Trumpet players have it good today. A good beginning trumpet or student trumpet will last for a few years, but if a player works hard a step-up trumpet is necessary. You could buy an intermediate trumpet, but in my opinion you should wait until you can afford a professional trumpet. Intermediate trumpets are better trumpets than beginning trumpets, but they are not that much better.
professional trumpet buying Pro trumpets last for years, and if the person doesn’t play as a career, it may last a lifetime. They also are largely hand-made, and the amount of hand-fitting justifies the price. The bells are usually hand-hammered, and the valves and slides are hand-lapped. This takes time. Also, the factories have their best employees working on their professional trumpets.
Silver or gold plating is justified with a pro trumpet. The instrument should last many years, and plating lasts longer than lacquer. The standard finish for a professional trumpet is silver plating, and with care it should last a long time. Gold plating doesn’t tarnish like silver, but since it’s softer it wears down over time.
All professional trumpets come with first valve slide saddles or triggers and third valve slide rings or triggers. Professional trumpets usually give you the option of triggers on the first and third valve slides. Most people use the saddle and ring combination. Also, the first and third valve slides will work well from the day you buy the horn. That’s one place the hand-fitting helps.
You could look for a used professional trumpet, and as long as you find one in good shape, you might do well. I usually recommend new professional trumpets. For most people, it’ a lifetime purchase. Professional trumpets are worth the price.