How Long Does Gold Plated Jewelry Last? And How To Care For It

If you’re planning to buy gold plated jewelry you’ll have a lot of questions. How to care for it? How long does gold plated jewelry last? Is it real gold or not? Does gold plated jewelry tarnish? All these questions and many similar ones confuse first-time buyers. In this article, we’ve answered all the questions that you’ll have in mind about gold plated jewelry. So let’s get straight into it. 

What is gold plated jewelry?

It’s a piece of metal jewelry (nickel, brass, silver, steel, or copper) that is covered with a thin layer of gold. It gives the jewelry a gold-like shine and appearance. Since it’s not completely made of gold it’s more affordable. If you can’t manage solid gold you can go for gold plated jewelry. 

How long does gold plated jewelry last?

On average it lasts for about 2 to 5 years, after that it starts to tarnish and the shine wears off. However, the way you store it, take care of it, and how often you wear it decides the ultimate duration of your gold plated jewelry.

Why does gold plated jewelry tarnish? 

Gold is a metal that doesn’t corrode then why does gold plated jewelry tarnish? From a common man’s perspective, it shouldn’t tarnish as it has gold over it. However, it’s not completely gold. It has a base metal and that metal is the reason for its tarnishing. 

Let’s see what base metal has to do with tarnishing. Over time the molecules of the base metal accumulate in the gold layer and affect its appearance. Then they start to corrode which ultimately corrodes the jewelry piece. The thicker the plated gold layer is the longer the base metal will take to affect the gold layer.  

Is gold plated jewelry real gold jewelry? 

Is gold plated jewelry considered fake? This is a question a lot of people ask, so let’s answer it.  

The gold which is used to layer the metal is real gold, but it’s just a thin layer. You can’t say the jewelry piece is real gold as there’s a base metal beneath the gold layer. Real gold jewelry is completely made of gold. So in short although gold plated jewelry has a real gold layer, the jewelry piece is not a real gold piece.

How long does gold plated jewellery last?

How to maintain gold plated jewelry? 

Now let’s see how you should take care of gold plated jewelry to make it last longer. 

     1. Avoid friction: 

Don’t let plated jewelry come in contact with other jewelry or with any other thing. This can damage the plated layer and it can flake off exposing the base metal. 

     2. Regular cleaning:

Sweat can also damage the gold layer. It’s better to wipe off your plated jewelry with a soft cloth or tissue after wearing it. It’ll take you less than 3 minutes to clean it but this will have a significant impact on your jewelry’s life.

     3. Don’t wear it on the beach or in pools: 

Keep your gold plated jewelry away from seawater and chlorinated water. Means don’t wear it in pools and on the beach. The minerals and chemicals can react with the thin gold layer which will damage it.

     5. Store properly:

Store your gold plated jewelry separate from the artificial one. To avoid friction store them in a container having small compartments. That’s an ideal storage method for jewelry. 

    6. Keep gold plated jewelry away from chemicals:

Don’t let it come in contact with products like perfumes, makeup, moisturizer, hairspray, and sunscreen. These and other such products have chemicals that can damage the gold layer. So it’s better to wear gold plated jewelry after you’re Completely ready and have applied perfume as well. 

    7. Deep cleaning:

To maintain the shine clean it using mild soap water and a soft cloth. In a bowl pour some water and mild soap. Let the plated jewelry sink in for 10 to 15 minutes. Take it out and wipe it with a soft cloth. You can do this twice a month. This will eliminate dirt and body oils. 

     8. Avoid water: 

While washing your hands or coming in contact with water take off your gold plated jewelry. Wear it back when you’re properly dried. 

What to do if the gold plating is tarnishing or fading? 

Try cleaning it with soap water and a soft cloth. In a bowl pour some water and mild soap. Let the jewelry sink in it for 10 to 15 minutes. Take it out and wipe it with a soft cloth. If still your gold plated jewelry is dull you’ll need professional help. Polishing or replating will bring it back to life. 

Is gold plated jewelry worth a resale? 

No, it’s not a good option to resale it to make a profit out of it. Gold smiths can’t extract gold from plated jewelry since the layer is so thin. And you can’t resale it for a profit. The quality of the gold (10K to 24K) used to layer the jewelry doesn’t create much difference in the price and its worth cause the amount of gold used is very less. 

Frequently asked questions: 

    1. Can you shower with gold plated jewelry? 

No, you can’t shower with gold plated jewelry unless you’re fine with its ruin. As mentioned above water can damage the thin gold layer. It’s best to take off any plated jewelry before taking a shower. Before wearing it again properly dry yourself. 

     2. Is gold plated jewelry worth it? 

Yes, it’s worth buying for wearing. Gold plated jewelry gives you the same shine and appearance as solid gold. It’s extremely affordable compared to the price of solid gold. Moreover, if you care for it it’ll last you years, unlike costume jewelry. 

If you’re planning to resale it to make a profit then it’s not worth it. The amount of gold used in plating is too less for goldsmiths to extract.

     3. Why do people buy gold plated jewelry? 

Because gold plated jewelry offers the same luster and shines as real solid gold while giving budget-friendly prices. You can’t tell the difference between solid gold and plated one just by looking at it. 


On average gold plated jewelry lasts for 2 years. However, the exact duration of your plated jewelry will depend on how you take care of it and how often you wear it. 

We’ve discussed some simple steps to make plated jewelry last longer. If your gold plated layer is damaged or tarnished already you can get it replated. It’ll make it new again. 

Shanzay Aziz