Even precious family heirlooms get caught in the test of time. Dust, moisture, and daily wear can all conspire to dull the luster of your fine jewelry pieces.
From our conversations with our clients, the word ‘tarnish’ sticks out like a sore thumb – no one likes it! Frantic questions emerge: how do tarnishes happen? Can tarnishing be reversed? How can I prevent it from happening?
The great news is, tarnishing is not permanent. There are simple steps to reverse the process and have your jewelry looking good as new again. And even better, we’ll share some simple care tips for you to look after your jewelry so that tarnishes don’t, and won’t, happen.
What is tarnish?
To put it simply, when metal reacts with moisture, air, or other chemical compounds, a thin layer of corrosion forms. This will then appear as a dark discoloration on the surface of your jewelry.
Our solid gold fine jewelry is tarnish-free most of the time, except when subjected to harsh chemicals, it can occasionally be subject to chemical reactions akin to tarnishing. For our gold pieces here at Lucy & Mui, 9-karat gold contains nine parts of pure gold per 24 parts, while 14-karat gold contains 14 parts of pure gold per 24 parts. The rest of the mix contains other metals. It’s these metals that react with our environment to form a thin dark layer, otherwise known as tarnish.
Hence, only 100% pure gold (24k gold) or 100% pure silver (fine silver) are spared from the gnarly tarnishes. But these metals are usually too soft for practical everyday wear, not to mention much higher in their price points.
How can I remove tarnish?
The easiest way is to add a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid to warm water, then wipe the tarnished area with the mixture using a soft, lint-free cloth. Use gentle wiping motions and you’ll slowly start to see the tarnish disappear. Leave your jewelry to dry completely on the cloth, and polish it afterward for extra shine.
If your jewelry still looks dull after some time of use, consider bringing it to a trusted jeweler and get it professionally cleaned. You may also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our diamond cleaning set, and we’ll be more than happy to help.
How can I prevent tarnish?
To preserve their longevity, a little love and care go a very long way. Follow these simple care tips to avoid the nasty dark layers on your precious jewelry:
1 | Remove your jewelry before swimming in pools or the sea. The chlorine in pools is not your jewelry metals’ best friend!
2 | Remove your jewelry before showering or exercising. Even the PH levels in your sweat could cause a reaction with your jewelry.
3 | Store your jewelry in a clean, dry place. Keep them away from extreme sunlight, temperatures, and humidity.
4 | Wear your jewelry after your beauty routine. When wearing your jewelry, minimize exposure to makeup, hairspray, perfumes, sunscreen, and lotions.
Dealing with these slight discolorations doesn’t have to be a daunting task, as long as you know how to treat them and minimize their chances of forming again. Here at Lucy & Mui, we’re committed to crafting that perfect heirloom for you. From our hands to yours, we’ll make sure that your jewelry piece stays with you for a lifetime.