Jewellery

What Types of Wedding Bands Have Plated Metal?

How Do I Know If A Ring Is Plated?

A reputable jeweler will disclose it to you. Here are some more clues:

  • A low price is a dead giveaway. Generally, plated rings aren’t (and shouldn’t be!) priced over $50 unless they also contain another valuable element such as a gemstone. One exception is a solid, white gold ring with rhodium plating.
  • The hallmark/stamp inside the ring:
    • GP = gold plated
    • GEP = gold electroplated
    • HGE = heavy gold electroplate
    • HGP = heavy gold plate
    • 925 = silver, but if the ring is yellow or rose in color, it’s plated

Any tungsten, titanium, cobalt chrome, silver or stainless steel that is not “silver” is plated.

Are Gold Plated Wedding Bands Valuable?

No. Gold plated jewelry is created through electroplating a very thin layer of gold (.17 microns – 2.5 microns for heavy gold plate) that can’t be extracted in any measurable amount for reselling purposes. One exception, a solid gold ring plated with rhodium holds high value as its primarily composed of solid gold with a thin, outer layer of rhodium to make it white.

Fun Fact: The electroplating process was invented by an Italian chemist, Luigi Brugnatelli, in 1805.

Cost of Plated Vs. Solid Metal Ring

Low-cost materials (e.g. only trace amounts of gold) and they are easy to mass-produce.

Many overseas manufacturers offer plated rings for a very low wholesale cost. They are resold through online stores and by sellers on marketplaces such as Amazon and the Wish app.

We bought a rose gold tungsten wedding band on the Wish app and gave it a closer look. Check out our video that illustrates exactly why you should think twice about buying a plated ring, even if it’s 81 cents.

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