Reasons Why Jewellery Tarnish

13 December 2018

Have you ever stopped to wonder why your beautiful silver jewellery has become tarnished over time? We commonly associate the tarnishing of jewellery with cheap or fake materials, but that isn’t always the case. In fact, tarnishing is a fact of life when it comes to owning jewellery and if you want to stay content with your valued possessions, you might better served to learn as to why this happens. Today, we are going to outline the different reasons that tarnishing can happen on even the nicest of jewellery. Let’s begin!

Why Does My Jewellery Tarnish?

Let’s start our discussion by first briefly outlining what we even mean by ‘tarnishing’. Tarnishing is a term intrinsic to metals as it describes the way by which the outer layers of the metal begin to change via corrosion. Corrosion on jewellery can manifest in a number of different ways dependent on the type of metal and the care and maintenance that goes into the item. We’re going to outline several of the most common factors pertaining to the tarnishing of jewellery. Once you know what exactly causes tarnishing, you can work to make sure that it doesn’t happen anymore.

1) Metal Abrasion – The most common type of tarnishing in regards to your jewellery is due to metallic abrasion. Make-up from your skin or clothing, or just chemicals in general, are often considered harder than the actual jewellery itself. Cosmetic compounds that have zinc oxide, ferric oxide, titanium dioxide or calamine are particularly problematic in regards to triggering tarnishing.

2) Corrosion – General corrosion can happen to your jewellery if you are not careful. Depending on the type of metal that you are dealing with, corrosion might be a bigger or smaller issue. For example, 24K gold will not corrode. However, if you are working with silver as your jewellery’s primary component, then it is entirely possible that corrosion begins to manifest over time. Silver and copper both start to discolour when they corrode and that corrosion is typically caused by moisture from either the environment or the sweat on your skin.

3) Chemical Compounds – Finally, we need to be careful when using any sort of chemicals around our jewellery. Soap or detergent, as well as make-up and other cosmetic products, can directly impact our jewellery. Tarnishing manifests even in the best of situations, so we must be careful as often as we can.

If you are suffering from tarnishing in regards to your jewellery, you aren’t out of luck. Here at Ken Ross Jewellers, we can help to get your jewellery shining like new again.

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