Does Gold React With Sweat? (Jeweler’s Detailed Answer)

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As you research about the best kind of jewelry for your lifestyle and also something that matches your personality well, the dos and the don’ts, you fast learn that in as much as you’d like to wear some types of jewelry all day, every day, doing all you need to do, there are just too many scenarios and places where it wouldn’t be ideal for you to keep the gold jewelry on.

Today, we look at the relationship between your best gold jewelry and its interaction with sweat, or in other words, what happens when you keep your gold jewelry on during sweaty sessions; whether at the gym or out in the mountains hiking.

This article endeavors to guide you on how to take care of your gold jewelry, and most importantly, the potential repercussions from the reaction of gold with sweat, if any. So, let’s jump right into it!


Does gold react with sweat ruin gold jewelry?

Does Gold React With Sweat

In as much as you feel that your engagement or wedding ring is attached to you and that you could never take it off, there is a possibility that keeping the ring, necklace, or earrings on during workouts and other sweat sessions will ruin your gold jewelry.

And though you could argue that wearing heavy or chunky jewelry to the gym is something no sane person would do, it is not unheard of. What you should know, however, is that wearing jewelry to the gym is not recommended, whatever the kind of jewelry you own.

And though the smaller pieces of jewelry can be safe on the gym, anything big or with sharp edges is not ideal for wearing to the gym. So, to protect your gold jewelry, you shouldn’t take it off at the gym before the workout or at home.

Does Gold React With Sweat

But what about all the people in your life who always work out in their gold jewelry? Well, it turns out that while it’s not necessarily the worst idea in the world to wear solid gold jewelry to the gym, you’re fine jewelry made of gold will be slowly damaged over time when you keep them on in the gym.

The high gold content in 14k or 18k gold means that the gold jewelry would be structurally compromised when the ring is left on during workouts. The heavyweights, ropes, etc., will affect the strength and the integrity of the gold jewelry, and that jewelry would be damaged after some time.


Does this mean that gold reacts with sweat?

Does Gold React With Sweat

Regarding the reactivity of gold with sweat and what it means to keep your 14k or 18k gold ring, earrings, or necklace on during workouts – you should know that in as much as pure gold in this jewelry is pretty much non-reactive (just soft and malleable), the metal alloys that are added to the pure, 24k gold to create the solid gold alloys like the 14k and 18k gold are often highly reactive, and these would react with the salts in the sweat, causing a change in color or tarnishing.

But the good news is that this doesn’t affect all kinds of solid gold alloys, as it’s a lot more common with the lower karat gold variants, like 10k and 14k gold that contain a higher percentage of metal alloys mixed into the gold.   

Does Gold React With Sweat

However, exposing the gold jewelry to sweat too often will increase the risk of corrosion/ tarnishing and the rate at which the color changes become apparent. This means that if you are wondering about what happens when you expose your gold jewelry to sweat, the answer is that sweating will increase the rate of tarnishing for the gold jewelry. In extreme exposure to sweating, the gold jewelry will be damaged by sweat.


Is sweat bad for gold?

Does Gold React With Sweat

Exposing your gold jewelry to sweat might not be too good for your jewelry. The reason for this is that the exposure of the gold jewelry to sweat increases the rate at which the gold tarnishes. So, yes, sweat will ruin your gold jewelry.

As mentioned above, the reason for this has to do with the high content of metal alloys that are added to the pure gold to harden it.

Pure, 24k gold is too soft and malleable and cannot be used in making jewelry as is. To create hardened gold alloys, metal alloys like copper, zinc, palladium, or silver are added to the pure gold.

These metal alloys react with the acids and salts in sweat, affecting the integrity of the gold jewelry.


Is It OK to Wear Gold Jewelry While You Work Out?

Does Gold React With Sweat

Though gold jewelry is significantly safe and can be worn in the gym, for the most part, it’s important to keep in mind that wearing gold jewelry to the gym can be damaging to your expensive jewelry.

Some of the ways the jewelry can be damaged when working out include:

  • The jewelry might turn green – this is often the case with gold-plated jewelry because of the ultra-thin layer of gold that will be eroded over time, exposing the base metals like brass that contains silver, hence the tarnishing and color change. It would also cause discoloration of the skin after the gold is tarnished.
  • In the case of new piercings, the gold jewelry would be irritated by the sweat, prolonging the healing time of the new piercings.
  • The other potential issue that would arise from wearing jewelry to the gym is the tug factor. Your jewelry could be pulled at during workouts, which can be very painful and uncomfortable. So, don’t wear your gold hoop earrings or long necklaces because these would get caught in the gym equipment.


How to wear your gold jewelry properly when you are working out

Does Gold React With Sweat

  • Carry a tennis ball with a small hole in it to keep the jewelry safe before your workouts
  • Wear gym-safe jewelry like the ones made of silicone, for example, a silicone wristband or sleeper earrings, or clear plastic earrings.
  • Wear small and lightweight earrings
  • Avoid wearing chunky and dangling gold earrings, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Avoid wearing long necklaces over 14 inches long, and watch out for pendant necklaces
  • Choose jewelry that boasts simple designs
  • Opt for jewelry made of robust and non-reactive metals like high karat gold, stainless steel, titanium, or plastic/ silicone.
  • Don’t wear pearls to the gym.
  • Avoid wearing jewelry with gemstones to the gym.



Gold will eventually react with sweat after exposure for a prolonged duration. The sweat reacts with metal alloys that are blended to the gold, hence the fact that gold will be damaged by sweat. Thanks for reading!

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