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[Looking4] Gold plating service

Hi all,

I just finished a bronze ring that needs to be high karat gold
plated, 22 or 24. It has 2 quarter carat rubies in it as well as
baked (thus water proof) polymer clay. I have taken it to a couple
jewelry shops in town with plating equipment and they all said no, I
looked around on the internet and 5 companies I’ve called have said
no. Some said it was because it was too big, some said no because
they didn’t want the liability of the stones, mostly through I think
a huge bronze signet ring freaks people out who are used to plating
hood ornaments.

I am thinking that it needs a rhodium or nickel plating before the
gold so the bronze doesn’t react or discolor the gold.

I am at my ropes end looking for someone who can plate the ring,
which I need to get done ASAP. If you can plate it, or know someone
who can plate it, please let me know. I can send a picture. respond
on orchid or email me offline.


Hello, Gabriel,

I do understand your situation, as I tend to make rather
out-of-the-ordinary stuff that casting companies, manufacturers, and
platers all see as ‘weird’, and therefore they don’t want to deal
with it, or they simply don’t know how to extend their skills beyond
the usual stuff you see in the mall. Your local jeweler may not have
a large enough rectifier to plate a large piece, if what they are
used to is plating delicate diamond rings.

I have found a plater in North Hollywood CA who can cope with the
strange stuff. He was recommended to me by a movie prop-maker.

F and H Plating
12025 Vose St.
North Hollywood CA

That said, I would wonder about the polymer clay part of the
project. Plating requires acid, especially for the nickel
undercoating, and this could eat away your clay. The rubies are of
course no problem, but you cannot plate with soft materials in place
such as pearls, amber, or lapis.

I’m sure you’re aware that on a ring, the customer will only be able
to wear it for a few weeks before the plating wears off. If this is
for occasional ceremonial or costume use, that’s fine, but I’ve just
run an experiment on this, and daily wear of a gold-plated ring had
the gold rubbed off within three weeks. As long as the customer
understands this, you’re good.

Good luck!

Laurel Cavanaugh
Mad Jeweler’s Workshop

try cal mart plating in DT Los Angeles. If you can’t find their #
I’ll dig it out.

I regularly gold plate large bronze pieces with 24k. We have a 10
piece minimum for that service, but if you’re in a pinch I’ll help
you out.
Toll Free 877-927-CAST

Tell the person you speak with that Jason authorized it and they will
take it from there. I hope this helps you.

Casting House


As a prop maker in Los Angeles I’ve had experience with both of the
platers that were recommended and both are great. I have mostly used
Kenny at Cal Mart because they are in the jewelry district and deal
with jewelry and singular projects. I am not sure I understand the
polymer clay part of your project, but as a non conductive material
and if you want it plated it will have to be done using an
electroforming process. The polymer must be painted with a
conductive paint then plated. There is a plater in LA that does this
almost exclusively for the film industry to create large metal
looking props that are very light, being usually made of carved
foam. Their name is Art Craft plating in Burbank Ca. Be warned: they
are extremely exspensive! Three years ago their minimum was $500.00
for even one small piece. Your other responder was correct about the
durability of the plating, it will wear off in no time on an object
that gets as much wear as a ring.

Cal-Mart plating
213 623 6987
Ask for Kenny

Hope this helps,