The process of coating the surface of a conducting material with a metal. During the process, the surface to be covered acts as a cathode in an electrolytic cell, and the metal that is to cover it acts as an anode. Electroplating is usually used to cover a less expensive metal with a more expensive metal, or to cover a corrosive metal with a less corrosive or noncorrosive metal.
A cyanide bath, as used in electroplating, would dissolve the gold, but is not suitable for refining, because other metals (silver, copper, &c.) passing with gold into the solution would deposit with it.
It should be mentioned here, however, that solutions which would deposit their metal on any object by simple immersion should not be generally used for electroplating that object, as the resulting deposit is usually non-adhesive.
An interesting example of secondary action is shown by the common technical process of electroplating with silver from a bath of potassium silver cyanide.
ELECTROPLATING, the art of depositing metals by the electric current.
ELECTROTYPING, an application of the art of electroplating to typography.