Thursday 21 February 2013

What are Jewellery Findings and How are They Plated?

What are jewellery findings?
Jewellery findings are the parts used to join jewellery components together to form a completed article.  They come in many forms, a necessity in the art of jewellery making.

Jewellery Findings

Plated metals are a popular choice for jewellery findings.  At International Craft there is a huge range of gold and silver plated findings, perfect for creating earrings, bangles, necklaces, brooches, bracelets and pendants.  Click here for more on jewellery findings at International Craft

What is ‘plated’ and what is the process involved?
Plating means to deposit a metal onto a conductive material, to create a surface.  This surface acts as a decorative finish, protective barrier and helps prevents corrosion.  Most plating is done by a chemical process known as electroplating. The basic metallic item of jewellery is placed in a tank containing a chemical solution and a block of the plating metal. By passing an electric current through the solution, a specific amount of the metal is transferred onto the jewellery.   The electroplating process began in 1800 by a man named Luigi Brugnatelli, an Italian chemist and university professor. Luigi developed the process of gold plating using voltaic electricity and working on a wide variety of metals. Within five years he was able to plate a fine layer of gold on metal plates. There are other methods such as vapour deposition and sputter deposition, these are more commonly used for electronics and household items.

Gold plating is done using 18 or 24 carat gold.  24 carat gold is soft, so alloys can be added to harden it.  Most jewellery plating is done with silver or gold.  White gold is an alloy of gold and another white metal. It is often plated in rhodium to give it a bright white look. Pink or rose gold can also be used in plating.  At International Craft all findings are nickel safe and comply with EU regulations regarding nickel content.

Silver plated ear screw
Silver plating adds a beautiful shine to a more solid metal.

Today there are many companies that will restore plated jewellery by removing any old tarnishing and replacing the gold or silver plating so the item looks new again.

In gold and silver plated findings you will find jump rings, essential jewellery components in the making of jewellery.  Jump rings are circular metal rings with an opening, used to attach clasps, pendants, charms, and other jewellery components.

Plated bails are loop findings that connect a pendant to a chain. Some clip onto the pendant, some have mounts to glue the pendant to, and some attach to a ring on the pendant. The bail helps the pendant to lie flat when worn. 
Gold Plated Bails
There is a huge range of plated earring findings at International Craft, from ear screws to flat pad ear clips, ear clips with drop, safety ear wires, fish hooks, ball ear wires, French drop studs, flat pad studs and scrolls – great choice for the jewellery maker.

The findings at International Craft are not confined to gold and silver plating – there are sterling silver, 9ct gold, gold filled and silver filled pewter, Steampunk and Vintage findings, giving a versatile range for all tastes.

For the whole range of jewellery findings at International Craft, click here.

1 comment:

Silver Plating said...

Thanks, I have just been searching for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I have found out till now.