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Juliana 3 Ring Set
Pick 3 for $99
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Blush and Bar
Love your jewelry?
Then you’ll want to find pieces that last a long time!
The problem is that some types of jewelry tarnish and others don’t.
How can you tell what will and what won’t?
In this article, we’ll break down the details. Here’s to great-looking jewelry!
Metal tarnish is a chemical reaction between a type of metal and other elements.
Some metals, like gold, only tarnish with harsh or unusual chemicals. Others interact with common substances—like salt, sulfur, or acid.
(Sweat, seawater, rubber bands, and citrus can all cause some types of jewelry to tarnish!)
Source: sara k gravesfrom Pixabay
Other metals interact with the very air we breathe in the form of oxygen.
It’s a common myth that metals that tarnish aren’t valuable, but that’s far from accurate.
Silver, for example, tarnishes when exposed to oxygen. You should watch out for any jewelry that doesn’t tarnish because something might be wrong!
It might be made of a cheaper, tarnish-resistant metal or coating like stainless steel, aluminum, or chrome.
All precious metals—silver, gold, and platinum—are soft. Because of that, metallurgists usually mix them with other elements for strength. This process is known as alloying.
The problem is that those alloyed metals can often tarnish.
Nearly all types of metals tarnish with everyday wear.
If you have jewelry made of silver, copper, brass, nickel, iron, or any other base metal, you can expect tarnish to appear.
The exceptions are gold and platinum, which only react with powerful chemicals like concentrated peroxide, cyanide, iodine, and chlorine. These chemicals would harm you more than your ring!
But it’s rare for us to wear pure, 24-karat gold since it’s so soft. Instead, it’s usually alloyed with more durable metals like copper.
That’s especially true in rose gold, which has a more substantial amount of copper to produce its reddish color.
So most types of jewelry will tarnish. But that’s not bad news at all! It gives you a great excuse to wear your jewelry even more often.
You see, wearing your jewelry is one of the best ways to keep it from tarnishing. Instead of polishing your piece with a cloth, your skin can help “polish” the metals naturally without extra effort.
That said, there are a few chemicals that can make tarnish appear even faster. Many of these are the same ingredients in your cosmetics.
It’s a good rule of thumb to put on your jewelry last in the morning and take it off first at night.
Source: Blush and Bar from Instagram
Apply any lotions, creams, perfumes, or hair products first—then put on your jewelry. That way, you won’t leave skin cream or hair spray on your jewelry all day.
And when you take it off at night, dry your pieces and store them first.
So your jewelry has already tarnished. Are you just out of luck?
Not at all!
There are several ways to clean tarnish off your jewelry. If you have 15 minutes, you can get your piece looking good as new again.
The easiest method is to use a soft cloth, warm water, and gentle hand soap to polish it.
While some guides you’ll read online recommend a toothbrush and toothpaste (yes, really), we don’t recommend it. The bristles and abrasive agents can scratch the delicate surface of your jewelry.
You can also use an over-the-counter jewelry cleaner if you like. Just make sure it’s for the correct type of metal—the wrong solution can further corrode your piece, or worse.
The secret to beautiful, long-lasting jewelry isn’t to avoid pieces that can tarnish. In many cases, the fact it will tarnish proves you’ve bought the real thing!
Instead, take proper care of your pieces, and make sure you’re keeping them away from any chemicals that could cause damage.
You’ll also want to wear them often and do a little polishing when needed to keep your jewelry in top shape.
With the right care, your jewelry can last a lifetime!
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