Gold has been used as a currency and investment for thousands of years. It has always been recognized as one of the most reliable and valuable forms of wealth. Many people choose to invest in gold jewelry, gold coins, and gold bullion instead of other more volatile investments like stocks. Gold plating is a common practice used on many items to give them a more luxurious look or to improve their appearance. When you buy an item that has been plated, you may not be aware that it wasn’t truly made from pure gold. However, this doesn’t mean that the item was tarnished by the process or that it is any less valuable than it was before being plated. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about the effects of gold-plating on brass items, including its pros and cons, common mistakes to avoid, alternative methods for protecting your brass items from tarnish if you choose to go that route, and tips for cleaning your brass items if you have any tarnish build up on them or to restore them to their original luster once again.
Does Gold Plated Brass Tarnish?
Yes, gold-plated brass tarnishes over time. The rate at which it does so depends on several factors, including the quality of the gold plating and the environment in which it’s used. In general, though, gold-plated brass will start to tarnish within a few months to a year if it’s not regularly cleaned and polished.
Why Should You Care About Tarnish On Brass?
1. It Can Affect The Look And Value Of Your Item
Tarnish on brass can make it appear dull, faded, and less attractive. This can significantly reduce the value of your item if you are looking to sell it or trade it in.
2. It Can Lead To Corrosion
If the tarnish is left untreated, it can cause corrosion on the surface of your brass item, which can damage its structure and make it unusable.
3. It Can Be Unsightly
Tarnish on brass items is not only unattractive, but it can also be embarrassing when you have guests over or when you display your items in public.
4. It Can Be Difficult To Remove
Tarnish on brass can be difficult to remove, and if it’s not done correctly, it can leave behind unsightly marks.
5. It Can Affect The Performance Of Your Item
Tarnish on brass can affect the performance of your item, as it can reduce its electrical conductivity and cause it to become less efficient.
6. It Can Be Expensive To Repair
If tarnish has caused corrosion, it can be expensive to repair, as the entire item may need to be replaced.
7. It Can Cause Health Problems
Tarnish on brass can be hazardous to your health, as it can contain lead and other toxins.
How Does Gold Plating Work?
The first step in gold-plating a brass item is to clean it thoroughly. This will help remove any dirt, dust, or oils that may be present on the surface of the brass before gold-plating begins.
Once the item has been cleaned, it is ready for gold-plating. Gold-plating involves coating the surface of the brass item with a layer of gold. This can be done through electroplating or chemical plating processes.
After the gold-plated brass item has dried, it is ready for finishing touches such as buffing and polishing to give it a beautiful shine and protect it from tarnish and corrosion.
Regular maintenance is required to keep the gold-plated brass item looking its best. This includes regularly cleaning and polishing the item to prevent tarnish and corrosion.
If the gold-plated brass item becomes damaged, it may need to be re-plated or repaired. This can be done by a professional goldsmith or jeweler.
If the damage to the gold-plated brass item is too severe, it may need to be replaced with a new one.
How To Protect Your Brass Items From Tarnishing
Remove Moisture From Storage
When you’re not using your brass items, keep them in an airtight container or storage bag to prevent any water from getting inside. If you have them stored in a closet or under the bed, you may want to place a dehumidifier in the room to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. If you keep your brass items in a cabinet, remove any items that you’re not using so they don’t come into contact with any excess moisture. A damp cabinet can cause metal items to rust, so make sure to keep them away from moisture.
Don’t Leave Water Sitting
If you’re planning to store your brass items in a cabinet, leave the tap running while you’re not in the room to remove any excess moisture. If you have a cabinet in a bathroom, make sure that the water remains on so that any excess moisture doesn’t get into the cabinet. Do not leave water sitting in a container because it can cause water stains on your brass items. The harder the water is, the more likely it is to leave stains on your brass.
Use A Dry Eraser Sponge For Polish
A dry eraser sponge is an excellent tool for polishing your brass items. Dry eraser sponges are made from a synthetic sponge material that is soft and sponge-like. They have a flat side that removes dust and fingerprints, and a smooth side for polishing metal. To polish your brass items with a dry eraser sponge, rub it against the item to remove any fingerprints and dust from the surface. Then, polish the item with the sponge so that it leaves a glossy finish. If you’re planning to store your brass items in a cabinet, use a clean dry eraser sponge to remove any water stains before polishing the brass.
Polish With A Brass Brush Or Duster
Brass brushes and duster materials are excellent tools for polishing your brass items. Brass brushes are usually made of fibrous material with a wooden handle. They are popular because they are very soft on brass, so polishing your brass items with a bristle brass brush is gentle on the metal. Brass brushes are an excellent choice for polishing brass items because they don’t scratch the surface. They are also very durable, so you don’t have to worry about them falling apart like a cheaper bristle brush.
Check Your Brass Item Before Storing It
Before storing your brass items in a cabinet or cabinet drawer, make sure to polish them so that any tarnish is removed. This will ensure that your brass items stay tarnish-free when they’re in storage. Brass will tarnish over time because the metal doesn’t have a coating that protects it from the elements. Therefore, it’s important to keep brass items well-polished to prevent tarnishing. If you know that you will be storing your brass item in a cabinet or cabinet drawer, polish it before putting it away to prevent tarnishing. Keep in mind that you may be holding your brass items in a very damp environment, so you may want to periodically wipe down the cabinet or cabinet drawer to remove any excess moisture.
Keep Tarnish At Bay With A Tarnish Remover
While it may be tempting to reach for a quick shine product after polishing your brass items, you should resist the urge. Instead, place a clean dry eraser sponge over the shine product to absorb any excess shine. If you’re planning to keep your brass items in a damp environment, invest in a tarnish remover. There are many tarnish removers available, but a mild one is best for polishing brass items. A mild tarnish remover will not remove the shine from your brass items, so you won’t have to polish them again. It’s also important to use a mild tarnish remover in a well-ventilated area because strong-scented products can irritate your nose and throat.
The Benefits Of Gold Plating
1. Enhanced Aesthetics
Gold plating is a great way to add a luxurious and stylish look to any item. Gold plating can give any piece of jewelry or metal item an expensive and attractive sheen. Gold-plated items will stand out from the crowd, making them perfect for special occasions or just for everyday wear.
Gold plating is very durable and can last for years with proper care. It is resistant to corrosion, so it won’t rust or tarnish like other metals. It also doesn’t require frequent polishing, so you won’t have to worry about it losing its shine over time.
Gold plating is an affordable way to add a touch of gold to your items without breaking the bank. You can find gold-plated items at many different price points, making it easy to find something that fits your budget.
4. Environmental Benefits
Gold plating is an environmentally friendly way to add an elegant touch to any item. Gold plating does not produce any toxic emissions, so it is safe for the environment. Additionally, gold plating uses less metal than solid gold items, which helps to conserve resources.
Gold plating can help to protect items from corrosion and wear. It provides a protective barrier that helps to keep your items looking new for longer.
The Drawbacks Of Gold Plating
Gold plating is very delicate and can easily be scratched or damaged. It is not as durable as solid gold, so it needs to be treated with care. Gold-plated items should be kept away from harsh chemicals and abrasive materials to avoid damage.
2. Poor Adhesion
If not done correctly, gold plating can have poor adhesion and may start to peel off over time. This can cause the item to look worn or tarnished, which may reduce its aesthetic value. To ensure proper adhesion, it is important to have gold plating done by a professional who has experience in this area.
Gold plating can be more expensive than other types of metal plating because of the cost of the gold itself. This means that it may not always be an affordable option for everyone. However, the long-term benefits of gold plating make it an attractive choice for those who want their items to look luxurious and last a long time.
4. Limited Availability
Gold plating is not widely available in all areas, so it may be difficult to find a professional who can do the job. It’s important to do your research and find a reputable service provider who has experience with gold plating.
Whether you are purchasing a new item or an old one, it is important to make sure that the item is truly tarnish-free before you buy it. You can check for this by testing the item to see if it has any tarnish on it and if so, by placing it in a container filled with water. Once you are sure that the item is tarnish-free, you can protect it from tarnish by using a quality brass polish and keeping it dry whenever possible.