People looking to splurge on some jewelry often have similar concerns. One of these is how well their chosen pieces will hold over time. This is an understandable concern because pure gold jewelry can be expensive.
Because jewelry is all about aesthetics, anything that changes its appeal makes it less appealing. This is where the issue of tarnishing comes in.
Does gold tarnish, and what can you do to prevent this? Read all about that here.
Can My Gold Jewelry Tarnish?
The answer is yes. Here is why.
Gold in its purest form does not tarnish. Gold holds its spot as being one of the most unreactive elements on earth. Pure gold does not combine with oxygen easily and does not therefore rust or tarnish. It's this quality that keeps gold bars shiny for decades.
However, it's almost impossible to create a jewelry item from pure gold as it's very soft. This makes it not only difficult to work with, but the results would not be durable either.
To solve this problem, gold is mixed with other metals to create a stronger metal and one that jewelry designers can craft into the exquisite pieces you see in boutiques and jewelry stores.
While the gold in your jewelry will not tarnish, the other alloyed metals are tarnishable. This is why gold jewelry starts to tarnish if not properly taken care of.
Why Gold Tarnishes
Sulfur and oxygen are the main culprits behind tarnishing gold, just like they contribute to metal rusting.
Gold jewelry tarnishes as a result of moisture mixing with sulfur and oxygen contained in the metals alloys with gold. When this happens, corrosion happens on the surface. This creates a tarnished look.
Different people will also find their gold jewelry tarnishing more than others. For example, if you wear cologne and perfume next to the skin where you wear certain jewelry pieces, you will find that these will tarnish faster.
So how do you slow down the process and enjoy great-looking jewelry for longer?
How To Prevent Tarnishing
While it might not be possible to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing forever, there are steps you can take to slow down the process significantly.
Here are some tips.
Keep It Dry
The fastest way for jewelry to tarnish is through exposure to moisture and liquids. This includes perfume, water, sweat, body lotion, and so on. At times, even your body oils can tarnish your jewelry.
Some of these, like sweating, are unavoidable. What you can do is to ensure you wipe down your jewelry after every wear.
Invest in a good jewelry storage box that keeps your jewelry separate, so they do not scratch each other. Similarly, you can toss in a silica gel packet to absorb moisture from the box.
All in all, be cautious when buying gold jewelry online to ensure that what you get is what you are paying for. When taken care of well, authentic solid gold jewelry items hold up to tarnish better than gold-plated jewelry does.