Temple of Amara Fine Jewelry Estate Vintage and Antique Gold Jewelry
Can Gold Jewelry Tarnish? – Temple of Amara

Can Gold Jewelry Tarnish?

Gold jewelry is a timeless accessory that adds elegance and sophistication to any look. Whether it’s an engagement ring, a pair of earrings, or a necklace, real gold jewelry can be worn for special occasions or everyday life. Although gold is known for its durability and lasting shine, it can still tarnish over time if not properly cared for. Knowing how to preserve the lustre of your gold jewelry can help keep it looking beautiful for years to come. In this blog post, we will discuss what causes gold to tarnish and how you can ensure your gold pieces stay in pristine condition. We will also explore the common desire for an antique patina on gold jewelry, as well as the effects of wearing real gold jewelry regularly over time.

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Over time, the natural wear and tear of everyday life can cause your gold to tarnish and dull in color, and the outer layer on plated jewelry is susceptible to wearing off which exposes the cheaper metals underneath. When this happens, those metals are exposed to the air and elements and will begin to tarnish, corrode, discolor and fade away. Your skin is also susceptible to discoloration due to this.


Real gold jewelry is also susceptible to some discoloration due to the metals that are mixed in with the gold to create the jewelry. 10k, 14, and 18k gold jewelry are all commonly known gold alloys that have other metals mixed in with them during the jewelry making process in order to add certain characteristics to the piece, whether it be color, hardness or otherwise. Any kind of white gold jewelry is a great example of this. Since gold is naturally yellow, adding other metals into the mix and creating a gold alloy is vital for creating the white gold color of these beautiful pieces. Remember, the higher the percentage of gold in the alloy, the less of a risk of the piece discoloring or tarnishing.


Antique and ancient gold jewelry has a unique charm and beauty that can’t be replicated with modern pieces. However, one of the drawbacks of antique gold jewelry is its susceptibility to tarnishing over time because of the amount of time it has been exposed to the air, elements, etc. compared to modern pieces. Gold tarnish occurs when the surface of the metal is exposed to air or moisture, causing it to corrode or discolor. While this specific type of tarnishing can actually add value and appeal to a piece of antique or ancient jewelry, it can also be a sign that the piece may need proper care. The process of tarnishing occurs when the outer layer of gold begins to corrode or discolor due to exposure to air or water molecules, so taking extra care to store your collectible old gold pieces in a dry area away from the elements is a great way to freeze & preserve its desired look for many more years to come. Proper care should be taken when it comes to preventing and treating unwanted tarnish and damage.


It is important to take care of your gold pieces to ensure they remain in their pristine condition. To properly care for gold jewelry, avoid harsh chemicals and abrasives, opt instead for polishing cloths when cleaning or restoring shine on a regular basis. Polishing cloths are designed specifically for gold jewelry and are the safest option as they are soft and won't damage the gold surface. In addition, these special cloths contain compounds such as jeweler's rouge which can help restore luster without stripping away at the gold. Some real gold jewelry has a protective topcoat, nown as rhodium plating, that helps protect your precious jewelry from tarnish or discoloration and adds a bright white sheen to white gold jewelry. In order to preserve this topcoat, avoiding the harsh chemicals and abrasives is a must. If your items are gold plated, rather than real solid gold, the top coat will wear away from regular wear, exposure to water and air, much faster than real gold and there is no turning back when this happens. Treat your gold plated jewelry like costume jewelry and expect it to age much quicker and for your ability to enjoy it while it looks brand new to be short lived compared to that of real gold. Although it can be fun for the short term, gold plated jewelry is not the same as real gold jewelry and needs much more care and consideration to keep it looking fresh. Once gold plated jewelry starts to degrade, not only will it change color, but it may also change the color of your skin a black, green, gray or brown color as you wear it. Although this isn't permanent, it is rather unsightly. Unless the base


It’s also important to keep your gold jewelry away from moisture and humidity as this can contribute to tarnishing over time. Although it is fine to expose real gold jewelry to water on occasion, being careful to avoid long exposure to swimming pools and other bodies of water that contain chemicals such as chlorine, which may harm your jewelry, and fully wiping down and drying the piece will help ensure that the piece will not lose its polish and shine. Store your pieces in a cool dry place such as a jewelry box or separate container away from other items that may cause scratching or damage its exterior finish. Also, be sure to keep pieces individually wrapped with special paper or fabric material when not being used in order to prevent dust buildup.


Lastly, if you find your gold piece has lost its sparkle, all hope is not lost! You can have it professionally cleaned and polished, and should do this at least once a year by an experienced jeweler who will know exactly how to take care of it without causing any harm. This will help maintain the look of your jewelry for many years and help you enjoy it for many more years down the line!

Don't forget to check out our shop filled with unique REAL GOLD JEWELRY items here! Do you prefer jewelry with a natural patina or a brilliant shine? Let us know in the comments section! 

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