To start off, PVD or physical vapor deposition is a process that applies one metal (14k/18 Gold unless otherwise stated) with another metal (stainless steel for example) and bonds them together. In other words, the gold is vaporized in a vacuum at extreme temperatures and then condenses around the other metal molecule by molecule. PVD coatings are durable and resistant to corrosion from regular wear and sweat.
What is Gold Plating?
Gold Plating is a thin layer of real gold that is plated onto another metal (ex: stainless steel). This technique is used to offer the look of gold at a low price.
In contrast, Gold plating is not as durable as PVD gold coating, and once scratched the layer of metal beneath the gold will be revealed.
Which option is better?
Due to the extensive research conducted, We have come to the conclusion that PVD Gold Coating is the most desirable option, because of the durability and longer lifetime the coating offers. Since gold PVD coatings are 10 times thicker than standard gold plating, it is resistant against corrosion and does not discolor within a short time period. Obviously, gold PVD will be slightly more expensive than gold plating but it will last longer and be worth the extra money. If you are looking to get a quality product with a budget-friendly cost, the PVD gold coating is the option you should choose.