Does recycled handmade solid gold jewellery tarnish?

Does recycled handmade solid gold jewellery tarnish?

9ct recycled solid gold handmade jewellery is made with exactly the same gold as any other 9ct gold jewellery.  Many owners notice that their precious pieces sometimes tarnish. Understanding why this happens and how to prevent it can help keep your jewellery looking beautiful for years to come.

Why Does 9ct Gold Tarnish?

Unlike higher purity gold, 9ct gold contains only 37.5% gold, with the remaining 62.5% composed of other metals such as silver, copper, and zinc. These alloying metals enhance the durability and affordability of the jewellery but also make it susceptible to tarnishing. Tarnishing occurs when these metals react with elements in the environment, such as oxygen, sulfur, and moisture.

  1. Oxygen Exposure: When 9ct gold is exposed to air, the metals like copper and silver in the alloy can oxidise, leading to a dull or darkened appearance.
  2. Sulfur and Pollution: Sulfur compounds, found in everyday items like certain foods, rubber bands, and even polluted air, can react with the alloy metals, causing tarnish.
  3. Moisture and Chemicals: Regular exposure to sweat, perfumes, lotions, and household cleaning agents can accelerate tarnishing. The chemicals and moisture facilitate reactions with the metals, leading to a loss of luster.

Preventing Tarnish on 9ct Gold Jewellery

Preventing tarnish is all about minimising the exposure of your jewellery to these reactive elements. Here are some effective strategies:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your 9ct gold jewellery regularly with a mild soap solution and a soft cloth. This helps remove any accumulated oils, dirt, and pollutants that can cause tarnish.
  2. Proper Storage: Store your jewellery in a dry, cool place. Use anti-tarnish pouches or cloths, which are specifically designed to absorb moisture and sulfur compounds. Keeping pieces in individual, airtight bags can also prevent exposure to air and humidity.
  3. Avoid Chemicals: Limit your jewellery's exposure to household cleaners, perfumes, lotions, and sweat. Remove your jewellery before engaging in activities like cleaning, swimming, or exercising.
  4. Wear It Often: Interestingly, wearing your jewellery regularly can help prevent tarnish. The natural oils from your skin can create a protective layer that reduces oxidation and tarnishing.
  5. Professional Care: Periodically take your jewellery to a professional for cleaning and polishing. They can remove tarnish effectively and restore the shine to your pieces without causing damage.

By understanding the causes of tarnishing and adopting these preventative measures, you can keep your 9ct gold handmade jewellery in pristine condition. Proper care ensures that these beautiful, unique pieces remain a treasured part of your collection for many years.

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