Jewelry is a popular accessory that can be enjoyed for years with the right care. Over time, some metal jewelry may become dull if not regularly cleaned or cared for. Even genuine silver and gold jewelry can lose their luster. Discoloration can occur due to various factors, such as exposure to certain chemicals. Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps to prevent discoloration and keep your jewelry in a beautiful and shiny condition.

What causes discoloration of jewelry?

Discoloration of jewelry is usually caused by oxidation. Oxidation occurs when jewelry comes into contact with substances such as oxygen and water, causing a chemical reaction. This reaction causes the metal to become dark or dull. The buildup caused by oxidation creates dull and discolored spots on a piece of jewelry. It occurs when the metal reacts with oxygen and liquids such as perfume, hairspray, or sweat. Although you can remove buildup from most types of metal jewelry, it's best to prevent it in the first place.

Discoloration of different metals

There are different materials for jewelry. For example, you have gold plated, sterling silver, gold vermeil, and pure gold jewelry. Each metal is made with a different alloy, which makes some metals more prone to oxidation than others.

Gold plated

Gold plated jewelry is generally susceptible to discoloration. This is because these jewelry pieces are usually made of cheap metals such as copper and brass. However, there is a big difference in quality between gold plated jewelry and the term is often used too generically. For example, there are brands that discolor within a month, but you also have better quality gold plated jewelry that lasts for years.

Sterling silver

Sterling silver is a high-quality precious metal. When exposed to chemicals, sterling silver can become discolored. Examples of substances that most silver jewelry cannot withstand include hairspray, perfume, saltwater, chlorine, and sweat.

The sterling silver jewelry from Rosa Rose has received a protective coating. Due to this coating, our sterling silver jewelry is resistant to the substances mentioned above. This means that you can enjoy your silver jewelry for years without it discoloring. For example, you can exercise and shower with your silver jewelry on and not worry about your jewelry becoming discolored.

Gold vermeil and pure gold

Gold vermeil and pure gold jewelry will not quickly discolor. For gold vermeil jewelry, it depends on how many karats of gold are incorporated into the piece. The higher the karat content, the less likely the gold jewelry will discolor.

How to prevent discoloration?

There are a few things you can do to prevent your jewelry from discoloring.

Store your jewelry in a cool, dry place

Jewelry that is not worn is best stored in a cool, dry place. When jewelry comes into contact with oxygen or moisture, the risk of oxidation and thus discoloration is high.

Remove jewelry when applying perfume or cosmetics

Jewelry does not react well to chemical substances. Therefore, it is wise to always remove your jewelry when applying perfume, cosmetics, lotions, or sunscreen.

Clean regularly

By regularly cleaning your jewelry with water and mild soap, you can prevent discoloration. Dry the jewelry thoroughly with a soft cloth before storing it.

Jewelry can become dull and discolored over time. One metal may be more prone to discoloration than another. With the above preventative tips, you can prevent discoloration and keep all your jewelry in top condition.


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