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Extending the Life of Your Gold-Plated Jewelry

Gold-plated jewelry is a great option for most of us who cannot afford solid gold jewelry. Gold-plated means there is a layer of gold surrounding another base metal, giving you the gorgeous look of gold without breaking the bank. While it’s a great option for most people, it does not last forever—but with proper care, you can definitely extend the life of your gold-plated pieces.  

Most gold-plated pieces contain a thin layer of gold, so it is important to understand what exactly causes such pieces to tarnish or fade if you wish to keep your pieces looking shiny and new. Beauty products, body oils and sweat, chlorinated or salty water, and oxidation can all contribute to tarnishing and fading. Fading can also happen over time with normal wear, but the life of your favorite pieces can be extended by keeping your pieces safe from the items above. Gold-plated jewelry can last up to 2 years if taken care of properly.

Here are some easy tips to keep your jewelry looking bright and beautiful:

  1. Never swim, shower, or bathe while wearing your gold-plated pieces. All types of water can cause your jewelry to fade faster.
  2. Body oils and sweat are also bad for gold-plated jewelry. It’s helpful to wash your hands before handling your jewelry and remove it before sleeping.
  3. Keep your gold-plated jewelry away from all beauty products, makeup, and chemicals. It’s important to put on your jewelry after you do your beauty routine and also especially after spraying hairspray or perfume as the chemicals in these products can tarnish gold-plating. Definitely also remove your jewelry before doing any housecleaning or washing dishes. The chemicals in these products can also speed up the fading process.
  4. Never work out in your jewelry. Not only can the sweat cause your pieces to fade faster, but you could also easily chip off some of the gold-plating.
  5. Clean your pieces after each wear with a soft cloth. All of our jewelry at Myra Ave arrives in a microfiber pouch that is perfect for cleaning. Gently wipe off your pieces with a soft cloth like this before storing them.
  6. Store them in a safe place where they will not come in contact with other pieces of jewelry. Oxidation is something that naturally occurs with time and can lead to tarnishing. Storing them in a sealed plastic bag is a great way to slow down or even prevent this process.

While fading and tarnishing will inevitably happen at some point with gold-plated jewelry, don’t fret. Your favorite pieces can easily be brought back to life by being plated again. Many jewelers will re-plate items for a nominal fee, about $10-$15. Call your local jeweler to inquire about their gold-plating services, or if you’re feeling handy, you can also order an at-home plating kit.   

If all this jewelry talk makes you want to update your collection, check out our newest collection of reasonably priced, hypoallergenic jewelry here