"Gold Tone" Versus Gold Plated Jewelry

I know that cheap “gold” jewelry is plated, usually with a very thin layer of gold. once this wears off, it looks pretty bad. But now, i understand that a lot of what is labelled “gold tone” is actually titanium nitride, which looks like gold, but is a very hard, tough substance. My question: does the TiN ever wear off? I see it used for sink faucets, so it ought to be pretty durable. And, “heavy” gold plate-it thick enough, plated items ought to last forever-is this correct?

Nothing lasts forever.

It’s pretty sturdy stuff. A lot of heavy duty hardware is coated with stuff. However, I’ve never seen it used on jewelry, where I have seen it is gold colored, but does not look like real gold.

"All the gold that has been mined throughout history is still in existence in the above-ground stock [somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 million tonnes]. That means that if you have a gold watch, some of the gold in that watch could have been mined by the Romans 2,000 years ago," says James Turk."

Although a small amount may now be being consumed in the technology industry.

Some of it is also on the Moon, on Mars, and on it’s way out of our solar system.

[quote=“beowulff, post:2, topic:743573”]

Nothing lasts forever.[/QUOTE

I’m pretty sure DeBeers feels otherwise.:wink:

If you’re asking if “heavy gold plated” items(plated with actual gold) will last a long time, the answer is no. Plated gold items wear rather quickly. Gold “filled” items have layers of gold sheeting bonded to the brass so they last much longer.

Titanium nitride is very tough stuff–it’s used as a coating for drill bits, end mills, and so on. It does not abrade easily even in very high temperature, high friction environments, so I imagine that it should last “forever” in the relatively benign environment of jewelry or fixtures.

About the only problem with Titanium Nitride is that it is brittle. You can chip it if you try hard enough, but its use as a coating for drill bit ends shows that this requires quite some effort. Curiously the thicker the layer the worse this can become. Gold of course is very malleable, so the opposite applies. If you stress your jewelry piece so much that the base metal distorts significantly, the coating could flake off.

as well as hardness, its also not going to oxidise , due to air ,below 700 C,
and will only be attacked by concentrated, and hot, acids.

It can be made shiny. The dull surface is rough on purpose, to modify its friction/ lubrication properties.

Or buried and not yet found, or at the bottom of the ocean, or in landfills. Really, I think James Turk might have been better saying ‘most of’ or ‘much of’