5 Things About Jewelry Oxidation You Didn't Know

When it comes to our beloved accessories, probably the most common problem is the oxidation of precious metal jewelry. There are countless external factors that cause this reaction, sooner or later, depending on how much they have been exposed to them.

Often, regardless of how carefully we follow the instructions in the care guide , we happen to have the unpleasant surprise of seeing that the oxidation of the jewelry has caught us off guard.

Fortunately, we can always be one step ahead of the enemy. But before taking action against him we need to know who he really is.

1. The composition of your jewelry is complex but balanced

It is a known fact that noble metals such as gold and silver deserve their name because they do not undergo the chemical reaction of oxidation . This is however only true for metals in their pure state. At the same time, some of these metals alone are far too malleable to withstand daily use.

We all want our jewelry to stand the test of time. For this reason it has become an almost mandatory practice that the metal from which the jewel is made is an alloy . Mixing it with another precious metal gives many more advantages. The strength , durability and unique color could not be achieved otherwise. Contrary to popular opinion, the alloy does not diminish the value of the jewel, in fact.

Copper, brass, and sterling silver are examples of metals used to create alloys. For example, the famous pink gold invented by master Fabergé is nothing more than an alloy of gold and copper.

These metals are what actually make it possible for our jewelry to oxidize.

2. When it comes to oxidation, there is no single 'perpetrator'

It's hard to pinpoint just one factor that caused your jewelry to oxidize. Pollution , air humidity , cosmetics , even your body's Ph can play a key role when it comes to jewelry oxidation.

Even exposure to essentially harmless substances can initiate the process of oxidation . Dishwashing detergent , the juice of a lemon , our cosmetics and even our favorite perfume can be the culprits in the shadows.

If we want to narrow the circle of culprits as much as possible, the most effective way to do that is by creating a more jewelry-friendly routine.

Going to the gym is great, and even if we want to look good, it would be best to leave all the accessories at home. In addition to the fact that the risk of deformation is high due to physical exertion, perspiration is another factor that contributes to oxidation.

3. Yes, even gold can oxidize

Even though it is famous for its property of being the least reactive , even gold can undergo changes with time.

Here are some secrets to keeping your gold or gold-based jewelry in good condition :

  • Although we know you love them and never want to part with them, try to leave the jewelry aside when you wash or shower!
  • Housework is mandatory for us, but not for our rings. Try not to wash the dishes when you carry them.
  • Skincare and makeup work wonders for skin but not for metals. Choosing jewelry should be the last step in your beauty routine!

No matter how careful you are, time will eventually make its presence felt. Then we must be armed with all the measures to remove the oxide from the surface of the gold :

  • For fast and effortless results, you can opt to buy a chemical specially designed to remove oxidation. Pay close attention! You must first make sure that the substance is compatible with all the 'ingredients' of your gem! Stones and other alloy metals could be affected.
  • If you prefer a method that excludes the possibility of any damage, you can choose the classic cleaning method. A soft-bristled brush, gentle soap, warm water and a little patience are all you need to make gold jewelry like us!

4. Rose gold does not escape the oxidation process

Much like regular gold, rose gold can also undergo changes. The copper in the composition of the alloy, which also gives it its unique color, increases the predisposition to the oxidation of jewelry. Fortunately, the process can be reversed very easily by following our advice :

  • Once again, the soft brush, gentle soap and warm water can be your jewelry's best friends. This method is harmless to rose gold.
  • You can also invest in a special substance for cleaning rose gold. Don't forget to carefully consult the product label! You need to make sure that what you are buying is specifically intended for rose gold, and that it is also compatible with the stones of the jewel, if there are any.

Because good care outlasts bad danger, it's good to introduce a few care steps into your routine to avoid oxidizing your jewelry.

  • For sparkling jewelry, you can gently wipe them with a microfiber cloth or some cotton wool after each wear. Thus, you can prevent the accumulation of dust, hand cream or exposure to bodily fluids.
  • You can try to keep an environment as dry as possible in the place where you store your jewelry.

5. Silver is more sensitive to external factors

A curious thing is that silver actually does not react with oxygen. It is rather affected by the elements that pollute the air, which are responsible for the harmless deposition on the surface.

Oxygen, salt and moisture can only cause the color to change, because, after all, silver in jewelry also contains 7.5% copper.

These naturally occurring changes are reversible , but they can also be prevented :

  • A simple way to keep your jewelry like new is to wear it often! The friction during wear gradually removes the blackish layer
  • If your jewelry needs more attention, you can opt for cleaning with a special silver cleaning cloth. Patience and perseverance will work wonders.
  • It would be best to avoid cleaning silver with chemicals or other questionable 'remedies'. Toothpaste, lemon and detergents might seem like the most convenient solution. Unfortunately, the chances are high that, following the 'treatment', the metal will suffer irreparable damage. These liquids are far too strong for silver, affecting it little by little each time.

Rusting of your precious jewelry can be prevented with a little care. Whether they are gold, rose gold or silver, it is in your power to keep them like new for as long as possible.

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