That is the question...
I am asked a lot about plating so I thought I should cover it in a blog article.
We plate many of our items in yellow gold, rose gold, black plating etc. All of our items are plated using a process called ION plating, or IP for short. A great example of ION plating would be golf clubs. Golf clubs take a beating out there on the course. While not scratch proof, they are very scratch resistant.
Plating got a bad rap in the late 20th century and for good reason. Many times it was as easy as scratching with a fingernail to remove it.
Then came electroplating. Which was a huge jump in technology, yet still came up short for durability. Again, the plating would wear very quickly.
Eventually a type of "electroplate" was developed using ion bonding which resulted in a product that was much more durable and lasting. This is commonly known as IP in the jewelry industry. While not perfect, ION plating is considered the most durable and lasting plating technique on earth.
Does this mean your piece of jewelry will always retain its finish? Simply put no, it will not. However, it is as good as it is going to get with today's tech.
With normal conditions ION plating should last approximately 2-3 years, however this can be affected by many factors. Exposing the plating to chemicals, like hand sanitizer, or dish soap, can damage the finish. Some types of body chemistry can wear the plate prematurely as well. While scratch resistant, it is not scratch proof and a sharp object can scratch it. We recommend removing your jewelry when working with tools, etc. The more rubbing of the surface area, the more wear. Simple physics.
The reality is, there will never be a true scratch and wear proof plating and this is why. Gold is inherently soft in nature. Because of this even the best plating will eventually wear off. Following the care instructions we provide with your item will ensure you enjoy years of enjoyment however, and our plated items are some of our most stunning!
If your desire is a durable ring, that will stand the test of time, never tarnish or scratch, and last generations, invest in a unplated tungsten band. If you are not averse to normal wear over time choose a plated item. Either way you go the ring itself will last for many, many years regardless. Tungsten Carbide is truly the king of metals and lasts like no other.