What is Electroplating?

Electroplating is a process in which a surface is covered by a thin layer of another metal. Electroplating dates back to 1840 and has a wide variety of commercial applications.

GOLD PLATING of silver is used in the manufacture of jewelery. Like copper, silver atoms diffuse into the gold layer, causing slow gradual fading of its color and eventually causing tarnishing of the surface. This process may take months and even years, depending on the thickness of the gold layer. A barrier metal layer is used to counter this effect. Copper, which also migrates into gold, does so more slowly than silver. The copper is usually further plated with nickel. A gold-plated silver article is usually a silver substrate with layers of copper, nickel, and gold deposited on top of it.

RHODIUM PLATING – Some silver (and white gold) jewelry is coated with a layer of rhodium as a “finishing touch.” Rhodium is a shiny silver metal with a finish almost like mercury. This finish is good because it mimics the brilliant finish of freshly polished silver and protects the piece from natural tarnishing, but it also has its drawbacks, such as uneven wear, scratching and repair difficulties.

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