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Nickel Plating vs Gold Plating – What’s the Difference

Nickel Plating vs Gold Plating

When it comes to metal plating, nickel plating and gold plating are the two most popular choices. Each has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, making it important to know the difference between them before deciding which one is right for your project. Let’s take a closer look at both types of plating so you can make an informed decision.

Nickel Plating

Nickel plating is a process in which a thin layer of nickel is applied to steel, brass, copper, aluminium or other metals. It provides protection against corrosion and wear, as well as improves the appearance of the metal. The nickel layer can be polished or satin-finished to achieve different looks. One major benefit of nickel plating is that it’s relatively inexpensive compared to gold or other precious metals. However, because it’s not as durable as gold, it may need to be replaced more often if used in high-wear applications such as automotive parts or firearms components.

Gold Plating

Gold plating involves depositing a thin layer of gold onto another metal surface, such as steel or brass. The gold layer protects the base metal from corrosion and wear while also improving its appearance. The gold plate can be polished to create a bright finish or brushed for a subtler look. Gold-plated items tend to last longer than those with nickel-plated finishes due to their superior durability and resistance to abrasion and corrosion. However, they are also significantly more expensive than nickel-plated items due to the expense of gold itself.

Difference Between Nickel Plating and Gold Plating

  • Nickel plating is less expensive than gold plating.
  • Nickel plating is more durable than gold plating.
  • Nickel plating is more resistant to corrosion than gold plating.
  • Nickel plating is more difficult to solder than gold plating.
  • Nickel plating can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  • Gold plating is more visually appealing than nickel plating.


Nickel and gold are both excellent options for protecting metals from corrosion and wear while enhancing their appearance. Ultimately, which option you choose will depend on your budget and requirements for your project; both have their own unique pros and cons that must be considered before making a decision. If you’re looking for an inexpensive but still visually appealing option, then nickel may be the best choice, while if you need something that will stand up better over time, then gold could be worth considering despite its higher cost. No matter what you choose, though, proper care should always be taken when cleaning or storing metal items with either type of finish in order to ensure long-lasting results!

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