Custom Metal Platings
Plating Options & Things to Consider When Choosing a Plating
What plating to choose when making a custom product often comes down to a simple aesthetic choice — what looks best to you. That said, here are some things to consider that may help you make your decision. If you are going to be using color, and want to use soft enamel, any plating will work. If you want to use hard enamel, you'll want to choose a polished / matte plating. If you are not using any color at all, any plating will work, and antiqued especially excels when no color is used. Polished platings with 2D artwork will generally receive a sandblast / matte treatment in recessed areas in order to provide contrast to the polished and raised graphics; otherwise all the elements will take on a mirror effect and be harder to make out visually. For polished items, nickel is usually used as "silver" due to it's superior hardness and durability. Our gold is genuine gold; bronze is very similar, beautiful, and less costly. Read more about gold and silver below.
"Gold" can mean a lot of different things to different people. When we say gold, we mean genuine gold. As such it carries a price premium. Of course there really is nothing else that looks like it. Polished or antiqued, it has it's own richness that cannot be achieved any other way. That said, there are a couple of lower cost alternatives to gold. Bronze is very, very similar to genuine gold. Most would not know the difference, even holding the two in their hands, especially polished. When antiqued, it is a little deeper in tone than genuine gold but still very close to gold, and looks wonderful and rich. it makes a great choice when you want a gold look without paying the premium for genuine gold. The other option is brass. Brass has a slight green cast as compared to genuine gold and bronze. While we do not suggest brass for coins (we suggest bronze or gold), it can look simply perfect on belt buckles and certainly great on lapel pins, keychains, zipper pulls, dog tags and other custom items.
"Silver", too, can mean a lot of different things to different people. When we say silver in relation to custom platings, we mean genuine silver. As such it also can carry a price premium. What is the benefit of genuine silver plating? First, we only suggest using it for antiqued items. In these cases, it will provide more contrast, as seen above, and result in a slightly brighter product than antiqued nickel will. Nickel is a "warmer" plating, and when antiqued does not have quite the contrast as silver; it's overall a little depeer in tone. But nickel is a wonderful — and in fact the most common — choice when an antiqued "silver" look is desired. When discussing polished items, we do not suggest genuine silver plating due to it's softness — we suggest nickel, which is bright and very durable, and which is far and away the most used plating when a "silver" look is desired on any polished metal product.
Available For All Custom
- Lapel Pins
- Challenge Coins
- Belt Buckles
- Zipper Pulls
- Dog Tags
- Bottle Openers