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  • Writer's pictureRebekah Ann

Tarnishing in Gold...

Today I’m talking tarnishing. This is something few people associate with gold. And its true, it is a much larger issue with silver. However, some people and in certain situations and conditions gold can tarnish. Again it is true that gold does not tarnish, BUT that is when we talk about pure gold which isn’t used to make jewellery as it’s simply to soft. It is the other allows that can cause tarnishing. As an example, I’m going to compare 9ct and 18ct golds. 9ct gold is 375 parts gold per 1000 and 18ct gold is 750 parts gold per 1000. The other parts are alloys, and its these alloys that can tarnish if exposed to the right (or wrong conditions)

Not everyone will experience their gold tarnishing, only a small number will and it can be more of an issue for some in 9ct gold (white and rose more than yellow) due to the lower gold content and higher alloy content.

Some may find it happens as a one off and will never know the cause, and others might have some problems with areas such as ear post due to high acidity of the wears skin or perhaps shampoos being used. Randomly 3 times a year I have a ring that slightly tarnishes, and I wear it daily without other issues. I believe this to be when either my hormones change, or I’ve eaten something that’s has cause the acidity of my skin to change. I know that sounds bonkers but certain foods, wine etc can cause slight changes in the skin oils and acidity and this can result in tarnishing for some people. Also moisture in the atmosphere can cause tarnishing so its good to look at how your store your jewellery when its not being worn.

Things to remember. If you try on your gold jewellery (particularly 9ct) and have say hand sanitiser or hand lotions on, if you try on the jewellery then put it away for a number of weeks, it might have tarnished when you come to look at it if its not been cleaned before being put away. This won't always be the case, its just an example of when tarnishing might occur.

Tarnished gold jewellery can be cleaned in the same way as silver. It’s a good idea to try and work out what is causing the tarnishing to happen to help eliminate this from happening again. Things to help:

  • Avoid contact with perfumed items including hand creams and body lotions, also hand sanitisers with high alcohol in.

  • Keep aware from harsh chemicals and cleaning products.

  • Remove when showering and swimming

  • Remove to sleep in

Tarnishing isn’t a fault with your jewellery, its something that can happen. It doesn’t mean its of lower quality gold, its just a reaction that has happened which can be resolved. So please, if your gold jewellery ever tarnishes, please do not worry.

If you ever have any questions please do reach out, I’m here to help.


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