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Why is Non-Plated WG Viewed so Negatively in the Industry??

Cosmetologist

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 20, 2018
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153
I recently took my 18k WG RB & Baguette Half Eternity Band to it's Yearly Check up lol but this Year I opted not to have it Re-Rhodium Plated as I find on my Fingers the Shiny Rhodium Finish doesn't last too long with daily wear & goes almost foggy before long - When I mentioned this to my Jeweller he strongly urged me against having "Bare Naked WG" saying it will look dull/lack lustre & that I should instead opt for the Rhodium Plating again - I'd like to add this yearly Polish & Plate service is free so there is no Financial Gain for the Jeweller so I just wondered why Unplated WG is viewed almost Taboo by some Jewellers/Vendors.

I absolutely adore the Unplated Polished End Result much more than the Rhodium Plated Finish the Soft Muted Gold Colour is Beautiful & at the moment it has a stunning Mirrored finish high Shine as you can see in the Pics but I look forward to seeing its natural Patina after a few months of wear - I understand that it's all personal preference but what is the overall Motive to push Rhodium Plating in the Jewellery Industry?

Is it give Pieces a Higher Shine/Sheen under the Store Lights? Or to encourage Customers to come back Annually to have them Replated?

Questions, Questions lol I hope this doesn't seem a Dumb Topic but after my Jewellers reaction I needed a wider consensus :geek2:

inCollage_20200217_193758996.jpg
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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5,495
I don't know - I've wondered this too. But then "the industry" as represented by jewelers I encounter irl who I didn't find from PS recommendations often seems to have a lot of strange ideas.
 

PreRaphaelite

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 2, 2015
Messages
2,184
It also helps hide dings that might have been polished out.

Personally I prefer unplated gold and I make sure to detail that on my requests. It’s such a hassle! While we are on the subject, it also annoys me to have to do battle with the clerk every time I ask to have “DO NOT POLISH” in red ink written on the repair ticket.... oooh they don’t like me.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
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55,611
Unplated "white" gold is actually not white gold at all to me. It is light yellow gold. 18k is about 75% pure gold and 14k is about 58% gold. So it's more yellow gold than white no matter what the alloy is. It's only the plating that makes it actually white!

So I think the answer to the original question is, if one wants "white" gold, you have to have rhodium plating to achieve white metal. If you want light yellow gold, then you can use the white gold alloy and don't plate it! The ring at the top looks yellow gold to me. Very pretty!
 

PreRaphaelite

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 2, 2015
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It sort of looks ivory-beige-ish to me, which is a good pairing with my stones (off-white) for the most part.

Edited to add.... that makes me wonder; does anyone have large white stones set in unplated?
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
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7,471
Interesting.

I often do unplated 18kt white gold jewelry. It can actually be much whiter than 14kt white gold, depending on how it is alloyed, which seems contrary to logic, but it is.

Platinum of course is white with white alloys so it needs no plating to look white.

Wink
 

Cosmetologist

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 20, 2018
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153
Thank-You to everyone for the info so far its a fascinating subject!

Culturally I personally think we are lead to believe WG Needs Replating & Bare Polishing alone is Taboo - Also it just dawned on me a Handshot of the Ring against my Skin tone would better portray the actual Gold Tone lol

@diamondseeker2006 Thank-You & that is actually very true lol! It is only the Plating that actually makes it WG I suppose in reality Non-Plated WG is just a Softer Muted colour of YG either way I most definitely prefer the Muted Pale Colour of the Yellow/White Gold lol

AirBrush_20200218014234.jpg
 

EAB

Rough_Rock
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Feb 20, 2014
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So I’m wondering is all white gold initially plated, even pieces that won’t get as much wear as rings, like earrings and pendants? And is Rhodium plating a somewhat modern practice? Were rings from say the 50’s or earlier Rhodium plated?
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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My engagement ring was unplated white gold for 18 odd years. I preferred that colour.
When I had the ring remade I went with Rhodium plating on 18ct white gold because for some reason the metal looked more “yellowish” than my first ring? .And yes, it needs re doing every year with daily wear. The underneath side only lasts like 4 months of wear but whatever.
 

gregchang35

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 11, 2012
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I prefer the unplated WG look. I have a few pieces and I let it patina... I don’t repolish/ re plate it.... if something needs repair, it goes to the jeweler and they replate it... it’s ok cos then I go- wow- so white... I lvoe that too.

i get to enjoy the whiteness for a bit and then really enjoy the unplated look later...

as for the jeweler doing it as part of the service-and you don’t want it, I would stipulate it...he hasn’t given a good enough reason to replate it apart from - you can’t have it naked/ bare. It’s your ring... unless- it is written in fine print thst the replating is necessary for their “warranty/ service “ agreement.
 

Cosmetologist

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 20, 2018
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I prefer the unplated WG look. I have a few pieces and I let it patina... I don’t repolish/ re plate it.... if something needs repair, it goes to the jeweler and they replate it... it’s ok cos then I go- wow- so white... I lvoe that too.

i get to enjoy the whiteness for a bit and then really enjoy the unplated look later...

as for the jeweler doing it as part of the service-and you don’t want it, I would stipulate it...he hasn’t given a good enough reason to replate it apart from - you can’t have it naked/ bare. It’s your ring... unless- it is written in fine print thst the replating is necessary for their “warranty/ service “ agreement.
Great point to raise @gregchang35 ! I have to admit I didn't consider that & it would make sense although I think my Jeweller was just dubious about me actually liking the Bare Gold as this was the 3rd Year I've had the Ring serviced & each time I opted for the Replate & like you I Loved the initial mirrored finish White sheen but with it being such a thick Band it soon gets dull especially at the back with Daily Wear lol

Over the Past few years my preferences have changed I was always a White Metal Fan but the last few custom pieces have been either Yellow or Rose Gold the latest piece a Mix of 18YG with Plat, I find the Unplated WG Mixes better with my other pieces at the moment but who knows next Year I could opt for the Replating lol :lol-2:
 

Cosmetologist

Shiny_Rock
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Jan 20, 2018
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Side question now but has anyone here/seen got any Green Gold Pieces?

I'm absolutely dying to see a Piece of Green Gold IRL as the Standardised images on the Web aren't really easy to make out some of it just looks like high purity Unplated WG well to me anyways o_O
 

gregchang35

Ideal_Rock
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2,758
I have only seen green gold on Etsy. It is an interesting colour. I went wow- cos it was different. I got a cheap green ring and I actually like it. But the cheap green ring was green compared to the green gold. Green gold, which you have described as I woudl have - unplated WG and, for me, with a slight tinge of green.

To answer your question- I do not own a green gold piece.
 

sledge

Ideal_Rock
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Interesting.

I often do unplated 18kt white gold jewelry. It can actually be much whiter than 14kt white gold, depending on how it is alloyed, which seems contrary to logic, but it is.

Platinum of course is white with white alloys so it needs no plating to look white.

Wink
Just curious but what alloy mixtures does HPD offer. This was a big deal to me and my wife. She likes the shiny of plated WG. I prefer the maintenance free, patina and slightly duller look of platinum.

When doing her ring I opted for a WG/palladium alloy that is white and doesn't require plating.

I know your bench has a stellar rep so it wouldn't surprise me if they offered a similar solution. It just seems rare is all.

And while I still prefer platinum, I think it can be a good option for those that enjoy the white look without the maintenance.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
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This! Anything to get them in the door.
It would not be untrue to say that over the years yearly inspections have saved millions of diamonds from being lost from the setting.
During a busy day at a mid sized store it would not be usual for there to be 2-3 settings found to have prong issues that could potentially lead to loss.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
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The answer to the question in my opinion is tradition and what has been handed down from trainer to trainee over the years.
 

Jimmianne

Ideal_Rock
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The answer to the question in my opinion is tradition and what has been handed down from trainer to trainee over the years.
And it’s what the « average » buyer expects. Shiny shiny setting, RB.
At least I assume, as stores are chock full of these things.
When I had my avatar set by a traditionalist, I was quite clear that the setting be unplated. Several days later he proudly presented the ring to me...plated.
 

Sunstorm

Brilliant_Rock
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I don’t think it’s taboo at all. It is just that there are two camps; one insists on plating, the other on not plating. Customers could be “lured into” the store by yearly cleaning/polishing too. It does not have to be plating.

Personally I do not plate anything. Not only it comes off but I prefer the natural look of gold and it has been stated the color can be very white depending on what the alloy is. I absolutely hate the cheap, fake look of plated gold. It also brings out the yellow tint in stones below H while unplated WG masks some tint. As to large white diamonds, they look amazing in unplated WG. Antique/vintage styles in particular look even worse in plated gold.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,608
Usually it’s plated because your average shopper tends to prefer the ultra shiny, white chrome look. And unplated standard “white” gold doesn’t look like that. However, there are white gold mixes that don’t need plating, but most mall stores don’t use those.
 

doberman

Brilliant_Rock
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I have palladium wg rings and have never had them plated. Same with my Love bracelet. But I do think the rhodium plating is probably good at masking any scratches in the gold.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
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Just curious but what alloy mixtures does HPD offer. This was a big deal to me and my wife. She likes the shiny of plated WG. I prefer the maintenance free, patina and slightly duller look of platinum.

When doing her ring I opted for a WG/palladium alloy that is white and doesn't require plating.

I know your bench has a stellar rep so it wouldn't surprise me if they offered a similar solution. It just seems rare is all.

And while I still prefer platinum, I think it can be a good option for those that enjoy the white look without the maintenance.
Thank you Sledge,

Our custom work alloy and our HP Line in house settings are 18kt palladium alloy. Some of our designers and manufacturing partners use traditional white gold so it is always best to ask.

Wink
 
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