Electroplating of gold and gold alloys and rhodium – one of the platinum group of metals with good white colour and tarnish resistance – for decorative applications.

Electroplating is a method to put a metal coating onto an object, in our case a piece of jewellery, by placing it in a solution containing the metal to be plated and passing an electrical current through the piece and the solution. It is possible to electroplate coatings of most pure metals and even some alloys.

Electroplating is a comparatively quick and easy process to carry out and does not require major investment in costly equipment. It can be done successfully with very simple, basic equipment. Finished carat gold jewellery may be electroplated with gold for several reasons:

- electroplating carat gold jewellery with pure 24ct gold to impart a richer gold colour.

- electroplating with a carat of pure gold to give a more uniform colour, hiding variations in the colour of the parts and solder lines.

- electroplating to give a different desired colour; a wide range of colours can be achieved by co-depositing gold with other metals.

- electroplating to hide surface defects or to improve properties. In addition, there are other uses for gold electroplating.

- electroplating base metal or silver items with gold to obtain a gold appearance as in fashion jewellery and gilt silver.

Rhodium is often used to give a good white colour to white gold jewellery (which is often not a good white colour) or is used selectively on yellow gold jewellery to give local areas of whiteness, often around gemstone settings, and also to plate the master model made in silver used for making the rubber mould in investment casting.