What Is Plating And How Long Does It Last?

Plating is a process dating back to the 1820s. It is a coating of a layer of one metal deposited onto another using an electrically charged chemical bath. In the case of silver, it allowed the average person to possess objects that, made out of solid silver, had only been available to the wealthy. An item is first created out of a "base metal" such as copper, brass, nickel silver, brittania, or white metal alloys. It is then highly polished, submerged in the bath (containing silver solution and solid silver), electrically charged for approximately one-half hour, and then repolished. Some modern-day companies first apply a heavy layer of nickel (to avoid the time-consuming buffing process) then a light layer of silver. We do it the old-fashioned way - careful preparation with a thick silver plate which gives the job a deep, realistic appearance and should last a good twenty years. The same applies to our brass, copper, and gold plating. Keep in mind that if something is solid brass or sterling silver, it does not require plating, just a professional cleaning and polishing.