You may have seen pieces of jewellery either in a jewellery store or elsewhere where the metal has been described as “e-coated”. If you’ve heard this for the first time then you are probably wondering what it is or whether it benefits precious metal jewellery at all. Well if that’s you, then keep on reading our introduction to e-coated jewellery…
What is e-coating on jewellery?
E-coating, also known as electro coating, is a layer of lacquer that is evenly coated over a piece of jewellery using electric currents. This layer over the jewellery is mostly unnoticeable and is commonly used in jewellery making on precious metal pieces such as silver, gold or platinum.
What does e-coating do? And what’s the benefit?
As I’m sure you all know, precious metal jewellery is often alloyed with other metals like copper to give it the strength required to craft jewellery from. For example 925 sterling silver is made up of at least 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% alloy metals. Whereas 9ct gold is made up of at least 37.5% fine gold and 62.5% alloy metals.
Because of the alloy metals, jewellery can end up tarnishing over time due to reactions with sulphur in the air and other factors. E-coating actually helps to prevent this from happening.
This is because e-coating is an anti-tarnish layer over precious metal jewellery which also is used to protect the metal from general wear and tear like scuffs or scratches. This coating can last for years when it’s properly taken care of which is great for helping your new pieces last longer.
How is e-coating done?
While some jewellers may have their own way of applying e-coating to a piece of jewellery, the basic method is practically the same universally.
- Firstly the piece is polished to ensure that the surface area of the jewellery is smooth.
- Then the piece is cleaned thoroughly to make sure that any dirt is removed from the piece before coating.
- The piece of jewellery is then rinsed in distilled water to make sure that it is ready to be coated
- The jewellery is then placed into a bath of e-coating and an electrical current is sent through the bath. This makes the coating stick to the piece of jewellery.
- After that bath, the jewellery is then placed in an oven to bake. This makes the coating hard and resilient. This process is also called curing.
Once the baking process is done, your jewellery is ready! When done properly, the jewellery should have an even coating around the entire piece. Please note that it is not recommended to try this at home unless you are trained and have the knowledge to do so.
Any comments or questions about e-coating? Let us know in the comment section below! We would love to hear from you…