There's no such thing as alchemy—magically changing common chemical elements into rare and valuable ones—but electroplating is possibly the next best thing. The idea is to use electricity to coat a relatively mundane metal, such as copper, with a thin layer of another, more precious metal, such as gold or silver. Electroplating has lots of other uses, besides making cheap metals look expensive. We can use it to make things rust-resistant, for example, or to produce a variety of useful alloys like brass and bronze. How does this amazing process work? Let's take a closer look!