Silver Plating

September 25, 2011

Silver plating is more often used for antique restoration of hollowware, including cups, bowls, vases & flatware such as trays, plates & dishes. We also electroplate many modern silver plated items where the plating has simply worn through, trophies & medals being most popular. We also receive requests to silver plate solid gold jewellery!

Silver plating is an action which deposits a thin layer of silver onto an electrically conductive surface. The surface, normally a conductive metal base, allows a current to be passed through it to form a complete circuit. The silver particles in the electrolyte solution then bond to the item being electroplated, the item being silver plated is also referred to as the cathode.

  • The minimum thickness for silver plating is 0.5 microns. This is used for decorative purposes on items with minimal handling.
  • Heavy silver plate would be 5+ microns. The normal thickness we apply would be between 5 – 10 microns dependent upon the item & its intended use. This provides a long lasting finish on items such as; antiques, wristwatches, clocks, buckles, trophies & jewellery.

Our silver plating solutions are tarnish resistant, hard wearing & long lasting. A thickness of just 5 microns is often more than adequate for the long term durability of most items if cared for properly.

Please take a look at the photos showing our work in the gallery.
If you would like an item silver plating or you have any questions please contact us.


Wristwatches & Clocks

September 21, 2011

The gold, silver, palladium and platinum plating of modern and vintage watches and clocks, is a great way to rejuvenate your beloved timepieces whether they are just old and worn or scratched from accidental damage. This process involves stripping and polishing before electroplating a precious metal over the base metal. Non-precious metals, such as nickel and chrome, are often utilized as a final finish too.

We also electroplate wristwatch and clock parts such as bracelets, folding buckles, clasps, bezels, cases and crowns. We can also electroplate the markers on your replacement watch dial to compliment the watch it is being fitted to.

Although gold plating is a common electroplated finish we also electroplate wristwatches in silver, white gold and palladium. These often being 18 carat gold plated, we can, of course, colour match selected parts for that perfect finish thus avoiding the need and cost of having to have the whole piece gold plated.

White gold plating is a very popular choice. After all, a 9k yellow gold watch looks beautiful in 18k white gold plate. Platinum also makes a fabulous transformation as well as palladium, palladium being one of the six platinum-group metals. The appearance of palladium is very similar to that of platinum and it offers virtually the same outstanding durability and beauty at a reduced cost.

We can easily produce a bi-metal gold plating effect should you require alternate watch bracelet links electroplated in yellow gold and white gold. This can also be followed through onto the watch case by electroplating the case and bezel in contrasting gold plated finishes. We can electroplate your treasured timepiece in any of the precious metals we offer including; yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and green gold, platinum, palladium and silver. We also offer nickel plating which is often favoured on pocket watches and chains.

The diamond set stainless steel Tag Heuer bracelet shown in our gallery is an example of a selective gold plated bracelet.

Whether your watches and parts have gemstones or enamel inserts presents no problem for the gold electroplating process. Our electroplating bath temperatures and solutions are safe on precious and non-precious stones as well as enamel. Your treasured timepiece will be beautifully enhanced giving it a new lease of life that will last for many years.

We offer a fast and safe gold plating service on all your wristwatches, pocket watches, clocks and parts.

Please feel free to contact us for a no obligation quotation.


Beat-Herder 2011 Music Festival Golden Ticket

May 25, 2011

We were recently asked to gold plate a number of steel tickets for an upcoming music festival taking place over 3 days, 1st, 2nd and 3rd of July 2011.

Beat-Herder is a handmade, music festival held on the first weekend of July in the Ribble Valley, Lovely Lancashire. This year the event is hosting headliners including Leftfield, Simian Mobile Disco, We Have Band, Mr Scruff and many more over 8 stages and three days.

To celebrate this years’ festival the Beat-Herder organisers decided on a golden ticket:

The competition idea: ‘Just like Willy Wonka, (but not in a sinister lock children in a factory style) 5 Beat-Herder ticket orders will be randomly assigned a ‘Golden Ticket’. This is to be very special in several very special ways. Firstly the Golden Ticket order cost will be refunded regardless of the number of tickets, it’ll be totally free. If it’s an order for one ticket, we’ll bump it up to two! Secondly, Golden Ticket holders will get £100 Beat-Herder spending money. Thirdly, if you’re a winner, we’ll meet you on the gate with a weekend’s worth of drinking tokens. Fourthly, you’ll get a voucher for some t-shirts and stuff from the gift shop. Fifthly, we’ll even polish the ticket before it’s sent out. A very special prize!’

Originally we we’re going to have a ticket made from brass, but after realising the ease and cost effectiveness of real gold plated tickets, we couldn’t resist treating the winners to a proper souvenir on top of the rest of the prize.

More details on the festival and the golden tickets can be found by visiting the Beat-Herder website at www.beatherder.co.uk.


Gold Plated iPod Nano

January 30, 2010

The iPod Nano is a portable media player designed and marketed by Apple. The iPod Nano has gone through five models, or generations, since its introduction. The current fifth generation supports FM radio, video recording, a microphone for voice memos, a pedometer, and a slightly larger screen than that of the previous generation.

The iPod we have recently 24 carat gold plated is the 4th generation iPod Nano and can be seen in the picture blow.


Due to the construction of the unit and the process involved of preparing the aluminium casing for the gold plating process, the iPod had to be completely disassembled. Only then could the pink aluminium body be de-anodized, polished and nickel plated before being ready to accept the final 24 carat pure gold plating.

Although any iPod can successfully undergo the gold plating process, there are a few things to take into consideration when attempting to do so. Some iPods are simpler than others to gold plate. For example, iPods with a stainless steel back can be electroplated safely and easily without taking the unit apart.

This whole process of disassembly does, of course, void any guarantee in force with Apple.



Gold Plated AK-47 Assault Rifle

December 26, 2009

The AK-47 (or Avtomat Kalashnikova) is a gas operated 7.62mm assault rifle, first developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the early 1940s. The AK-47 stands for Kalashnikov automatic rifle, model of 1947.

An early development of the design was the AKS-47 (S—Skladnoy or ‘folding’), which was equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock, as can be seen here in the first photo below. This was very useful in confined spaces.

Being well known for its reliability it is gas operated, using the gas from the barrel to push the piston attached to the bolt carrier to operate the action. The gas tube is fairly large and visible in the first picture below just above the barrel. The vents, seen more clearly in the gold plated portion of the gas tube, are there to allow the excess gas to escape without affecting the action. The AK-47 is built with generous clearances, allowing it to function easily in dirty environments needing virtually no maintenance. It is very simple to disassemble and clean, and easily maintainable.

Prior to gold plating , the whole gun had to be stripped, degreased and polished. This process took many hours to complete – including 5 hours of polishing before the gold plating process could even be started.

As can be seen in the photo below, the end product is a stunning 24 carat gold plated, mirror finish, AK47 Assault Rifle and will make a superb display/collectors piece.

The video below explains in detail the workings of the AK-47 and demonstrates an excellent comparison between the AK-47 and the American M16.

The AK-47 was one of the first true assault rifles, in fact more of a machine gun than a rifle. Even after six decades, due to its outstanding durability, ultra low production cost and ease of use in the field, it’s still the most widely used and popular assault rifle in the world. It has seen service with armed forces the world over as well as irregular, revolutionary and terrorist groups worldwide.

For more photos from this AK47 gold plating project please see our gallery page.

If you would like an item gold plating please use our contact form for a quote.


Jewellery Makeover

November 27, 2009

It is becoming increasingly common for our customers to request a jewellery makeover. This involves electroplating a precious metal over an existing precious metal, or even over non-precious metals such as stainless steel as can be seen in the images below. The image below shows the stainless steel ring polished prior to gold plating.

Currently platinum over gold is very popular as is silver over copper. We can give your existing jewellery a makeover in any of the following precious metals; 9-24 carat yellow gold plating, white gold, rose gold, platinum, palladium and silver. We can even selectively plate your treasured piece in a combination of precious metals, for example, gold and platinum for a 2-tone finish. See our gallery page for examples.

The following image shows the ring in its completed state – 9 carat gold plated.

Palladium is one of the six platinum group metals and is becoming increasingly popular due to its platinum-like appearance. Palladium is a less expensive alternative to platinum and offers excellent durability.

Having a jewellery makeover will not only greatly enhance its beauty and give it a new lease of life but is hard wearing and will last for many years if cared for properly. If you would like a quotation or advice please use our contact form.


Desert Eagle .357 Magnum

November 24, 2009

The Desert Eagle hand gun is one of the most popular firearms in the world, due to its size and numerous roles in movies, first appearing in ‘The Year of the Dragon’ a 1984 action movie starring Mickey Rourke and in video games such as ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’ on the PS3. The Desert Eagle Magnum has since become a legend.

The desert Eagle .357 Magnum, pictured below, came to us in its original factory black finish and had to be stripped and mirror polished prior to the final finish, as per our customer’s request.

The gun can be seen below finished in chrome prior to reassembly. The same mirror finish could have been applied in any of the precious metals we electroplate, including; silver, palladium, platinum, rose gold, white gold and yellow gold 9-24 carat.

The Desert Eagle provided superior power in a fast-firing automatic pistol design. How serious? From the Desert Eagle’s 6″ barrel, the larger .50 AE cartridge will shoot a 300gm bullet at 1500 feet per second. Basically, 40-50% more punch than .44 Magnum six-gun offers.

The Desert Eagle .357 magnum is considered the king of handguns.


Gold Plated SAS Knife

November 24, 2009

The Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife pictured below shows the typical before and after images of the type of work we can do and the finish we can achieve. The image below shows the knife prior to stripping, polishing and electroplating.

The following image shows the completed knife which has had the blade thick nickel plated with a 24 carat gold plated grip.

The knife is double-edged with a foil grip developed by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes in Shanghai before World War II. This was made famous during the War when issued to British commandos, including the SAS. The knife is so symbolic of British Commandos that a solid gold Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife is part of the commandos’ memorial at Westminster Abbey. The knife features in the insignia of the Dutch Commando Corps, founded in the UK during WWII, the Australian 2nd Commando Regiment, and also the British Royal Marines.


Antique Silver Restoration

November 24, 2009

Antique restoration is a skill that requires great attention to detail and respect for the item being worked upon. Silverware ranging from antique hollowware, including cups, bowls, and the like and flatware such as trays, plates and dishes are all ideal candidates for restoration. Due to their age, antiques are often fragile and require a delicate hand. However, just as important, is the attention to preserving the original integrity of the piece. Interestingly enough, what gives an antique its charm and value, often referred to as patina, must be matched carefully when performing restoration. This way, the antique will be preserved rather than ruined.

One way to restore silver antiques is by re-plating the old surface with a new one. Commonly employing silver plating to do so, antique restorers will cover the old, damaged surface with a new coating of silver. Easy in theory but in practice a lot more work is usually involved. In the example photo below you can see how an item often comes in to us for restoration. This antique flatware required a large amount of prep work including four polishing stages before the electroplating took place.
silver_tray_before
Finally, the application of silver was done through a process known as electroplating. Electroplating involves coating a conductive surface with an electrolyte containing the actual silver. This is an excellent method to brighten up and restore new life to antique silver pieces such as silverware, bowls, teapots and like items. In preserving the original shape of the object, its function is preserved while its look is greatly enhanced as you can see in the image of the finished item below.
silver_tray_after

The trick with antique restoration is to take away or cover just enough of the damage in order to allow the natural age, and the beauty that comes with that age, to shine through. One must keep in mind that they are restoring rather than remaking. If the owner of the antique wanted a brand new sugar bowl for their table, they would simply go to the store and purchase a new one. Instead, they choose to retain their antique piece and, with a little gentle antique restoration, bring out its unique and original charm.

For more information, or if you would like your antique silverware restoring, please use our contact form.


Watch Bands & Rings

October 25, 2009

Whether or not a watch band can be gold electroplated depends entirely on the material it is made from. If it is made of stainless steel, most jewellers do not have the capability to electroplate the band adequately. If they can do it the plate would likely be quite thin and quickly wear through. Also, if the band has steel parts in it, electroplating solutions can be contaminated. You will find that it is quite difficult to find a jeweller who would attempt a watch band.

Jewellers often send watch bracelets out for plating, as well as rings, bracelets and necklaces. They will generally go to a plating company specializing in that type of work with high level equipment and experience to be able to electroplate thick enough for lasting durability. Jewellers often send items to us for estimates and to ensure they get the work done properly.

Unlike a watch band, gold plating a ring would not be difficult for any jeweller with gold plating equipment and solutions. Though, the thickness and durability of the gold plate cannot be guaranteed with most jewellery store gold plating services done in-house. For guaranteed results, we would suggest your items be sent to us at Pure Gold Plating.

Various items sold on internet auction sites for colouring metals and adding a microscopic silver or gold colour generally do not last long and are not effective overall. Purchasers of such items often find this form of plating will only last a few weeks, if that.

Rhodium is a precious metal often used in jewellery and is one of the six platinum group metals. Rhodium, as well as palladium, is a less expensive alternative to platinum. Palladium is becoming more widely used in place of rhodium due to its platinum-like appearance, excellent durability and cost. A very useful application for palladium is electroplating palladium over silver. Not only does this increase durability of the silver but ensures that the silver does not tarnish!

These plated finishes are hard wearing and may not need to be redone for many years if cared for properly.


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