Originally Posted by ZenSilk
But that doesn't mean it's not brass. Still brass. Just with Gold paint. Probably lead based.
Oh, and I don't think it's plating.. I am sure they just painted the pieces, soldered them on the non-painted pieces and were on their merry way. These are hookahs guys, not ashton martins.
They are indeed plated brass. Nickel first and then gold. The stem pieces are threaded together, stem tube inserted, and soldered at the top threaded connection and at the bottom of the shank. Depending on how tightly the hookah was assembled, you can actually unthread the pieces slightly if you try hard enough but it is not recommended as it puts a lot of stress on the top soldered joint.
The plating is just very thin as is typical for decorative plating. Seeing as how gold plating solution is expensive, especially at the current time, it's a no brainer to assume the manufacturer will plate the gold as thinly as they can get away with considering how much they really are making these things for. How well the plating holds up isn't only a factor of how thick the layer is but more importantly how the hookah is prepped for plating and how contaminated their solutions and water and acid baths have become.
As PL said, it's simply a cosmetic issue. Your hookah isn't slowly commiting hookah-cide.
Originally Posted by Scoop
zensilk is right. i tried to drive my hookah one time...all i got was a buttache.
Man, at least use some spit! Moassel juice would work even better.