Properties of Steel vs Gold

Author: Evelyn y

Mar. 07, 2024

Mechanical Parts & Fabrication Services

Are you trying to decide between stainless steel or gold for a piece of jewelry, a watch or other new purchase? Both materials have their merits, and come with their own unique properties.

Let’s have a quick dive into the advantages and disadvantages that each metal has. By taking into account the durability, price, color matching and several other factors, you will be able to make a more informed decision on stainless steel or gold.

Stainless steel vs. gold

The neutral, silver tone of steel makes it a very versatile material that can be used in a wide variety of designs. Compared to gold, it is four times lighter, and usually cheaper too. If you’re looking for a lightweight piece, stainless steel is the way to go.

Although not a ‘precious metal’, stainless steel items like watches are always in high demand. This means that anything you choose now will hold value into the future. Gold can be perceived as more luxurious than steel, so if your goal is to capture people’s attention and convey prestige or status, it may be right for you.

In terms of durability, gold does not suffer from rust or tarnishing. Stainless steel also tends to hold up well, but can rust when exposed to moisture or harsh conditions.

The main disadvantage of pure gold is its softness. This means that it is relatively malleable, causing pure gold items to be bent out of shape more easily.

What other differences are there?

Gold is a great conductor of electricity (although too expensive to be used in cabling!). It remains unaffected by heat, air, moisture and even corrosive agents. Only the strongest of acids are able to damage gold.

Gold does not absorb any light, meaning it reflects all light. This gives gold its characteristic ‘shiny’ property.

Steel is naturally a cool, silver color that matches up well with cool skin tones and cooler outfits like blue or gray. Gold, however, matches best with warmer skin tones and outfit colors like red or brown.

Which material is for you?

Both of these materials make great choices for jewelry, watches and any other fashion pieces. They each come with their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s simply down to you to decide which of these matter most to you. Pick whichever material you will feel most comfortable with!

Jack Vale is a writer in partnership with steel piping distributors, Fed Steel.


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Gold plating is a fantastic option for adding a decorative touch to a variety of products. Our gold plating service is popular amongst varying industries and is a low-cost alternative to using 9-carat alloys. If you are considering plating your products with gold, read our list of pros and cons to learn more about the process:

Pros of Gold Plating

  • Affordable: The gold electroplating process proves revolutionary for certain industries, especially jewellery. This is because using a gold-plated coating is far more affordable than producing a product made of pure, solid gold. This is useful for larger companies who wish to produce gold-effect products on mass for a much smaller price tag.
  • Decorative: Gold electroplating is a great way to add decorative detail and make a bold statement. It can make products look more appealing, elegant and expensive.
  • Looks like the real deal: Plating your products with gold is not only a more affordable alternative, but the end finish looks strikingly similar to real gold. Our gold plating service ensures you truly get your money’s worth.
  • Strong structure: Products that have undergone gold plating are structurally very strong, even more so than real gold! This is because real gold is much softer, especially as the karat increases. Gold plated items are usually made of metals that have a stronger structure, making them particularly durable.

Cons of Gold Plating

  • Tarnishing: The main con with gold plating, rather than using real gold, is tarnishing. Tarnishing is likely to occur over a long period of time due to wear and tear, causing the metal underneath the gold plating beginning to show through. To reduce tarnishing, we recommend polishing gold plated items frequently to prolong its shine.
  • Less resistant to water: Items that have undergone the gold plating process are less resistant to water. This links back to the process of tarnishing, where water can cause the gold layer to wear away over time. We do not recommend gold plating for any products designed to be submerged in water.

To learn more about our gold plating services in Poole, Dorset, get in touch with our friendly team. We can recommend whether gold plating is the perfect solution for your application. Simply call 01202 677939 or fill out our contact form.

Properties of Steel vs Gold

What are the Pros and Cons of Gold Plating?




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