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Does Gold Jewelry Tarnish?

Does Gold Jewelry Tarnish?

C.D. Peacock sells premium jewelry from different brands. Fine jewelry made of gold should not tarnish, but the costume jewelry made from malleable metals, mainly brass, will eventually tarnish because it is natural for metals to get oxidized over time.

Every woman wants to look fabulous and elegant in gold earrings without breaking the bank, be it the studs, the drops earrings, threaders, teardrops, hoops, chandeliers, or dangling statement pieces, or any other earring type.

Different brands make trendy costume jewelry. The designer earrings are very artsy and gorgeous. Some brands you’ll find are Hearts on Fire, Gucci, Smiling Rocks, Chanel, Michael M., Nambé, and more.

Earrings made of gold, sterling, diamonds, platinum, and other expensive metals are too pricey, so different brands make fashion jewelry from alternative metals to achieve similar looks, but at cost costume jewelry tarnishes faster if not well taken care of.

These non-precious metals are gemstones made of glass. Often, resins, leather, or ribbons are incorporated.

This post will tell you why gold jewelry tarnishes and give you some tips to preserve its beauty for a long time.

What can cause gold jewelry to tarnish?

Gold jewelry tarnishes (discolors) when it's wrongly stored or when it gets into contact with cosmetics chemicals, water, sweat, lotions, and humidity. 

Costume or fashion jewelry metal is not real gold, so it is bound to tarnish. If you take good care of your gold jewelry, it can stay elegant for an extended period. Your environment, humidity, and temperature will affect how quickly costume jewelry discolors.

In fashion jewelry, some preferred cheap metals, also known as base metals, include metal alloys, brass, nickel, aluminum, copper, and pewter. They easily form into desired shapes without breaking. Often gold jewelry is not pure gold and has a metal mix and this is why it tarnishes eventually.

Here are some of the reasons why costume gold jewelry tarnishes.

Oxidation of the Copper within brass 

Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper, and it naturally turns brownish as the copper oxidizes. 

You might find a greenish residue (verdigris) after wearing brass jewelry if you have sensitive skin. Sterling silver and gold are good alternatives for those allergic to brass. 

Chanel Coco Crush Hoop Earrings Beige gold

Improper Storage

Storing pieces of costume jewelry together makes them rub on each other and sometimes chip. Keep them individually in their respective cases when on the move or in your home.

If you mix up all types of jewelry - fine, fashion, or semi-fine jewelry - in one velvet pouch, in a big box, or in a drawer with a felt lining, this might be the reason why the gorgeousness of your earrings doesn't last. 

There is a particular way to store earrings when traveling or for later use, and that’s in individual ziplock bags or perspex jewelry organizers.

Open humid places with fluctuating temperatures wear down your pieces and result in tarnish, so don’t store them in your bathroom.

Make-up, body lotions, oils, and deodorants

Cosmetic products have chemicals that react with the metals included in fashion jewelry, which may cause them to tarnish. 

If you are fond of wearing your jewelry first and then cosmetics, body oils, and deodorants later, this is why your gold jewelry doesn't last. Put your gold earrings on only after applying lotions or make-up.

Spraying the earrings with perfume

If you spritz some perfume behind your ears or on your neck after wearing gold earrings, you will be horrified when they lose their shine so fast.

Sweat makes earrings tarnish

Jewelry pieces, like bracelets, and earrings, tarnish if they regularly come into contact with body oils, so remember to take them off when engaging in strenuous physical activities or during sleep. 

Some of us forget to remove studs when going to the gym, out for a run, or when hiking, then we wonder why they tarnish so fast. It's because of the sweat. 

Water can discolor jewelry

Water, especially salt water, can discolor or damage your gold jewelry, so you’d better remove them when going into the ocean.

Water splashes as you wash your face and lands on your earrings. Sometimes, you have a gold bracelet on, and you forget to take it off when washing your hands. This might result in discoloration.

Sulfur tarnishes any jewelry

Sulfur also quickly tarnishes any jewelry, including gold jewelry. Sulfur is in some pesticides, harsh cleaning agents, cement, and bleaching paper. 

Aside from being harmful to our bodies, it also hastens the wear and tear of jewelry. 

So, how do you keep your earrings as good as new? Keep reading; we have curated some detailed tips for you.

How to preserve gold jewelry

Most gold jewelry stays valuable over time and is an obsession for many. If you want to sell pre-loved gold jewelry on e-bay, Etsy, or any online shop, a pair of earrings, a necklace or a bracelet is an asset that will fetch a good amount of money, so it’s important to keep them in pristine condition. 

Here is how to do that:

Use proper storage

Store your gold jewelry pieces in their cases as individual items or in ziplock bags. Also, arrange them according to metal and type (fine, costume, semi-fine) in a perspex jewelry organizer. The perspex box should be rubber-lined. 


You can do with the drawer type or the stackable option, but whatever you choose, do not use the drawers with felt linings as they oxidize jewelry.

Avoid storing your earring in a bathroom or any humid place.

Also, avoid contact with water, and if you must, wipe them dry with a soft cloth. Keep gold jewelry dry at all times, away from acids, detergents, or chemical solutions that would cause them to discolor.

Take good care of your gold jewelry

At least once a month, wipe down all your earrings with the lint-free soft cloth used to polish silver or gold. That's to take off the grime and dirt build-up and keep them shining. Do not use water in this process.

It would be best if you could wipe them after each use to rid them of moisture, lotion, and sweat. 

Put on your gold jewelry after applying your perfume and make-up to avoid staining and discoloration.

You could also spray them with an anti-tarnish spray.

Don't go to the gym, sauna, swimming, or take a bath with your earrings on.

Do not over-expose your costume jewelry to sunlight or LED lighting.

Follow the brand’s recommended care instructions, such as always putting them in their jewelry box after use to keep them in perfect condition.


You cannot be carefree with your gold jewelry and expect the pieces  to stay in perfect shape for a long time. It would be best to keep them clean, dry, and away from cosmetic chemicals, detergents, moisture, sweat, sulfur, and water. 

Also, use an anti-tarnish spray to preserve them.

Periodical gentle rubs with a lint-free soft cloth will keep the shine. 

Additionally, carefully follow the care instructions for each purchase and store them in their cases or perspex jewelry organizers.

Did you gawk at some gold jewelry pieces recently? Have you longed to add some earrings to your collection? C.D. Peacock has some beautiful Coco Crush Hoops that you could pair with denim and a boyfriend jacket or blazer for a casual look. 

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