Gold plating and PVD coating
Gold plating is the process of adding gold to the surface of jewelry. PVD coating is a more molecular bonding process. It maintains adhesion better. It's used for base metals, imitation jewelry metals, not pure gold or platinum. Manufacturers, not jewelers, use PVD coating processes such as gold on watches. PVD coating is done on hundreds or thousands of workpieces at once in a vacuum setup. Several pieces of gold can be electroplated at a time. Electroplating gold does not require a vacuum to work.
The basic point of many problems is that gold PVD coatings are not made of gold. Plating gold is real gold PVD can also be plated with real gold.
Wear Notch Plating and PVD Coating Wear Behavior
Electroplated gold behaves significantly differently than PVD-coated "gold". Gold plating wears off slowly, thinning out areas that regularly touch objects. As the plating wears, it may look faded, or if plated on sterling silver, the color underneath it will darken where it wears thinner gold.
PVD coatings do not wear down slowly. It tends to come off in small lumps or notches. When the PVD coating peels off, it usually shows a different color underneath the coating peeling off. This is because PVD coatings are performed on base metals that do not exhibit or maintain the desired metallic color. PVD coating is harder than gold plating and lasts longer.
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