Gold plating is ultimately not durable when exposed to abrasion. Gold plating can be made more durable depending on the method used to plate, additives to the gold, and techniques employed. No matter what is done, however all gold plating will wear off over time when abraded. This is simply a fact of physics. Plating other then gold can be very durable. The following is an explanation of the various plating we use.
All gold plating we use on our kits is 24K "upgrade gold". Upgrade means that the parts are plated using the rack method and that small amounts of cobalt or palladium are added to the plating chemicals. This enhances the durability of the gold plating. The tumbled method, which we do not use, produces an inferior gold plating and is less costly.
This method produces most durable plating. This process is called PVD (particle vapor deposition). Titanium nitride matched to the color of the gold is molecularly bonded to the part and then 24K gold is bonded (sputtered) on the part to achieve a color match to our other gold parts. The parts are again re-plated after this. The final result is that the parts will virtually never wear. We pioneered this process for writing instruments and are not aware of another company using the exact process we use.
18K Swiss Rose Gold
This is a very rare and unusual plating. Copper and gold are combined in such a way that they both plate with their atoms. equally mixed together. The parts are specially treated before plating and the plating deposited in a very thick layer. Not only does this produce a beautiful, sumptuous look, but is very durable. It has been indicated to us that there are only two companies in the world able to do this plating and that under regular careful use the plating should hold up for several years.
This is an extremely durable plating. Under normal use this plating should hold up for many years.
This is a very durable hard plating. We use real platinum rather then rhodium and it should be expected to hold up under normal careful use for many years.
This is titanium oxide molecularly bonded (PVD). This plating is unbelievably hard and durable. It will last for many, many years.