It truly amazes me how many people have problems with plating, yet don’t really understand, and sometimes even it seems don’t want to understand why they continue to have problems. I often wonder why this is. Maybe it is because the plating process is quite technical and it can be difficult for a non professional to come to grips with it, maybe it is because good plating – which deposits significant amounts of precious metals on your items is actually quite expensive, and it might also be because most people do not have access to equipment which allows you to actually test the quality of your plating.
I would like to, in easy terms today talk about what is needed to get a good plating result, and along the way try to give some pointers that might help to de-mystify plating and give you a better understanding of the plating processes and how you can work with your plating supplier to get a better result, – and also how to keep him honest! A quick little story here, I had somebody come to see me last week with an item they claimed was plated at 10 microns and it cost X, but they were distressed as the quality was not good!
Firstly plating at 10 microns is unheard of and totally unnecessary, and after looking at the item and a quick calculation of the surface area x 10 microns I could see that the value of gold, if deposited at 10 microns on the total surface area of the item, would have been more than 10 times the price this particular person paid their plater for the item…! My guess from looking at the item was that there was less than 0.5 of a micron thickness there… It is important when buying plated items that you have some understanding of how to get the quality you want and at the correct price, a little bit of knowledge here can really help you make better choices.