From cherished family heirlooms to on-trend pieces, gold is one of the most classic and sought-after metals throughout history. It’s popularity dates back to Egyptian Pharaohs who often wore multiple gold necklaces and bracelets, as well as royal families and aristocrats in India and Europe. Either on it’s own or paired with precious stones, gold has been the ideal metal for for jewelry, coinage, and the arts through the ages.
Though gold is known for its ability maintain its shining appearance after extended use, everyday wear can cause grime and dirt to accumulate. Proper storing and care can make the biggest difference in the longevity of your gold rings, necklaces and bracelets. Luckily, protecting your pieces doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive- all you need are a few household items and a couple of minutes!
WHAT IS GOLD?
Like silver, pure gold is incredibly soft and delicate, which is why it is most commonly combined with other metal alloys to make it stronger. Since gold is incredibly malleable, it can be shaped and molded into almost any design that will hold its definition. Gold is also hypoallergenic, which makes it a go-to for people with sensitive skin. Gold alloys typically do not rust, tarnish, or corrode, and only require basic care to keep it glowing for years. Jewlr offers both 10K and 14K white, yellow and rose gold for our jewelry, giving you plenty of options to choose from.
GRADING: Gold is most commonly graded using “karats” to describe the purity of gold. “Carats” describes both the purity of gold as well as the weight of gemstones.
The letter “K” generally follows a number that describes the ratio of gold parts to allow.
For example, 14K gold is 14 parts gold to 10 parts alloy. The higher the gold to alloy ratio, the more valuable it becomes. You will most often see 10K, 14K or 18K gold options available for jewelry.
Do not wear gold jewelry while using cleaning products, or while in a pool or hot tub.
Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolor your gold jewelry. Remove all gold jewelry before showering or cleaning. Soap can cause a film to form on karat gold jewelry, making it appear dull and dingy. All jewelry should also be put on after applying cosmetics or perfume, and be taken off during high-intensity or physical activities.
Remember that prevention starts with mindfulness! Taking a few precautions every day can really extend the longevity of your jewelry! Your jewelry box will thank you.
Keep your pieces separated and wrapped in a soft cloth when not being worn.
Properly storing your gold jewelry is half the battle against dirt and tarnish. To avoid things like scratching, store each piece in a separate soft cloth bag. Limiting the amount of moisture in the air also helps to protect against dulling.
For minor dulling or as just a way to make your pieces pop, polishing will give you sparkling results in under a minute. Give these a try to be a polishing pro.
Tools: A toothbrush and/or a soft cloth
The Motion: Make sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles, as stiff bristles run the risk of scratching the metal. When polishing, use long back-and-forth motions that go with the grain of the gold. Avoid rubbing because it may scratch the metal. Using a q-tip can help get into small crevices without damaging your piece.
To give your pieces some extra TLC, here are some ways to make your jewelry shine in a jiffy.
Warm water and dish soap: The most effective and recommended way to clean gold jewelry is with simple soap and water! Mix warm water and ammonia-free phosphate-free dish soap in a small bowl. Use either a clean cloth or soft toothbrush to dip into the solution and gently wipe away grime. Place the jewelry in a strainer and rinse under water. Pat dry and lay the pieces upside down to avoid moisture soaking into the setting. Alternatively, use a damp cloth to wipe away excess soap from the piece. This method is safe for pieces with or without gemstones.
Beer: Apply a small amount of beer onto a cloth and rub it across your gold pieces to remove any tarnish or other dirt. This works best with light or amber-colored beers (like Corona or Bud Light). Do not use directly on gemstones.
Club soda: This method is best to use with jewelry that features genuine diamonds, sapphires, or any other precious gems. Pour club soda into a glass or bowl and drop let your jewelry sit overnight. For pieces with stones that are glued-in versus set, only let soak for 15 minutes, pat dry and lay upside down.
Vodka: Dip a clean cloth into a glass or bowl of vodka and wipe to clean. Because vodka can be used on glass and anything crystalline in nature, it’s safe to use on both diamonds and other non-porous crystalline gemstones.
When all else fails, these tips are for the most stubborn tarnish build-up.
Ammonia: Ammonia should be used sparingly on gold jewelry. Though it’s very effective in removing dirt and grime, cleaning too with ammonia too frequently can leave your gold jewelry damaged or tinted.
Begin by mixing a solution of one part ammonia with six parts water in the small bowl. Place your gold jewelry in the solution and allow it to soak for up to 60 seconds. Rinse the jewelry thoroughly under running water ensuring that all cleaning solution is removed. Dry the jewelry with a soft polishing cloth.