What is Gold Plated Jewelry? All Your Questions Answered

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Gold-plated jewelry allows you to get gold bling for a more affordable price. Often, people can’t tell the difference between real gold and gold-plated jewelry by merely looking at it. But is it worth spending money on? Is it classy or trash, and should you, as a jewelry lover, have a few such pieces in your collection?

In this article, we answer the question “what is gold plated jewelry?” and every other related question you might have. 

What is gold-plated jewelry?

Gold-plated jewelry is made by bonding a thin layer of gold to a metal base. Metals such as silver, copper, nickel, stainless steel, brass, tungsten, and titanium are commonly gold plated using electroplating. Hence the name “gold plated.” The final piece usually contains less than 0.05% of gold.

While gold-plated jewelry involves a thin layer of gold, the quality and price depend on the thickness of the gold coating. Although it is different from pure gold, it can also be rated using the karat system. Of course, 24K gold plated jewelry does not have the same value as 24K gold jewelry.

Gold-plated jewelry is different from gold-filled jewelry, which has a thicker layer of gold fused to a metal base—usually nickel or brass—by high heat. Hence, it is more durable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Although gold-plated jewelry is common, many people still have many questions about whether it’s fake gold or worth buying. We’ll dig into some of these questions below.

Does gold-plated mean fake?

No, gold-plated does not mean fake as long as it is labeled correctly. It is not a solid piece of real gold but rather is a metal base coated with a thin layer of gold to give it the shiny yellow color of gold.

What is better: gold-filled or gold-plated jewelry?

Gold-filled jewelry is better than gold-plated jewelry because it is less prone to scratches and tarnishes, making it more durable. However, gold plated jewelry is a cheaper option for the gold jewelry aesthetic.

Is gold-plated jewelry worth buying?

Yes, gold-plated jewelry is worth buying if you’re looking for a less expensive way to rock the gold jewelry look.

Is gold-plated jewelry hypoallergenic?

No, gold-plated jewelry is not hypoallergenic. Pure gold is hypoallergenic, but gold-plated jewelry combines gold and other metals. When the gold coat scratches off, your skin may react with the base metal, especially if it is nickel, copper, or brass.

How much does gold-plated jewelry cost?

The price of gold-plated jewelry varies from piece to piece and among different manufacturers. Generally, they are a cheaper alternative to authentic gold jewelry pieces.

How long does gold-plated jewelry last? 

Gold-plated jewelry lasts about two years with regular wear. The approximate lifespan depends on how well it was plated, exposure to air and moisture, and how well it is maintained.

Can you shower with gold plated jewelry?

No, do not shower with gold plated jewelry. This can cause the thin layer of gold coat to chip away faster, reducing the piece’s lifespan.

Can you sleep in gold-plated jewelry?

No, do not sleep in gold-plated jewelry. Jewelry, in general, is delicate and may get damaged from movement while sleeping.

Pros and Cons of Gold-Plated Jewelry 

While many people love gold-plated jewelry, others look down on it. We have our opinion, but we’ll let you have all the information to decide whether it’s good for you.


  • Affordable
  • Can last up to two years
  • Looks like real gold
  • Wide variety of designs available


How to Prevent Gold-Plated Jewelry from Tarnishing

tarnish on gold bracelet - does gold tarnish?
tarnished gold-plated jewelry

When gold-plated jewelry tarnishes, it loses the gold luster that made it attractive in the first place. Tarnish is caused mainly by exposure to air and moisture, so to prevent tarnish, the focus is to reduce both. Here are some useful ways to do so:

  • Keep your jewelry in a resealable bag.
  • Store jewelry pieces together with anti-tarnish paper.
  • Apply lotion and perfumes before wearing your jewelry to prevent contact.
  • Keep away from water by taking it off before water-related activities.

How to Restore Gold Plated Jewelry 

If your gold-plated jewelry is significantly tarnished, you will need more than simply wiping it off. Stay calm; all you need to restore its shine can be found in your pantry.

Materials Needed

  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tablespoon
  • Spoon
  • Paper towel


  1. Line the bowl entirely with aluminum foil.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of salt to the bowl.
  3. Heat one cup of water (240ml) and pour it into the bowl.
  4. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Soak your gold plated jewelry for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Rub with a paper cloth to remove the tarnish.
  7. Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

How to Clean Gold-Plated Jewelry 

One of the easiest ways to clean gold-plated jewelry is by using a microfiber or lint-free cloth. This method requires only a few minutes and it is mild enough not to scratch the gold coating.

how to clean gold-plated jewelry with embellishments or stones


  1. Make sure your hands are free from or other chemical products. You can wash your hands to be certain.
  2. Gently wipe down your jewelry with a cloth to remove dirt, oil, and other substances that may have accumulated during the day.

You can use this method for regular maintenance. It can be done after every wear.

How to Take Care of Gold-Plated Jewelry 

To extend the lifespan of your jewelry, you need to be intentional about caring for it. Some ways to do so include:

  • Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.
  • Use a jewelry polishing cloth to gently wipe your piece at least once a month. 
  • Wipe down with a microfiber cloth after each wear.
  • Remove jewelry before exercising to avoid excess sweat exposure from damaging the gold.

Besides daily maintenance, you can also preserve your jewelry by storing it carefully. Here are some tips to note:

  • Prevent your jewelry from tangling and scratching by putting individual pieces in a separate airtight bag.
  • Store them in a jewelry box 
  • Put a small silica pack in your jewelry box to help absorb moisture.

💡 Tip: Silica packs come with many products and can be reused.

Is This Jewelry for You?

Gold-plated jewelry can be a nice addition to your jewelry collection. For the price of one gold jewelry piece, you can get different designs of this kind of jewelry. It may not last forever as gold jewelry would, but it can last you a long, long time with proper care. And even if it shows signs of tarnish, you may be able to save it with the right techniques.

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