Gold-plated silver - how long does it last, does it rub off or not, reviews of gilded 925 sterling silver, care and rules of use

Gilded silver has never lost its relevance. It is used by famous jewelry houses to create their collections, and it is also used for interior decorations. With proper care, the gold layer lasts a long time, without losing its shine and color.

What is gilded silver. Why gilding on silver: pros and cons

Two metals are used to create gold silver - gold 999, 750 or 585 pinkas well as silver 925 markingswhich is the basic material.

Gilded jewelry is created in the following way: first, the item is made of moon metal, then it is coated with the thinnest layer of gold. The thickness of this coating ranges from 1 to 15 microns. An imprint is made on the piece of jewelry. sterling silverbecause it is this metal that is the main one.

The pluses of this material include the following characteristics:
Visually, the jewelry does not differ from gold;
The gold plating does not wear off for a long time with proper care;
Gold-plated silver is much more affordable than gold alloys;
Rarely causes allergic manifestations;
The material is excellent for engraving;
The gold plating can be applied an unlimited number of times;
Products made of this material are relatively lightweight, easy to wear on a permanent basis;
The minuses of gold-plated precious metal are:
The gold layer will inevitably wear off over time;
Things need careful wear and regular care;
High risk of encountering a fake;
Gold-plated items have a pronounced gloss that is not inherent in the purest precious metal;
How to clean gold-plated silver cutlery: spoons, forks, knives
Gold-plated silver cutlery

Physical properties of gilded silver

Jewelry made of gilded silver are characterized by resistance to corrosion, strength, durability.

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The thicker the layer, the longer the service life of the coating. The thicker the layer, the longer the service life of the coating.

Gold-plated precious metal is inert and insoluble in acids and alkalis. However, low-grade gold, such as 585, has a lot of impurities in its composition, which reduces the anti-corrosive properties.

A variety of gilded products

The material is in high demand in the jewelry industry. It is used to make souvenirs - various statuettes, frames, key chains. Gold-plated precious metal is used to create kitchen utensils, phone cases and buttons.

On the shelves of jewelry boutiques you can see gold-plated earrings, rings, chains, bracelets, pendants, cufflinks.

Where you can buy gold silver

The largest jewelry boutiques in Russia, such as Adamas, Almas, Moscow Jewelry Factory, Sunlight, and Sokolov, offer a huge variety of products from this material. The largest jewelry boutiques in Russia, such as Adamas, Altyn, Moscow Jewelry Plant, Sunlight, Sokolov, offer a huge selection of silver plated products.

Definitely do not buy gold-plated jewelry from the hands, there is the greatest likelihood of encountering a fake.

A variety of gilded products
Silver Jewelry with Gold Plating

Before buying, it is worth carefully inspecting the jewelry for the presence of a hallmark. Here, in addition to the three-digit number of the proof, there should be an imprint of the head of the woman in a kokoshnik, the sign of the assay certificate of the Russian Federation. Information about the piece should be inscribed inside a figure shaped like a barrel.

Table: The cost of gilded silver jewelry

The table below shows average prices for the most popular decorations. Their main alloy is always the lunar metal of the 925 marking, and the plating assay may vary.

In the presence of inserts in the form of precious minerals, the cost increases markedly. Price is specified in rubles.

Gilding assay

Gold-plated silver to buy in an inexpensive online store. To find out the current cost per gram of the alloy in the most popular online jewelry stores, it is convenient to use the table:

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SunlightSokolovGold 585
440 rubles per gram430 rubles per gram480 rubles per gram
925 proof925 proof925 proof

Silver gilding methods

A decorative coating can be applied to the surface of a precious metal in various ways. The methods of gilding have been known since antiquity; they were applied to church domes, dishes, and decorative objects.

Antique "fire gilding" was carried out using gold and mercury. This method was abandoned because the poisonous fumes were often fatal to the workers.

Now the sputtering must comply in quality and color with international standards.

There are many methods of applying gilding, such as using a special paint, overlaying foil of gold leaf, or spraying with metallization. Modern techniques are usually based on the principles of electroplating.

Mechanical gilding

This method is resorted to in cases where the decorative function of the surface does not play a key role, as to achieve a uniform surface layer is quite difficult.

  1. First, a special paste is made, which includes blood salt, crystal wine sediment, ground chalk, and chlorine gold.
  2. The surface of the product is carefully degreased, ready paste is applied evenly.

The resulting layer is usually thin, so the coating will need to be renewed periodically.

Electrochemical gilding

The electrochemical method has a number of advantages over other techniques:

  • Can be applied to products of all sizes;
  • The coating will have a homogeneous structure;
  • It is possible to control the thickness of the layer;
  • The coating will have an additional resource of wear resistance;
Silver gilding methods
Gilding silverware

This technology is a galvanic method of applying the precious metal to the surface, which is carried out in three stages:

  1. The surface is carefully degreased, sanded with sandpaper or with a machine.
  2. The product is immersed inside a galvanic bath. The extreme temperature and the desired current density are automatically maintained.
  3. When the product is covered with a gold film, it is subjected to final processing.

Cyanide electrolytes, which are extremely toxic, are used during the process.

Silver gilding is realistic to perform at home, but you will need rare reagents, special equipment, and protective clothing. It is worth bearing in mind that during work, harmful vapors will be released into the air, so all operations must be carried out with working ventilation or outdoors.

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Thickness and gilding assay

Gilding on silver can be done in the following gold alloys: 585, 750, 958, 999.

The thickness depends on the purpose of the item, usually 2.5 to 20 microns. The thickness of jewelry is usually 5 microns.

Metal gilding
Antique silver dish with gilding

Gilding life

Practice shows that the daily wear of the product gold layer rubs off about 1-2 microns per year.

The life of the entire layer will depend on its thickness and the presence of regular maintenance. Gold-plated silver jewelry usually lasts 3 to 10 years.

Which products keep their gold plating longer

Gold-plated earrings, pendants, pendants will last longer because they are not in contact with water, hygiene products, and are not subject to regular physical abuse.

With constant use, the precious layer will quickly begin to fray on the rings, dishes.

It is recommended to buy jewelry that is less likely to come into contact with the skin.

Care: How to prolong the life of gilded silver

It is possible to prolong the life and maintain the attractive shine of jewelry by following some simple rules:

  1. You should remove the products before going to the bath, sauna, gym.
  2. Do not allow jewelry to come into contact with household chemicals. Cleaning should be done with rubber gloves.
  3. It is recommended to protect the product from mechanical damage, avoid intensive friction.

Unfavorable factors for gilding

The following factors can significantly reduce the life of a gold-plated surface:


You should definitely not wash your hands in gold-plated rings or store your jewelry in humid places. The plating will wear out many times faster if it comes into systematic contact with water.

For storage, we recommend purchasing a jewelry box upholstered inside with a soft cloth, or jewelry pouches. Inside, you can put chalk or silica gel fillers that absorb excess moisture.


Many cleaning, washing, and cosmetic products contain harsh chemicals that will oxidize the alloy.

Gold и silver are inert, but are not used in their pure form. The additives in the alloy oxidize from contact with chemistry, which can lead to the formation of plaque, changing the tone of the entire product.

Sweat and friction

Changes in the human body, such as hormonal changes, illness, taking medications, lead to the toxicity of sweat secretions. The substances that sweat contains react with precious metalcausing its oxidation.

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Unfavorable factors for gilding
Erasing the gilding

Regular rubbing against the skin or hard surface accelerates gilding.

Lack of care for the product

Any piece of precious jewelry needs constant care. Lack of care can lead to loss of luster and discoloration.

Question and answer section

How can I tell the difference between gilding and gold?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
First of all, it is worth examining the markings on the piece. If it has a 925 or 875 mark, it is silver. If the three-digit imprint is 375, 585, 750 or 958, then the jewelry is made of gold alloy.

If any doubts remain about the material, you can try to scratch the jewelry from the inconspicuous side. The other metal will show under the gilding, the gold will remain unchanged.

What is the hallmark of gilded silver?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
Usually such lunar metal has a 925 or 875 marking.

All jewelry is subject to mandatory branding. If not stamped, it is probably a costume jewellery alloy coated with a thin layer of gold. The exceptions are jewelry from private workshops or imported from countries where branding is not compulsory.

Is it possible to gild a silver ring save and save?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
Yes, gilding is possible, but it is worth considering that the layer of metal will wear off in a few years, since "Save and Save" rings are usually worn on a permanent basis.

The cost of such a service will be about 450 rubles, the price will depend on the total surface area, as well as the thickness of the spraying.

Is it possible to remove the gilding from silver for good?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
Many jewelry shops provide this service. If you cannot call a professional, you can try to remove the plating on your own by chemical or electrochemical means. In the first case, you will need "Tsar's vodka" for the procedure, and in the second case, you will need an electrolyte and a power source.

What to do if the gilding has turned green?

Opinion of an expert
Andrey Seleznev
Chemical-technologist of the plant "Krasny Oktyabr" Volgograd
A greenish tint will tell you that the copper in the gold alloy has oxidized. The most common way to turn green is with red gold.

The best solution is to call a professional for cleaning. It is possible that work will be needed to restore the coating.

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Silver chain with gilding
Silver chain with gilding

Is gold-plated silver washable or not?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
The silver alloy will not wear off, but the gold plating applied to the surface of the moon metal will inevitably thin from periodic wear. The worn-out layer can be restored, a service offered by many jewelry shops.

Can silver be coated with gold at home?

Opinion of an expert
Andrey Seleznev
Chemical-technologist of the plant "Krasny Oktyabr" Volgograd
For gilding at home, an essence containing gold chloride, potassium cyanide, water, table salt, and sodium bicarbonate must be prepared. Briefly, the procedure can be described as follows: first, the item to be treated is burned, then its surface is treated with sulfuric and nitric acids. Next, the ornament should be immersed in mercury, and from there - in water. Now it is placed inside a vessel with prepared essence.

At the end of the work the decoration is left to dry, no additional processing.

How long does the gilding on a man's silver chain last?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
The chain is in constant contact with the skin and rubs against outerwear, which contributes to the rubbing off of the precious layer. The average life of a gold-plated chain is 3 years, but regular maintenance will extend its life.

It is recommended to remove the chain before going to bed, taking a bath, doing sports.

Can silver be plated with gold at the jeweler's?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
Of course! Such a service is in demand and relatively inexpensive. Prices in many jewelry shops start at 300 rubles for a small piece. In cities with more than one million inhabitants, such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, the cost of the service varies considerably upwards.

Gold-plated silver earrings with diamonds how to clean?

Opinion of an expert
Andrey Seleznev
Chemical-technologist of the plant "Krasny Oktyabr" Volgograd
Earrings can be dipped in a solution of diluted vinegar for half an hour. This method is excellent for heavy soiling. After 30 minutes, the earrings should be removed, rinsed under running water, and wiped dry.

For small dirt is suitable cleaning with beer. Earrings should be immersed in a vessel with the drink, leave for 15 minutes, then take out and rinse thoroughly.

The use of gilded silver

The areas of application of this metal are constantly expanding.

Silver with gilding is used to make jewelry workIn the manufacture of decorative household items, to create religious paraphernalia, tableware, in dentistry, mechanical engineering, printed products.

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Products made of this material can be seen in museums dedicated to the ancient world. The gilded lunar metal was used to create masks, award medals, thrones, and household items.

Gentle cleaning methods

Traditional methods of cleaning gold are not applicable to plating. The use of soap, baking soda, and salt is definitely not recommended, as these substances help to erase the gold layer.

Gold chain cleaning
Cleaning a silver chain with gold plating

Suede polishing

Suede is ideal for polishing jewelry. The surface can be polished either after cleaning or instead of cleaning.

Polishing movements should be smooth, you should not press too hard on the surface.

The method is not suitable for a strong degree of contamination.

Soaking in a vinegar solution

First, dilute the vinegar with running water. The item to be cleaned is immersed in this solution for half an hour, then rinsed and wiped dry.

Vinegar can be used as a regular cleaning agent. It is enough to soak a cotton swab in it and rub it on your jewelry.

Alcohol cleaning

Alcohol is used for a quick routine cleaning. It is necessary to wet a cloth with alcohol and wipe the product completely with smooth movements.

Professional jeweler's service. Average cost

The jeweler will charge about 200 rubles for such work. Many shops provide a free cleaning when repairing jewelry.

Definitely worth turning to professionals if the product is inlaid with precious stones or has a complex shape.

Gold Authentication
Jeweler's service

Table: Gilding service in your city

Read the approximate rates for gilding services in cities and towns you can use the table below. Usually the minimum cost of the order is 1200 rubles. The procedure itself rarely lasts longer than an hour.

ServiceCity of MillionsA small town
Removing the gildingFrom 500 rublesFrom 300 rubles
585 gold platingFrom 200 rublesFrom 200 rubles
999 proof gildingFrom 220 rublesFrom 200 rubles
Partial gildingFrom 600 rublesFrom 400 rubles

Video: gilding used silver jewelry

Gold-plated silver: reviews whether it lasts long, the timing of abrasion

I bought a women's gold-plated chain. The "sunny" color has lasted more than a year! I try to take care of the coating so it doesn't darken. You could say I got gold for the price of silver, even though the chain was relatively cheap.

Masha L., Kastroma
Vitaly N., Chelyabinsk

Wore a gold-plated ring for a couple of years. Recently I found silver stripes on it, apparently the top layer had worn off. Restore did not, handed the ring at a pawnshop. I plan to buy a similar piece of jewelry.

I wanted to buy a gold-plated men's chain as a gift. I was attracted by the relatively low price and the appearance of natural gold. I was dissuaded by acquaintances, saying that there was no point in such a gift, the owner would quickly erase the gold plating.

Angela L., Moscow

Jeweler's comment

Molokanov N.M.
Molokanov N.M.
Jeweler, experience in jewelry manufacturing 26 years.
Ask a question
People have different attitudes toward gilded silver, some prefer it to the sunny metal, while others look at such material with skepticism. The gold layer does wear off over time, but careful handling and timely care will help ensure long wear. The presence of a gold layer means that the product acquires the decorative and aesthetic properties of metal, as well as becoming resistant to corrosion.
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  1. Андрей

    Дурак наступает дважды. Так и я. Второй раз покупаю серебро с позолотой в сонлайт. В том году послужили полгода и истерлось. А в этом году цепочка с позолотой послужила всего 2,5 мес.. Дерьмо полнейшей.