Is Gold Plating Different Than Imitation Gold Plating
If you buy gold plated gifts, you must have noted a visible difference in their shine. An imitation gold plating product looks utterly different from a gold-plated.
Gold plating and imitation gold plating are two different methods used to achieve a similar outcome - a shiny, gold-like appearance on a surface. However, the difference between the two lies in the actual materials used and the durability of the finish. For example, gold plated bookmarks and an imitation gold plated bookmark will never look the same.
How Is Gold Plating Different Than Imitation Gold Plating?
Gold plating involves coating a base metal with a layer of actual gold, using a process called electroplating. This involves submerging the base metal into a solution containing gold ions. Also, an electrical current is applied to the solution, causing the gold to bond to the surface of the base metal. The thickness of the gold layer can vary, but it is typically between 0.5 to 2.5 microns thick. Gold plating is commonly used in jewellery, electronic components, and decorative objects.
On the other hand, imitation gold plating, also known as gold-coloured coating, involves coating a base metal. With a layer of a non-gold material that is tinted to resemble gold. This material could be brass, copper, or even plastic. Further, one coats it with a thin layer of a gold-like substance such as titanium nitride or zirconium nitride. The result is a shiny, gold-coloured finish that looks similar to real gold.
While both gold plating and imitation gold plating create a gold-like finish, there are some notable differences between the two. Firstly, gold plating involves the use of real gold, which makes it more expensive than imitation gold plating. The thickness of the gold layer in gold plating also makes it more durable than imitation gold plating. Over time, the layer of imitation gold may wear off, revealing the base metal underneath. Whereas gold plating will maintain its appearance for longer.
Another difference is in the appearance of the finish. While both methods create a shiny, gold-like finish, imitation gold plating may have a slightly different hue than real gold. This is due to the fact that the non-gold base material can affect the final colour of the finish. Additionally, imitation gold plating is a surface coating and not a true plating process. Thus, it may not have the same depth and lustre as real gold.