Types of plating

jewelry plating machines

What is Jewelry Plating?

Plating involves covering the surface of a metallic item, a process that’s performed worldwide for a range of purposes. In some cases, the manufacturer will want to prevent corrosion, increase solder ability, boost wearability, reinforce paint adhesion, improve conductivity, reduce friction-induced wear and tear, and more. At Elf925, we carefully plate every piece of jewelry that leaves our facility for pure decorative purposes.

What is oxidization?

This chemical process, which is referred to as finishing, not plating, is performed on jewelry to provide a “tarnished” or “discolored look.” Oxidized jewelry is growing in popularity worldwide, what with the rising global interest in vintage fashion and antique jewelry. At Elf925, we oxidize our jewelry to improve aesthetics and to blacken hollowed parts to make the overall look more “old-school.” This technique proves particularly powerful with jewelry featuring written engravings, making the words and letters come to life through striking contrast.

What is E-Coating?

Otherwise known as electro-deposition or electro-coating, e-coating is a popular method that relies on using an electrical current to coat a metal surface with an organic lacquer. This ultra-fine layer of plastic is a form of plating, designed to significantly improve your jewelry’s lifespan and add an extra coat of “shine.” At Elf925, we’re meticulous on our mission to evenly cover every nook and cranny with even, coherent protection. Most commonly, we use e-coating to protect sterling silver and prevent damage.

What is Silver Plating?

By applying an extra layer of 100% silver plating to our jewelry, we can inject the item with an extra layer of shininess and added protection against scratches, bumps, knocks, and daily wear and tear. Unless specifically stated otherwise, this type of plating will almost always be two microns thick. In certain cases, we may need to go up to three microns. Regardless, the goal is to apply this plating over jewelry to protect it against tarnishing. When searching for silver-plated jewelry, you can easily identify what you’re looking for by checking whether items are marked as “Silver Plating + E-Coat.”

What is Gold Plating?

At Elf925, we specialize in superior gold-plating whereby we deposit a thin layer of gold onto the surface of the jewelry’s silver base. This is performed through either chemical or electrochemical plating. Gold plating is a delicate art, and there are various kinds of thickness available depending on the specific type of jewelry and your needs. For example, rings are typically plated with a minimum of 0.25 Microns or more, seeing as these specific items are vulnerable to the most wear and tear daily. Most other items are flash gold-plated.

What is Rose gold Plating?

Rose gold, often referred to as Pink Gold, is a fusion of gold and copper alloy. One of the most common rose gold compositions is 75% gold and 25% copper, the recipe for 18 karat rose gold. Rose gold can never be 100% pure, seeing as it’s always a combination of gold and copper. Generally, the higher the percentage of copper, the more intense in color the rose gold item will be. The higher the gold, the less “rosy” it will be.

What is Black Ruthenium Plating?

Have you ever wondered what gives black jewelry its “high-tech” jet-black look? Sometimes, such jewelry is even compared to gun metal, and its unique look usually boils down to plating using one of many kinds of metal. Black ruthenium is naturally hard in nature and incredibly scratch-resistant. Black ruthenium gives jewelry a striking black look, much more so than its rhodium-plated counterpart.

What is Rhodium Plating?

Rhodium is a silver-white hard metal found in platinum ores. In its natural state, Rhodium is too hard to be manipulated into jewelry, which is why it is used as an alloy instead for the smelting of palladium and platinum. This noble metal offers wearers a stunningly bright finish with long-lasting wear. When applied as plating, Rhodium delivers unmatched durability and brilliant brightness, naturally boosting the aesthetics and longevity of any metal jewelry - silver in particular. Rhodium and silver are a match made in heaven, imparting a deep shade of grey that brings out the strikingly bright colors of crystals or cubic zirconia stones.

What is Ion Plating?

Generally used on stainless steel jewelry, Ion Plating is a relatively new method in the realm of surface finishing. Ion Plating gives jewelry a much harder, durable coating with a distinctively unique look - with higher levels of brightness than you’d find with any other traditional plating method out there. This unique form of coating is commonly used worldwide to achieve a specific coating color on stainless steel, including gold, rose gold, black, chocolate, and more. At Elf925, we proudly offer professional Ion Plating services that have been proven to last far longer than electroplated jewelry. In fact, Ion Plated jewelry has been shown to last for decades without a sign of wear and tear.