is plated on and many
substrates need to be plated with copper before the nickel is plated
on. This will allow the gold to remain tarnish free. To fix this the
work must be stripped and properly re-plated. Just because the
plater is a professional doesn’t mean that they will always do a high
quality job if you do not specify exactly what you want them to do.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550