“Ion plating (IP) is a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process that is sometimes called ion assisted deposition (IAD) or ion vapor deposition (IVD) and is a version of vacuum deposition. Ion plating uses concurrent or periodic bombardment of the substrate, and deposits film by atomic-sized energetic particles. Bombardment prior to deposition is used to sputter clean the substrate surface. During deposition the bombardment is used to modify and control the properties of the depositing film.” Source Wikipedia.
So, in English… this basically means that gas metal ions are zapped onto the jewelry to create an extremely tight chemical bond. Different types of metal gases are used to create the desired color of plating.
Gold-plated jewelry is jewelry that’s plated/ covered with a gold layer. Gold plating is the addition of gold layer on jewelry. There are different plating techniques – heavy gold plating (2.5 microns of gold layer), gold electroplating (.5 microns), and gold flashing/ gold washing (less than .175microns). Though the plating thickness varies, the techniques are all referred to as electroplating. Think of the process as dipping of a stainless steel piece of jewelry into a gold solution.
Gold plating is commonly used for costume jewelry or to mimic more expensive pieces. It is almost impossible to tell apart expensive pieces of gold jewelry from inexpensive gold plated imitations.
WHAT METALS CAN BE GOLD PLATED?
Gold plating can be done on most metals, such as nickel, brass, stainless steel, silver and copper.
IS GOLD PLATED REAL GOLD?
Yes, gold plating is real gold but because of how little gold is used, such jewelry doesn’t hold the value of gold.
The purity of the gold used in gold plating ranges just like solid gold. The lowest purity is usually 10K and the highest is 24K gold. When it comes to gold plating, the main difference in these types of gold is the color it produces rather than in the value. The higher the purity of the gold, the more gold-like the color is. However, the value doesn’t change much because of how little gold is used, regardless of the purity levels.
WHY ONLY STAINLESS STEEL JEWELRY?
Although IP plating can be used on just about any metal or surface, stainless steel is a favorite choice because it is considered an affordable alternative to gold, platinum and silver. Yet, there is no compromise on the aesthetic value of the product. Also, stainless is more durable and hypoallergenic compared to other metals, for further learn by visiting IS STAINLESS STEEL GOOD FOR JEWELRY?
Combined with IP plating, stainless steel offers versatility both in terms of design and colors and can easily be used to emulate the finish of precious metals such as rose or yellow gold. The best part is that unlike electric coating, ion plated jewelry stays looking as good as new for decades.
THE BENEFITS OF CHOOSING ION PLATED STAINLESS STEEL JEWELRY!
Surgical grade stainless steel is used in the making of these pieces. Since it has been used in the production of surgical instruments for decades, it is a well researched fact that stainless steel does not produce allergic reactions even in people who are otherwise prone to metal allergies. So, there are scores of advantages to choosing stainless steel, ion plated jewelry, such as:
- 100% skin friendly and safe
- High polished sheen that adds to the allure of the pieces
- Cold, smooth finish that makes it a joy to wear the jewelry
- The plating, color and sheen last for decades without damage
- Although gold and black are the most common colors induced through IP plating, it is possible to get a range of hues
- Affordable jewelry that creates the same elegant and rich look as pieces made from precious metals
- Silver coating not needed as ion plated, stainless steel jewelry have a natural silvery look to them.
- Stainless steel is stronger and it has a better luster than other metals
- It is a favorite when it comes to men’s jewelry and contemporary pieces.
- The base metal and the ion plating can endure a significant amount of wear and tear without giving in
- It’s very easy to maintain jewelry made from stainless steel.