How Long Will Gold-Plated Jewelry Last?

ALCESTE Necklace by Agape Studio

ALCESTE Necklace by Agape Studio

If you are about to invest in jewelry, you might be wondering, how long will gold-plated jewelry last? And with every right to do so. It is worth questioning if you are making an investment in gold-plated jewelry. After all, we want the things we love to last for as long as possible.

How Long Will Gold-Plated Jewelry Last?

There are several practices and methods that have been developed over the years with the increasing popularity of gold-plated jewelry to help prolong its lifespan and to keep the gold shine from tarnishing and fading away.

To understand the whole process of caring for your gold-plated jewelry and actually investing in the right type of gold-plated jewelry, we will first start with the basics. If you wonder, ‘How long will gold-plated jewelry last?’ here’s what you need to know.


What is Gold-Plated Jewelry?

OLYMPIA Necklace by Agape Studio

OLYMPIA Necklace by Agape Studio

Unlike solid gold, gold-plated jewelry isn’t mixed with gold alloys. Instead, it has a base metal coated with microns of gold. Gold as a metal is very soft and cannot make for jewelry on its own. This is why in solid gold jewelry, gold is mixed with alloys, while in gold-plated jewelry, it is applied on top of base metal.

However, just like the differences between solid gold and gold-plated jewelry, there are also differences between gold-plated jewelry, such as:

  1. The type of base metal it has underneath the gold plating
  2. How many microns of gold is applied to the base metal?
  3. Is it hypoallergenic, nickel, and lead-free?
  4. Is it sustainable and at no additional cost to Mother Nature?

These are all important things to remember when buying gold-plated jewelry because they can significantly affect the longevity of your favorite accessories.

Once the base metal gets covered with gold, it looks exactly the same as solid gold jewelry. However, frustrations can come about once you start wearing your gold-plated jewelry longer. It might begin revealing the base metal underneath, and as it changes the color, it might even cause a skin allergy depending on its base metal material.


Namely, if made with nickel as base metal, your gold-plated jewelry is not safe for your skin. Even if you don’t have any allergies or sensitivities to nickel, jewelry like earrings that stay put on your skin for longer might cause reactions.

To prevent this from happening to you, here’s what you can do:

  1. Buy gold plated jewelry online from trusted places with certifications for their gold sources and the type of base metal they use.
  2. Get gold-plated jewelry with a higher micron cover than the standard of 0.5, preferably around 3 microns of gold. This will increase the protection since gold is the least oxidative metal and can seal other metals to protect them from reacting to water and other chemicals. So, the thicker the layer, the better the protection and the longer the lifespan.
  3. Get gold-plated jewelry that does not contain nickel as its base metal or any other part. Once the thin layer of gold plating starts fading away, the nickel in reaction to your skin might mark your skin and cause allergies.
  4. Using sustainable gold is the highlight of your jewelry. It may not change anything about how your jewelry feels and looks, but it will absolutely give you peace of mind knowing that no mining was done for your gold-plated gems; hence the planet wasn’t further polluted by creating new jewelry pieces.

How to Make Your Gold-Plated Jewelry Last Longer?

GAYA Necklace by Agape Studio

GAYA Necklace by Agape Studio

To address all points we made above regarding what type of gold-plated jewelry you should get, we will only say that at Agapé, we produce exactly the kind of resilient gold-plated jewelry made to last long.

Once we are done 3D modeling our ancient-inspired ideas for jewelry, we cast our jewelry in a brass base metal that is being galvanized to prevent it from rusting.

After the gilding technique is done through multiple steps and all the elements have reached their perfect state, they are ready to receive the noble treatment of gold.

Unlike the industry standard of plating the jewelry with only 0.5 microns of gold, at Agapé, we use a 3-micron gold layer. This ensures that the brass base is covered well and safe from the environmental factors that can make it oxidize. It also significantly slows down the fading away of the gold since there is more material, to begin with.

That being said, we offer a 2-year warranty against oxidation and gilding defects for our entire line of jewelry because we are so confident in our production.


So, How Long Will Gold-Plated Jewelry Last With All These Points in Mind?

MARGOT Ring by Agape Studio

MARGOT Ring by Agape Studio

You can expect your Agapé gold-plated jewelry to last 5 to 6 years before it starts showing signs of wear and tear. However, you can even prolong this with proper care and maintenance, and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t last a lifetime.

Gold is, after all, among the most valuable resources in the world thanks to its durability properties, and as long as it’s cared for properly, it can last a very long time.

Gold-plated jewelry is an excellent alternative to expensive solid gold jewelry because of its irresistible price tag and versatility.

To maintain it, you only need to take an extra step of cleaning from time to time. This process does not require any high-tech materials or tons of time—just some patience and devotion to your favorite gold-plated pieces that enrich your classy style.

  • Soak your gold-plated jewelry in mild soapy water to remove the residue of any chemicals that have gotten in contact with it
  • Don’t expose your gold-plated jewelry to pool water with chlorine, perfume, makeup, or body lotion. Apply these things before your put your jewelry on to limit direct exposure.
  • Don’t wear your gold-plated jewelry to the gym, where it will be exposed to sweat or can be damaged by weights and activity.
Please read our other blogs for more tips and tricks on cleaning your gold-plated jewelry properly to save it from tarnishing.