Chanel created costume jewellery to offer a fashionable and cheaper substitute for fine jewellery. Costume jewellery pieces that were first made by the House of Chanel date between 1914 and 1939.
The use of cheaper and accessible materials enabled Chanel to produce chic pieces that were more affordable for their market.
Although the Chanel costume jewellery is cheaper than the fine jewellery, they’re still costly.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a piece of jewellery from their costume jewellery line, continue reading to learn everything you need to know before making the purchase.
Does Chanel costume jewellery tarnish?
Over a prolonged period, Chanel costume jewellery may tarnish depending on the conditions the piece is exposed to. Tarnishing of the costume jewellery is common and normal.
Since the Chanel costume jewellery is not made from precious metals, it can tarnish over time, which can be disappointing given that they are costly. Although, these pieces don’t tarnish as quickly as other jewellery pieces and with good care, they may not tarnish at all.
What metal is Chanel costume jewellery made of?
Chanel costume jewellery is made of non-precious base metals like rhodium, rhodium over steel and stainless steel. Gold, platinum and other precious metals are never used for this line.
For this line, Chanel also uses imitation gemstones. Although these are not precious metals, they are still good-quality metals thus the better quality of the Chanel costume jewellery.
Why or why doesn’t Chanel costume jewellery tarnish?
Tarnishing of Chanel costume jewellery is quite common and normal. Tarnish on the jewellery pieces is caused when the surface of the metal is in contact with various materials, causing oxidation.
This is a natural occurrence. Some of the materials that cause oxidation which leads to tarnishing are; deodorants, makeup, lotion, perfumes, sweat, oils and other external substances.
Elements like sulfur and oxygen present in these substances react with the metal of the jewellery causing it to tarnish or change colour.
Tarnish presents itself as a dull-looking or black “stain” on the piece of jewellery. The extent of tarnishing that you’ll experience depends on how often you wear and clean your jewellery pieces.
The elements responsible for tarnishing are also present in the air, therefore, even though you clean and store your pieces properly, they’ll probably tarnish after several years due to oxidation.
Tips for cleaning your tarnished Chanel jewellery
It is crucial to always clean your jewellery pieces properly for them to last longer. The following are some of the tips you can use to clean your Chanel jewellery pieces if they are already tarnished.
Use baking soda, aluminum foil and salt. Find a plate or pan and line it with the aluminum foil, with the shiny side of the foil facing up.
Place your tarnished Chanel jewellery on the plate or pan. In one cup of warm water, mix 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Pour the mixture on the jewellery on the plate or pan.
You’ll notice fizzing and bubbles. This is a chemical reaction between the mixture and the tarnish as your pieces are being cleaned. After a few minutes, check if the tarnish has been removed, rinse the pieces with cool water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
Use lemon juice. To clean your tarnished Chanel jewellery, mix equal parts lemon juice and water and place your jewellery inside the mixture and let it soak for around 10-15 minutes.
The acid from the lemon will clean the tarnish from your piece. Once the jewellery is clean, rinse it with cool water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
If after the 10-15 minutes there’s still tarnish on your jewellery, rinse the piece with cool water and place it back in the acidic mixture for extra few minutes. Then, take it out, rinse again and dry the piece thoroughly.
Use an old toothbrush and toothpaste. To clean with a toothbrush and toothpaste, squeeze a pea-size amount of toothpaste onto your affected jewellery piece and smear it with your finger.
Once the piece of jewellery is covered with a thin coat of toothpaste, start gently scrubbing it with the toothbrush. Scrub gently and thoroughly, making sure you get into the crevices.
The gritty texture of the toothpaste and the hard toothbrush bristles will make sure to remove the dirt completely. A Q-tip can be used in place of the toothbrush for this method. After cleaning thoroughly, rinse the jewellery with clean cool water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
It is common for jewellery pieces to tarnish. Taking proper care of your pieces will however keep the tarnish away for years.
Unlike fine jewellery made from precious metals, Chanel costume jewellery can tarnish, losing its colour.
But, this does not mean you throw away your jewellery piece. With the tips provided above, you can revive your Chanel costume jewellery.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.