Artisan Plating

B2B Artisan Plating- like the look of gold and platinum? We can make it happen for you and your creations. Whether you're a hobbyist or professional, our lack of minimums and top quality options make electroplated gold and platinum finishes viable for every maker.

 

Do you do the plating yourself?

Yes! I do it all myself in my home studio. I have been electroplating gold and platinum finishes for a few years now with great results. I started plating my jewelry as a way to prevent tarnish in my sterling silver jewelry (especially during long, humid days outside at art shows), as well as to give my clients the beautiful gold and platinum styles they desired at affordable prices. It's an incredibly magical process that combines my loves of art and science.

Where are you located?

My studio is in Southfield, MI (metro Detroit).

I am not local – can I still work with you?

Of course! Not being local is no problem at all! The vast majority of work I do gets sent through the mail. I highly recommend that you include shipping insurance on your package when sending work my way. I only return ship your plated pieces with full insurance. It generally costs $12-25 per return shipping, depending on the value of your pieces and size of your batch.

What is the process to work together?

Reach out and let me know that you're interested! I need a little information about your work- what you want plated, what metal it is, what the size is, and what final finish you want. Photos of the work next to a ruler can be extremely helpful in creating a rough cost estimate. If you have any sensitive materials (exposed natural materials, soft stones like opal and turquoise, etc.), let me know upfront! We work out what you want, what your timeline is, and how to make it happen.

Do you have minimums?

I work small scale, so I don’t have minimums. I prefer to work with artisans, and batch sizes can vary greatly! I'm happy to plate your full display, no problem, and sometimes you only need one thing plated- nothing wrong with that!

The only downside to small batches is that the return shipping costs will add up faster. Generally it’s around $12 to ship a small batch, depending on insurance value, whereas a large batch might only cost $25.

What metals do you plate?

I currently plate in Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, Palladium, and Rhodium. I can also plate in Silver, though I recommend Rhodium plating over Silver plating for superior tarnish resistance.

I never plate in Nickle, Chrome, or other body-unfriendly metals.

What is Palladium?

Palladium is a platinum group metal with a grey-white color and excellent tarnish resistance. It is often used as an intermediate layer between a base metal and a final finish.

What is Rhodium?

Rhodium is a platinum group metal with a bright white color and excellent tarnish resistance. It is a beautiful and hard (scratch-resistant) metal and makes an excellent final finish over softer metals like copper, brass, and sterling silver. Commercially, white gold is plated with Rhodium to brighten up its slight yellow tone.

What’s the time frame?

Turnaround time is generally a week from when your shipment arrives but can vary depending on my schedule. Rush services can often be accommodated. If you are working on a tight deadline, give me your need-by date with your initial inquiry!

How I would need to prep my work before sending to you?

For prep, they need to be fully finished, as in polished (if that is the finish you want) but not patina-ed or sealed with any sort of lacquer or wax. Any material on the surface of the metal will prevent the next layer of plating from bonding. This includes oil from your fingers- so hold your work with tongs and try to keep your hands off it until post-plating! Plating will not “fill in” scratches or delicate textures- so make sure you have the piece completely finished! Scratch finishes, textures, and high polish all look gorgeous plated. Matte finishes will stay matte when plated. Shiny finishes will stay shiny when plated.

Do all clean up of scratches and polishing before plating, because if you try to polish the plated surface, it will remove the plating. For standard plating, I do not polish up any scratches in your pieces, but plate them as they are when I receive them. I can polish your work for a fee. Request this extra service during your initial inquiry, as it adds to the timeline. Individually wrapping up each piece in a protective wrapping to prevent scratches during shipping is essential.

For electroplaters, if your stones/components need to be sealed to safely survive your copper bath, do not remove the sealant! Leave them sealed and send them to me like that.

I also typically seal my work after polishing. Would I not do that when sending to you?

As for sealing the copper, don’t do that on pieces you want plated as it prevents a good bond between the different metal layers. You can seal it after plating to extend the life and durability of the plating.

Is electroplating more harsh on stones than copper electroforming?

No, gold/platinum plating is less harsh on stones because they don’t have to be in the bath for hours. But if you already seal the stones (especially porous or sensitive stones like opals) don’t take off the sealant before sending. I don’t need to seal 99% of what I plate for myself.

How can I get an estimate?

I would need to see photographs with measurements (so photograph your pieces next to a ruler) so that I can get a rough idea of the surface area and give you a price on each piece. I also need to know what material your work is and what finish you want!

Can I have different plated finishes shipped together in the same batch?

Different finishes can be done in the same shipment, no problem! I just ask that each piece is individually bagged and labelled with the desired final finish.

My work is already sealed with ProtectaClear. How can I get it off?

Xylene is a solvent that will remove Everbrite and ProtectaClear sealants from metal. You can buy it at most hardware stores.