Finishing Touches – Perfectly Plated Products

By: Casey Doran

Jewelry accessories are one of the cornerstones of the fashion industry and from trendy rings and bracelets to timeless pendants, the art of accessorizing is ever changing and evolving. The underlying base that accessories are differentiated often comes down to the material or metal finish of the jewelry. Knowing what the different finishes mean and their qualities makes for smart shopping and lets the consumer choose what best fits their individual lifestyle.

Metal jewelry basics explained

Modern metal jewelry today consists of a make-up of different alloys that when combined lend the specific attributes associated with that particular metal. Gold, for example, is measured in karats and the number before the k stands for the purity of gold. 10k gold is 41.7% pure gold and 24k gold is 99.9% pure gold. The more alloys that are added the more durable the jewelry when it comes to gold as gold is very soft. Other metal mainstays such as sterling silver and brass are used frequently and provide every budget the opportunity for beautiful accessorizing.

Plated finishes

There are different finishes that may be added to a metal accessory to give it that little extra pizzazz. Rose gold has risen steadily in popularity and consists of a mix of gold and copper alloys that are then plated on sterling silver and radiates pink and gold tones. Rhodium is a member of the platinum group of elements and is plated onto gold, sterling silver and sometimes brass and gives a shiny and durable finish that is not easily scratched and doesn’t tarnish. Black rhodium is also used and gives a dark black appearance. Gold plating consists of a very thin layer of gold that is electroplated onto another metal to give the appearance of gold without the associated cost.

Sterling silver jewelry can be plated with different finishes such as:

· Rhodium and black rhodium plating to give a durable and tarnish resistant surface

· Gold plated gives the look of solid 14k without the associated cost

· Rose gold plating to add soft pink and gold tones.

The art of accessorizing dates back hundreds of years and the wide assortment of metals and plated finishes can make consumers question what exactly they’re buying. The basics of gold and silver are no longer so simple with the addition of rose gold, rhodium and gold plating and knowing the facts helps for choosing what’s best for the budget and the lifestyle. Whether the rich decadence of 18k gold appeals most or the shining beauty of rhodium plated finish, accessorizing is the key to every successful wardrobe.

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