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Stones & goldplating

Hey Guys!

I were wondering how the workflow looks when you want to have stones in goldplated jewelry, or actually in plated jewelry in general.

Haven’t really tried to play around with plating with stones myself yet, since I cant seem to find much on the subject.

Should the stones be set before or after plating?

I would assume that not all stones can handle electro cleaning & plating processes…

However i also find it hard to think that it’s a good idea to set stones into already plated pieces?

Soo what’s the proper way around it?

Best regards.

In my experience, if you’re legitimately setting stones (vs. glueing in place) you’ll want to plate afterwards. There’s always the risk of scratching the metal while stone setting, and you won’t be able to buff it out without going right through the plating, regardless of how thick you go.

And you’re right that not all stones can survive plating, especially if they’ve got fractures or cracks in them already. I spoke with a Rio Grande rep once, who was able to tell me which of their stones could handle higher temps. This might help guide which stones you end up using if you choose to plate after setting. I also just plated some spiny oyster and turquoise recently, totally forgetting that they’re too soft and porous, and they came back chalky.

You might want to test it on some pieces you wouldn’t be heartbroken over losing. Best of luck, however you decide to go!


Plating is usually last. Most (not all) stones are not affected by Plating chemicals. You’ll want to research the particular stones you are setting before you do so.

Ruthanne Robertson

Bench Jeweler Team Lead
Legacy Touch, Inc.

Hey Sara & Ruthanne! Thanks for the input. A lot of good info here!

Will play around a bit with few test pieces & stones!

best regards

Hi all,

A chain vendor I use offers soldered brass chain that’s fire-dipped, and I was wondering if anyone knows what that process actually is?

Their chain starts red, but the final fire-dipped chain is bright yellow again and shiny, though I’m not sure if they do any polishing to get it shiny. I work mostly in brass, and am curious if this is a process that I can replicate myself in my studio?

Any insights would be much appreciated, thank you!


Sara-A quick google search showed this from Fire on the Mountain.
Is there any difference between gold-dipped and gold-plated or is it just a new way to market gold plate?

  • Carole
    “Gold-plated” items have an industry standard of 0.15 to 0.25 mils thickness of gold which is plated to the surface of the base metal. “Gold-dipped” items may or may not meet that industry standard.
    As for “Fire dipped” I have never heard of it. You can’t just dip a chain in molten gold. There is Gold filled and gold plated. Both must meet certain standards for thickness. The closest thing i have ever seen or done to Fire Dipped is called “bombing” which is done with cyanide and hydrogen peroxide while being heated with high pressure steam. This only works on items that are already gold. It brings the pure gold in the alloy to the surface leaving a bright 24 kt surface. It’s a very thin layer that wears off quickly.
    If you want a gold looking chain without the cost of solid gold, I’d go with gold filled.
    Here is a link to some good info on the subject.,what%20thickness%20you’re%20getting.
    Were I you, I’d buy my chain from a reputable supplier like Rio Grande, Stuller, or Fire on the Mountain.
    Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

I think Sara may be referencing Garlan Chain- “Fire dipping is a process where solid brass chains are “dipped” in a solution to remove any oxidants and discoloration that may be present. The end result is a more consistent golden brass color that can then be antiqued and/or lacquered to protect it. It is not advised that fire dipped brass be used without a protectant of some kind as it is a raw material. Because this finish is just enhancing the brass’ natural color there will still be variations because it is not an electroplated finish.” So this isn’t plating at all- more of just a deep cleaning process.