How to Keep Gold-Plated Jewelry from Tarnishing
Few things have helped increase the life of a gold piece while also expanding accessibility like the innovation of gold-plated jewelry. Contrary to solid gold, which contains a high consistency of gold alloy, gold-plated jewelry is “composed of a base metal (think: brass, copper, and stainless steel) and is later covered through a plating process with a thin layer of gold,” says Jianni Acosta, founder of House of Jewels Miami. The result is similar to a gold piece, but the thin plating often leaves wearers frustrated when it begins to reveal the underlying metal, resulting in discoloration.To get more news about projection necklace, you can visit koalaprint.com official website.
But if you thought it's impossible to keep your pieces looking their best for longer than a matter of months, don't worry: Gold is one of the most valuable resources in the world and will last a very long time, as long as it’s cared for properly. While it is an extra step, cleaning plated gold is actually very simple and requires no high-tech materials. In fact, you likely already own everything you need to improve the shine of your gold-plated jewelry. Ahead, learn four easy steps and tricks to keep gold-plated jewelry from tarnishing, according to jewelry designers.
Before we discuss tips to prevent tarnishing, let's tackle why it occurs in the first place. This is largely due to the fact that gold plating is a thin layer above a base metal, which makes pieces stronger and less likely to bend. Unfortunately, over time, the base metal will eventually come to the surface, causing the metal and the gold to discolor. This process breaks the gold down and requires proper polishing and maintenance to restore its shine. Luckily, there are tips to prevent gold-plated jewelry from tarnishing so it keeps its luxurious look.
Missoma has always used 18ct gold vermeil in its pieces. “[Vermeil] is the design and durability you love without the pure gold price tag,” the brand's founder, Marisa Hordern, shares. The brand recommends cleaning pieces at least once a year, and every three to six months for most-loved pieces. Jewelry can be cleaned with a “soft, non-abrasive, and lint-free cloth or chamois to keep the shine,” Hordern continues. Start by gently rubbing the surface of the gold-plated jewelry and clean or spot treat as needed.
Amber Glassman, CEO and co-founder of Bryan Anthonys, echoes this lint-free cloth tip: “Do not use a polishing cloth, as this will strip away the plating.”
Regularly cleaning and wiping down your jewelry after wear can help keep your pieces shiny and scratch-free for longer,” Rellery founder Sally Rong adds. However, if it’s gold-plated sterling silver, Misho founder and creative director Suhani Parekh suggests that regular wear can actually be part of your maintenance process. “The oils in our skin help prevent tarnish build-up on silver," she shares.
If you need a deep clean, Sophie Monet Okulick, founder of her eponymous brand Sophie Monet, suggests “mixing warm water and dish soap together in a small bowl, and soaking pieces for a few minutes before rinsing and wiping them clean.” It’s important not to use an antibacterial soap, as the chemical can tarnish gold-plating. If this still doesn’t do the trick, you can always take the piece in for professional cleaning or re-plating.
According to Fortune & Frame founder Gretel Going, not all gold-plated jewelry is created equal. “There are a couple of approaches to plating, and the coating can range from the equivalent of a first coat of spray paint to extremely thick, and, therefore, less likely to tarnish or fade over time.” The more microns (read: one millionth of a meter) of gold used, the better, as it's less likely a piece of gold-plated jewelry will tarnish.
To keep your pieces from premature damage, be sure to take off gold-plated jewelry when showering or swimming. “Chlorine, salt water, and fresh water can damage precious metals by dulling or eroding them,” Hordern tells Byrdie. “Soapy water when bathing and showering can also leave a thin film, which makes the metal seem dull.” And because of the chemicals present in perfume, hairspray, makeup, deodorants, and other beauty products, Missoma's golden rule is to make gold-plated jewelry the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.