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What is PVD Gold?

by Hadas Milrod on November 21, 2023

PVD Gold coating, also known as Gold PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), is a process used to deposit a thin layer of gold onto a substrate using PVD technology. This coating method allows for the creation of a durable and decorative gold finish on various objects, such as jewelry, watches, and other accessories. PVD Gold coating is popular because it provides the appearance of genuine gold while offering enhanced durability and other desirable properties.

Here's a basic overview of the PVD Gold coating process:

  1. Cleaning: The object to be coated is thoroughly cleaned to ensure proper adhesion of the gold layer.

  2. Vacuum Chamber: The cleaned object is placed in a vacuum chamber, creating a controlled environment with low pressure.

  3. Gold Evaporation or Sputtering: Gold is used as the coating material. The two primary methods for depositing gold onto the object's surface are:

    • Evaporation: Gold is heated until it evaporates, and the vapor then condenses onto the object.
    • Sputtering: Ionized gas (plasma) is used to dislodge gold atoms from a target material, and these atoms then deposit onto the object's surface.
  4. Film Formation: The gold vapor or sputtered gold atoms condense on the object's surface, forming a thin gold film. This film adheres to the object, creating the appearance of a gold coating.

  5. Finishing: After the PVD Gold coating process, the coated object may undergo additional treatments or finishing processes to achieve specific characteristics or appearances.

The advantages of PVD Gold coating include:

  • Appearance: PVD Gold coating provides a visually appealing, authentic-looking gold finish that closely resembles traditional gold plating.

  • Durability: The PVD process enhances the durability and wear resistance of the gold coating, making it more resistant to scratches, tarnish, and other forms of wear compared to some traditional gold plating methods.

  • Variety: PVD Gold coating can be applied to various materials, offering flexibility in design and allowing for gold finishes on a wide range of objects.

  • Biocompatibility: Depending on the specific PVD process and materials used, PVD Gold coatings can be biocompatible, making them suitable for certain medical and jewelry applications.

It's important to note that while PVD Gold coating provides many benefits, the thickness of the gold layer is relatively thin compared to solid gold items. The process, however, allows for a cost-effective and attractive alternative to solid gold in various applications.