Is your gold necklace turning bronze? Are you interested in restoring it to its former glory? Here are some tips and tricks to treating the tarnish off your ‘gold’ necklace.
Every woman would like to own gold jewelry. Whether it is genuine or fake gold, gold necklaces, and other pieces of gold jewelry look spectacular when first purchasing them.
Many people prefer mixing pieces of costume and fake jewelry with their more elegant collection of jewelry as a means of always staying on top of trends and expressing their personal sense of style. As a result, they end up saving tons of money and still manage to look exquisite every time they step out of their house with their accessories.
However, gold jewelry tends to change color or tarnishing after a while of use. It loses its lustrous appearance, which can be quite frustrating. Luckily, you can quickly solve this by following the tips and tricks below to clean and extend the longevity of gold jewelry.
My gold necklace is turning bronze
Gold is one of the least reactive chemical elements. As such, pure gold or 24K gold does not react easily with oxygen, meaning it will not tarnish, rust, or change color. However, it is difficult to use gold alone in making jewelry since it is too soft.
Many jewelers combine it with other base metals, like copper, silver, or nickel, to increase its tensile strength and make it more malleable; thus, the presence of various carats of gold. The higher the karat of gold jewelry, the less likely it is to tarnish or turn bronze.
When you notice your gold necklace is turning bronze or changing color, your necklace likely contains 14K gold and below. Gold tarnishing refers to the slight corrosion of the surface layer of your gold jewelry and is evident by dark discoloration of the item.
Jewelry pieces with gold plating finishes are more fragile and susceptible to tuning bronze due to the thin layer of gold present on their surface layer. Often, most gold plated consists of one micron of gold plating, which quickly wears off when exposed to various factors.
Why is my gold necklace turning bronze?
When gold jewelry changes color, it means that it either has a lesser amount of gold that the metals in its construction or it is merely not real gold jewelry and only contains a gold plating finish. The rate at which the plating wears away depends on its base metal. If its base metal is nickel, brass, bronze, or pewter, it is likely to wear away and expose the underlying metal.
- Metal abrasion causes gold plated jewelry and jewelry containing lower carat gold to tarnish over time. Often, we wear cosmetic products with various chemical compounds, like perfumes, lotions, and other types of oils, react with the gold content in your jewelry, resulting in a black/dark smudge on your skin. These substances also influence the discoloration of your jewelry.
- Another common cause of tarnishing of gold jewelry is the use of low-quality gold plating. Any gold plated jewelry with plating thinner than one micron, which is pretty thin, is considerably low-quality plating. Some jewelers sell gold plated jewelry with plating less than 0.175, which is also known as gold flushing and is quite easy to wear off.
- Although pure gold does not react readily with other substances, the alloys it makes usually do. Nickel, silver, and copper are some of the common base metals mixed with gold to make it more malleable and durable. When these metal alloys oxidize, they change color and become darker. They readily react with bodily fluids, like sweat and other substances, like moisture, light, and water, to form the discoloration of these alloys.
- Your body chemistry also affects the rate at which your gold jewelry tarnishes. Food items with high levels of acidity and sulfur compounds, like fruit juices, pickled things, onions, and spices, influence your body’s pH level, which generally affects the rate of discoloration of your gold jewelry.
How to take care of your gold necklace if it is turning bronze
Even though tarnished gold jewelry can be frustrating, it is easy to restore it to its previous shiny glory.
You should clean plated jewelry regularly to prolong its shine and lustrous appearance.
- Wash your gold plated jewelry with some warm water and mild soap and gently rub it with a soft and clean cloth or an old and soft toothbrush.
- You may also opt to use mild and non-phosphate dishwashing liquid and a cotton swab. Toothbrush and baking soda are too harsh and may permanently damage your piece of jewelry. Make sure you completely dry your gold jewelry with a soft cloth or allow it to air-dry overnight and polish it with a jewelry polishing cloth for extra shine.
- Store it in a jewelry box or soft bag in a dry and dark location. It is best to put a few silica packets in your storage space for them to absorb any moisture present.
- If the gold necklace does not change in appearance after cleaning it severally, you can take it to your local jeweler for thorough cleaning. Make sure it is a trusted jeweler since you do not want to spend your hard-earned money and end up with a more damaged piece.
Luckily, you can restore your gold necklace to its former glory by following the cleaning procedure mentioned above. Jewelry with unique designs and special stone settings are more challenging to clean than those without. However, it is not impossible to clean them. Exercise proper care and pay attention to all the nooks and crannies in your piece of jewelry.
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