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different types of gold plating and jewelry-making techniques srilanka

Gold plating is a method where a thin layer of gold is bonded onto the surface of another metal, such as copper or silver. In Sri Lanka, a country with a rich heritage of jewelry craftsmanship, different types of gold plating are employed to create various jewelry pieces that are both beautiful and accessible.

Types of Gold Plating:

  1. Flash Plating: This involves a very thin layer of gold, less than 0.175 microns thick. Flash-plated jewelry has a short lifespan and is used for items that are not in constant contact with the skin.
  2. Micron Plating: The thickness of the gold layer can vary from 0.5 to 3 microns. This is more durable than flash plating and is often used for higher-quality fashion jewelry.
  3. Heavy Gold Plating: Also known as heavy deposit plating, this can be up to 100 microns thick, making it very durable. This technique is closer to vermeil standards, where the base is sterling silver coated with thick gold plating.

Jewelry-Making Techniques:

  1. Handcrafting: Sri Lankan jewelry artisans are known for their handcrafting skills. Intricate designs are often created using age-old techniques that have been passed down through generations.
  2. Filigree Work: This delicate metalwork uses fine wires to create intricate patterns. Gold plating can be applied to silver filigree to give it a golden appearance while keeping the piece affordable.
  3. Casting: A common method for mass-producing jewelry, where molten metal is poured into molds. Once cooled, the pieces are polished and can be gold-plated.
  4. Stone Setting: Sri Lanka, famous for its gemstones, has mastered the art of stone setting, which is often combined with gold-plated designs to enhance the overall look.

Caring for gold-plated jewelry is essential. It’s recommended to clean it with a soft, lint-free cloth after wearing. Avoid using abrasive chemicals, and store each piece separately to prevent scratches. By understanding these techniques and maintenance requirements, enthusiasts can better appreciate the artistry and value of Sri Lankan gold-plated jewelry.