To understand the word ‘plating’, here is a description of what Plating really is:
Plating is a surface covering in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface. Plating has been done for hundreds of years; it is also critical for modern technology. Plating is used to decorate objects, for corrosion inhibition, to improve solderability, to harden, to improve wearability, to reduce friction, to improve paint adhesion, to alter conductivity, to improve IR reflectivity, for radiation shielding, and for other purposes. Jewelry typically uses plating to give a silver or gold finish.
As you can read, plating is nothing more than a thin layer covering the surface of an ‘instrument’ like jewelry tubes and end caps, beads, ball chains and such. It is covering the layer to reduce friction and to keep the ‘instruments’ looking healthier over time. After a while the plating will wear off because of long time use.
The plating used in jewelry is to create a thin layer to give the beads or tubes/end caps that nice shiny golden look and feel. The plating is to avoid and reduce scratches and to give that nice touch. It is also to avoid turning your jewelry green over time. When the plating is coming off over time, the jewelry will wear off and become less shiny. Plated jewelry can be easily cleaned with a soft towel to keep it nice for a long time.
Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold on the surface of glass or metal, most often copper or silver. Same is for silver plating, copper plating, chrome plating, rose-gold plating and so on.
Not every bead is plated as some beads are just dyed in a specific color, are silver lined from the inside or are transparent. Beads that are plated are shiny like gold, rose gold, silver, nickel, metal and some awesome colors like magenta, purple and green. These beads are keep nice over time before the plating comes off.
24k Plated Beads
There are 2 differences in plated beads. You can buy the regular plated beads, which are good but not filled. When using 24k filled plated beads, you are buying or using beads which are 24kt BUT plated. These beads hold a 24kt gold layer around them with a plated finish. Real gold but it is a very thin layer for this small beads of just 2mm wide. There are all different kind of 24kt filled plated beads in colors as gold shin, gold matt or such. If you are looking for real gold in jewelry, make sure you look for 24kt filled plated. Without the 24kt it is just gold but NOT REAL gold, just a golden look and feel.
When buying jewelry, make sure that golden beads even as rose gold, silver and other shiny beads are plated. These beads or pieces of jewelry will hold there shine longer over time. It is not necessary when if you can buy plated, it is the best choice next to real gold, rose gold and such. If you are looking for real gold, look for the 24kt filled plated gold marks and descriptions.