Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Differences between Korean and Chinese Jewelry Plating

While visiting and talking with a wholesaler, I received additional information regarding Jewelry Plating.

Chinese plating technology has not yet been able to match Korean plating technology. Of course, Chinese plating technology has improved compared to the past,
but Korean plating is still said to be better than Chinese plating.

When plating is done in China, it is said that many of the Chinese plating factories do not yet use clean water, so the plating is not good,
and in other cases, the plating is not good because the water contains a lot of limescale.

It is also said that the quality of plating varies greatly depending on the meticulousness of the plating technicians,
and so far, Korean plating technicians are said to have better skills.

Even in Korea, depending on the technician at the plating factory, it is said that the difference in gold is huge.
So, it is said that when a plating technician at one factory moves to another factory, his/her business partners also move along with the technician.

The reason why Chinese plating is bad is because Chinese products have to be produced cheaply and distributed all over the world,
so they either do not use good Jewelry Platingmaterials for low production prices or they have to produce them quickly, so they have no choice but to do it roughly.

Of course, if you use cheap plating, the plating will be bad, but if you pay the right amount of money and do the plating, it is said that the plating will be at the same level as in Korea.

However, China’s plating coating technology is said to be better than Korea’s. This is because the production cost of cheap plating + coating is said to be cheaper than the cost of regular plating.

So, when China exports low-priced products overseas in large quantities, they do not want the product to discolor easily, so they use plating at a low price and then coat it on top. When coating, there is a coating on top of the plating, so the Jewelry Plating lasts much longer. So, it seems that China’s coating technology is more advanced than Korea’s.

It is said that if Chinese earrings are distributed without coating on the plating, they will discolor very quickly. Therefore, coating the product is said to be an inevitable choice in Chinese factories considering production costs.

And even these low-priced plating products are said to be mostly nickel-free. We may think that nickel-free plating is less allergic and more expensive than nickel-containing plating. So you would think:

“No, Chinese products are cheap, so I think they use nickel plating, but they say they use better nickel-free plating? Isn’t it wrong?”

Nickel-free plating removes nickel completely, so raw material costs are lower. However, because nickel is missing, the plating thickness is made thicker in another plating process,
so the cost of raw materials is said to be higher.

However, I explained that most finished products in China are coated. Since we will be coating it anyway, there is no need to thicken the plating in other plating processes other than nickel.

Therefore, since nickel is removed, the plating cost is cheaper, and you can emphasize to buyers that nickel-free plating is less likely to cause allergies.

For reference, let’s take a look at the Alibaba site.

Necklace from Alibaba online marketplace

In Korea, the wholesale price for such a design seems to be around 2,500 to 3,500 won. However, the price in China is $0.32 to $0.7, which is very cheap compared to Korea.
Even though raw material prices are similar and labor costs are cheaper in China, they are very different from those in Korea.

You can lower the production cost by doing cheap plating + coating, and it will be cheaper if you use cheap iron, tin, or zinc instead of expensive brass and then do cheap plating + coating.

However, not all Chinese products use cheap plating. If you look at the product below… the price is a little over 5,000 won.

Chinese Jewelry from Chinese wholesale online marketplace

A similar style on a Korean wholesale site costs 4,000 won.

The design is different, but the size is similar, but the Chinese version is slightly cheaper. In fact, if gold is used in the actual plating and the plating is good, it can naturally be more expensive.

These days, the quality of accessories produced in China has improved significantly compared to before. As Koreans went to China to run factories, production know-how was spread, and because plating is done using much cleaner water than in the past,
it is said that there is not much difference between Korean plating and Chinese plating.

In fact, it is said that production costs are now not much different between Korea and China. It is said that if you pay more money to a Chinese plating factory, you will get good plating like Korea.

So far, Korea seems to be about 2% more neat and detailed. However, on the other hand, since there are so many factories in China, I think that on average, there are many factories that are not good at Jewelry Plating,
but there are also many factories that are good at plating.

In Korea, the technical average of plating factories is relatively high, but I think this is because there are many factories in China that do not need to be good at plating for low-cost production. The plating factories for producing high-value products are said to be at a similar level to those in Korea.



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