Gold-plated jewelry: how to make sure it lasts longer

Gold plated jewelry is an excellent option to enjoy the shine, color and luxury of gold jewelry without spending exorbitant amounts of money. Although they are also very popular jewelery among fashion lovers, due to their practicality and because they can be obtained in a wide variety of designs and styles that make them combine perfectly with any garment. However, as it is not 100% solid gold, special care must be taken to maximize its useful life.

The problem is that it is a simple layer of gold that covers the surface of another metal, so it will wear off over time. But luckily to lessen the chances of the plating fading, there are simple ways to keep your gold-plated jewelry shining. So we have compiled some of the best tips for you to prolong the life of your gold plated jewelry.

What exactly is gold plated jewelry?

Although you might think that gold plating is as easy as dipping a piece of metal in a bath of molten gold. The truth is that it is a scientific process in which chemistry plays an important role. Specifically gold plated jewelry is made by two methods, either using electricity or chemicals to fuse gold particles to the surface of another metal. Which is usually another more affordable metal like stainless steel, silver, or copper.

However, gold plating only makes up a thin layer of gold on top of the jewelry. So while you can increase the longevity of gold plated jewelry by choosing to coat the piece thicker, it’s still comparable to a coat of paint on your jewelry.

This means that after a longer time, it will also end up falling off, due to a wide variety of factors. Among them, the friction due to daily use, the chemicals of our skin and the air, or the nature of the base metal. The reason is that the base metals will slowly transfer their molecules to the thin layer of gold, causing it to degrade. So how long it lasts in good condition will depend on how we take care of our plated jewelry.

Ways to Maintain Your Gold Plated Jewelry

1. Don’t wear your gold-plated jewelry to bed.

This is because any inadvertent rubbing can ruin the gold plating and even destroy chains, necklaces and bracelets. In addition, sweat and oils from our skin can also affect the gold plating. So the best thing for your gold-plated jewelry is to remove it and put it away in a safe place before you go to bed.

2. Be sure to clean them with a soft cloth before putting them away.

Just because you’re not using them anymore doesn’t mean they’re safe. Since they could still contain substances from our body, since after all they have been with us all day. Therefore, gently wiping them with a cotton ball or a very soft cloth will help remove any oils, dust, and dirt that you have picked up. Just avoid using a polishing cloth, as this could remove the coating on your jewelry.

3. Don’t take a shower with your gold plated jewelry

Even the mildest soaps and shampoos can contain chemicals that react badly with the plating and base metal. In addition to this, moisture can cause the base metal to tarnish and change color to a brownish or reddish black. This type of tarnish will end up seeping through the gold layer and making your jewelry look corroded. The point is that any substance that is not pH neutral can affect your gold plated jewelry.

4. Don’t wear your gold plated jewelry while cleaning your house

As much as you love your plated jewelry, there are circumstances when it’s best to take it off, and household cleaning is one of them. This is because household cleaners are often very harsh, which can degrade the plating on your jewelry more quickly. In addition, the possible friction produced by contact can also remove gold plating, particularly if it is a thinner plating.

5. Do not swim with your jewelry

The main enemy of gold is chlorine, as this chemical is literally capable of devouring it, leaving small holes on the surface. If it can do this to solid gold, imagine what it can do to your gold plated jewelry. So obviously swimming in a pool with gold plated jewelry would spell the end of her pieces.

6. Do not spray perfumes or sprays while wearing your gold plated jewelry

Chemicals present in spray and perfumes can interact with your jewelry and cause your jewelry to degrade. Therefore, the best thing we can do is put on our jewelry after spraying the perfume, this also applies when we use lotions or creams. Although in this case we will have to wait for them to dry or have been absorbed by the skin before using our gold-plated rings, bracelets or necklaces.

We must also be careful with substances such as oils, nail polish, nail polish remover and similar products. Since they can also react with our jewelery causing it to tarnish easily. Let’s remember that sweat is also harmful so be sure to remove your gold plated jewelry if you are going to exercise or do any heavy physical work.

7. Store your jewelry separately

To avoid scratches, and prevent them from rubbing or hitting each other, it is best to wrap your gold plated jewelry in a soft cloth after cleaning and store it in a separate jewelry box from other types of jewelry. Since the less friction your jewels have with others, the longer it will take for the gold layer to disappear.