Jewellery Care Guide
Please ensure that you read our care instructions prior to purchasing. It is important to know how to look after your beautiful Franki pieces and keep them sparkling like new, for as long as possible.
GOLD PLATING (GENERAL INFO)
Plating with gold or silver is a very complex process. There are many considerations in buying plated jewellery and the level of expectations with plating need to be managed too, so we thought we would make sure to share our knowledge with you.
Plating is done in ‘microns’ and each micron is actually half the thickness of a human hair. We use 3 microns for earrings, for studs, rings and bangles and cuffs. This is across the board industry standard. It is reflected in the prices we charge for our jewellery too. A lot of cheaper jewellery has 0.5 to 1.5 microns and within a month has lost it's colour. Very fine rings with wire shanks will come off a lot easier than say larger drop earrings, because the rings are nearer the body and pick up dirt and oils along the way.
The process involves a tank of liquid chemicals and a mix of gold solution, that are charged with catalyst materials. The cleaned jewellery pieces are submerged into the liquid and electrodes are put in place, to attract the gold to the piece. It’s all in the timing. The plating is either watched and checked or put on timer to make sure it is taken out at the correct time. As liquid is a fluid thing, gold moves around in the solution much like soap in water. It is not all equal in parts all the time. We do our best to make sure that we are careful and consistent with the mix, but it is the nature of the best also that it plays it’s own way quite often.
YELLOW GOLD PLATING ON SILVER 925
We clean the jewellery first before it has a bath and we put a layer of another metal (palladium - which is silver looking and is also a precious metal) on top of the silver first, to make sure the gold sticks to the item. It enhances the colour and keeps it even. Yellow on top of silver is a lovely golden colour.
YELLOW GOLD PLATING ON BRASS ALLOY
As brass is already yellow, we are doubling up. Depending on the solution, we can get a beautiful antique colour of gold or a young gold colour, using the depth of the brass underneath. Note: Brass is not coated with anything before being plated.
ROSE GOLD PLATING ON SILVER 925
Rose gold is not an easy process, so we only do it bespoke. You will see lots of items online that are rose gold, but many of them are small sterling silver pieces not large pieces like Franki cuffs and bangles. Rose gold has a mixture of gold and copper put in the bath solution and they often don’t like each other is a seamless way, BUT, rose gold on sterling silver is sealed with the palladium layer under it and on top of the silver, so if the item is worn off the skin (ie: the front of the studs and the drops for instance) they will be safeguarded. Anything in direct contact with the skin will wear over time and will become lighter. The silver will shine through.
ROSE GOLD PLATING ON BRASS ALLOY
Rose gold on yellow gives a very old looking antique colour to the piece, rather than the brightness of being plated onto sterling silver. We need to make our customers aware of this. It is not vibrant when plated onto brass and it will come off like all plating over time.
PLATING & THE ELEMENTS
Wearing jewellery in the ocean is absolutely fine but it is important to know that salt water and the ocean are corrosive and can be a harsh environment for your Franki jewellery. So, although your jewellery will not tarnish or turn your skin green, the gold plating can fade a lot faster in this environment and become lighter and revealing the silver underneath.
The thing that you should be careful of are harsh products in the shower. Tap water will rarely have affect or react with your jewellery. That being said, if you shower or take a bath and submerge your jewellery in harsher chemicals this can compromise the jewellery. Just try and keep to bubble bath, shower gel and standard soaps. Peroxide for hair, along with other colouring hair products will definitely have an effect on the plate.
Swimming with our jewellery is not recommended as you will be coming into contact with water that has chemicals like chlorine that will interact with your jewellery more dramatically than fresh water and soap. Right now with the use of hand sanitizers the plating is coming off more easily, so it is better to take your rings off before using abrasive chemicals where possible.