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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:40 pm 
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I bought a 24K gold platting apparatus to plate some of my emblems. When I started pre-buffing the "speedster" emblem, which was oxidized and "original", it had the luster of 14K gold, not 24K. I called NLA and talked with Brad who I hoped would know the answer to what karat the factory plated their emblems and did this change over time? He said that over time, people finally polished thru the plating into the brass and then polished that (which would roughly resemble 24K). Amazingly,he wasn't sure what the factory did. Does anybody know what Karat the factory originally did way back when?
Ben Sherman
'55 Speedster
'58 Cab

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Sorry I couldn't answer Ben's question when he called. Being an "expert" sometimes is a tough job. But I got curious and looked on the internet -- that's where you find the truth! I found this quote, my emphasis added:
K.P. Karat plate

GP, gp, G.P. Gold Plated- refers to a metal item that has a very thin layer of 10k gold or better applied to it. The thin layer normally wears away more quickly than gold in a gold filled item. It has a very thin layer of gold bonded to a base metal core. The layer of gold in gold-plating is only required to be seven-millionths of an inch thick.
See http://gold.yabz.com/measurements.htm

So, my guess factory emblems where plated the bare min, i.e. 10k. But probably the color is the key. I've seen emblems guys had gold plated by jewerlers, etc and they were too light, towards a silver color. Factory emblems were always a more yellow color, plus they were lacquered over.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Years ago, I had my father-in-law replated 356 script for me. At the time he was the VP of Operations for SWANK. They did a lot of high end costume jewelry, I imagine it is about 10K. What he told me was that to achieve the right color, the base metal and prep was just as important to get a concours finish.
The original script was brass. The current script is made from pot metal. I have had custom plating done by extreme high end biz jet interior guys that looked amazing. You have to tell them not to over polish. This process is like taking your parts to rechromers.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:12 pm 
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Is it really important what the biz jet interior guys looked like? :P

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:33 am 
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Martin, you are on your game!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:40 am 
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So, Roy, what karat did high end guys plate: 10,14,18,or 24? The advantage of 24 is that it won't oxidize like lesser karate s and will hence last longer

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:49 am 
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24K won't tarnish, but being without alloy, it will wear off faster.

I'm just guessing but in my opinion neither 10K nor 24K will give you the right color. 24K being too bright and 10K too pail and washed-out looking...but I could be wrong.

It's been a while since I've seen a nice, original Porsche script but if my memory's correct I think 18K or possible 14K would be closer to the correct color. That is assuming the plating is thick enough to not have any show-through of the base metal, which would of course change the color.

See if you can find a nice original piece to bring to a jeweler and ask their opinion. I'm sure they'd let you compare it to 10K, 14K, etc.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:44 am 
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Emil,
Pawn Shops also have a "authenticity" kit they use on jewelry to determine the Karat of an item. Just hard to know if you've got the real deal to test. Brass substrate would be a starter. I also have some 14k and 18k plating solution to compare it with assuming I can find an original
Ben Sherman
'55 Speedster

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:10 pm 
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I test gold all the time and I'm aware of the tests a pawn shop would use and it's not as easy to test the purity of plate as it is on sold gold or gold filled...there's just too little gold in the plating to be able to accurately tell if it's 9K, 10K, 14K, etc. So going by the color will be your best bet.

The thickness of the plating would also be important to know. If it's thin enough, the brass will show through, determining the final color. But if it's thin it will wear more easily. Make the plating thicker and the color will change again, but it will wear better.

So if you plan on plating it thick enough to not have any show-though of the base metal, use the karat that matches closest to the original in color.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:06 pm 
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Ben, when my father-in-law did it for me, I handed him some original NOS script and asked him to copy it. He then sent them to his shop and told the Forman to match the color and put a heavy plating on them I couldn't tell you exactly what he did. I'm not a trained metallurgist, jeweler, or plater, just a broken down retired structures engineer.

If you live in the LA area, I can show you some NOS still in the original package script and some he did. It should give you a fairly good idea.

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Last edited by Roy Lock on Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Here I go again, off into the winnows, but ... Anyone know what Gibson Guitars gold plates Humbucker pickups with? Whatever it is, it wears away very quickly, and then looks like crap.

Brian

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Are you THAT Brian Adams?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:03 am 
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Brian R Adams wrote:
Here I go again, off into the winnows, but ... Anyone know what Gibson Guitars gold plates Humbucker pickups with? Whatever it is, it wears away very quickly, and then looks like crap.

Brian

Brian,

Perhaps someone at Gibson now has the time to pick up the phone to answer your question!

http://www.newsmax.com/US/Gibson-wood-Madagascar-settle/2012/08/07/id/447779

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:40 pm 
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The settlement terms notwithstanding, that action against Gibson was a sham and a grandiose slap at Gibson's outspoken CEO.

Brian

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:16 pm 
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I'm not surprised that the gold is losing its luster over time if it's being plated directly onto brass (or any other copper rich material for that matter). Unless there is a nickel or other barrier plate between the gold and copper/alloy, the two materials will comingle over time. This is a common issue in the military/aerospace electronics industry where I work--gold is never plated directly onto copper or copper based alloys.


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