Why does gold plating tarnish?

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++ Q. I have observed that the gold plating has some darkening areas over the nickel plated copper base material. What causes this effect? We all know that gold is a very inert metal & does not corrode or rust. In this case, it should not tarnish. Under what circumstances or condition does this problem arises? Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you Maung San Zaw - Singapore ++ A. Hi, Gold as such will not tarnish. It is inert. The tarnish-like appearance is due to underlying surface getting corroded or oxidized. If the thickness of gold is not adequate and if the coating is porous, the corrosion taking place in the underlying surface may seem like tarnish. Ensure that you have adequate thickness build up of gold, to put an end to your problem. Good luck ... Karthik - Singapore Gold Plating Technology, Reid & Goldie ++ A. Hi, If you have nickel plating as a finish to plate gold onto it will normally not tarnish even if you only deposit 0,1 micron of gold. This could mean that ... more
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