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Electroplated coatings are applied to metals for many reasons. The design engineer and others responsible for specifying finishes must know the purpose of the finish in order to specify it intelligently. Not only must the metal to be electroplated be specified, but also its thickness and often other properties specific to the use of the article. For example, gold can be applied as a coating so thin that it serves only to impart its characteristic color, merely for customer appeal, or its thickness can be sufficient to survive many years of use. Since most metals are expensive, and since the cost of an electroplated coating rises with its thickness, it is important to specify sufficient coating to serve the purpose but no more.