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Gold Plating and problems with plating chains

I have just started to plate, and I am doing vermile, sterling silver jewellery plated with 18k yellow gold. After many tries, I now able to plate my earrings. I have lowed the voltage to 1 and the gold liquid temperature to a lower temp 38c, and I am placing it in the liquid for 12 seconds. This is a lower temp then is suggested and a shorter amount of time. I found it was discolouring the cold was not looking bright, but matt when doing for longer. I wondered if the temperature even lower still and left in longer, would the plateing be a thick layer and be a better job?

I am also having problems with the chain to my necklaces. They are coming out with patchy small sections that are not planting. I am cleaning them in the ultrasonic, then cleaning liquid rinsing in distiled water, then putting them in the gold solution. I have been wrapping the chain a tightly as possible as I saw on youtube that this could help, and they still having patchy sections. Do you have any suggestions?

Also, is anything I can do with failed plating that I have done. Do I need to buy a plating pen to be able to do those sections? Or can you reverse the prosses so the gold is removed, or do you have to get them refined?

Any help would be amazing as I have google and watch so many you tubes on this and reading article on here, but still a little lost as to what to do?

On the off chance that you are not aware, in the US the FTC has set regulations for the thickness of gold plate over sterling that must be met to legally mark an item as vermeil.
Here is the relevant section. You’ll have to click through.
https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=91ebe6cb52d5a35c306a32819e5008c8&mc=true&node=pt16.1.23&rgn=div5#se16.1.23_14

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I would follow the instructions of the plating supplier for settings. Discoloration or a burnt look could be that you are getting your piece of jewelry too close to the electrode. 12 sec really is nothing for plating and I wouldn’t expect great results. Usually with higher temps you can reduce the time. But factors to take into acount are how big the piece of jewelry is and how big your actual plating setup is. What you are plating is called a flash plating. Everything over 2.5microns is called Vermeil.
Most solutions can’t plate over the basic flash thickness. There are super expensive ones which can plate over 5microns which is amazing stuff.
Hope this helps.

Thank you for the information. It all helps! ! I did follow the information on the supplier’s settings, and it was burning the gold, and it was coming out dark and matt. I think I am close to the electrode as I was using a long wide mouth mason jar to do the plating. I am plating a piece at a time, and they are not very big. I have ordered some Ajax Scientific GL010-1000 Borosilicate Glass Graduated Beaker, so I am waiting on them being delivered, and I will try again. Do you know if I can unplated the jewellery and deposit the gold back into the gold solution, or do I have to have it refined?

Refing the plated jewelry would cost more than the plating is worth. You’ll see that a 1L bottle lasts a long time. I wouldn’t worry about that especially with the thin flash plating. Plating takes a while to get the hang of. I would suggest trying out the plating, even rubbing it with a polishing cloth in one spot to see how it holds up. If a piece doesn’t cover fully, just repeat the process. As I mentioned the plating won’t get thicker with the flash plating solutions. The main thing is to not spill the solution. I spray the piece after plating with distilled water and just put that water back in with the solution. Goodluck

Thank you again. I do understand that refining would be more expensive. I was trying to understand if that was my only option. I did re-dip a piece when I saw that thier was not a complete take on the item, and I found the colour changed and become matt on this piece, so I was afraid to do this again. I dipped in distilled water, as you mentioned, after the cleaning solution then after the gold. The plating solution that I am using is Cohler Enterprises inc Glod plating solution 18K super hard 120 - 140F that’s / 49-60 celsius. This is what is suggested on the bottle using volts 4 -6 for 20 to 30 seconds. as mentioned before, the iteams was coming out burnt, but this might have to do with the diameter of the beaker I was using and being to close to anode. I read that the lower the temperate gives a thicker coating so, I went down to 38c, and the colour was better and shiny. So I’ll prep some silver and give all another go once I receive the new beakers. I also pre tumbled my work and then ultrasonic them cleaned before I started the whole process as I wanted to ensure any coatings on the chains was gone before I plaited. Sorry, I am dyslexia. I hope this all makes sense. Appreciate all your help. Thanks again Amanda

You’re welcome Amanda.
I’m not familiar with the gold plating solution you use. I googled it and couldn’t find much info on it. I use a European one. To my knowledge the higher the amount of gold in the solution the thicker the plating. I even chuck my pieces in the tumble for a quick shine after plating, but I add a 3micron layer. But you could also give it a try. The manufacturer should state the thickness gained for a certain time interval. As I mentioned it is a lot of trial and error. Here you might find someone with the same plating solution who could shed some more light on your settings. Thats why the Orchid is great :slight_smile: