Can Gold Filled Jewelry Tarnish?

Can Gold Filled Jewelry Tarnish?

- What is Gold-Filled jewelry? 

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Gold Filled jewelry has a core metal with a thick layer of 14k gold bonded over it using heat and pressure. Because of this the gold doesn’t fade or rub off as easily as it will for gold-plated jewelry. Gold-filled is the best option after solid gold based on quality, durability and it can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years if taken care of and stored properly. Typically, the gold layer is 14 karats, karats refer to the amount of actual gold in a mixture, and karats are measured out of 24. 

- Can Gold Filled tarnish? 

A lot of people think gold-filled jewelry can’t tarnish but on a rare occasion gold-filled jewelry can tarnish or have discoloration due to many different reasons! The biggest causes of tarnishing for gold-filled jewelry is being exposed to humidity and there being moisture in the bag of where it’s being stored, some other things that can cause gold-filled to tarnish could be perfume, lotion, hairspray and especially sunscreen being on the body when you’re wearing the jewelry and especially if these components make direct contact with the jewelry when you are applying them. As well as becoming damaged from being in highly polluted locations, exposure to chemical fumes, or fire damage. If you are storing gold filled jewelry and it is not stored correctly or airtight enough, this can cause tarnishing or discoloration.  

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- Can you clean Gold Filled if it becomes tarnished or dirty? 

If you want to clean your gold-filled jewelry, you can use a soft polishing cloth, this can easily remove residue or fingerprints. However, Gold Filled cannot be cleaned / polished like karat gold or silver where you polish off the surface layer that removes the tarnish. Copper is what is tarnishing and eventually moves through the layer of the gold that is why it cannot be polished off. Gold filled is 85.5% copper (9.5% zinc which is brass) but it is solid copper below the surface of the gold layer. Make sure there is no moisture on your jewelry to prevent tarnishing. When Gold-filled tarnishes, unlike silver or lower karat gold which are surface tarnish, Gold-filled is tarnishing from the inside out.  

- Are Gold Filled and Gold Plated the same? 

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Gold Filled jewelry contains 1/20 or 5% of its weight in gold, it’s 5% gold by weight while gold plated is less than .05% gold by weight. While many base metals used in Gold-Plated jewelry contain elements that can trigger allergic reactions in some people, Gold Filled jewelry doesn’t cause allergic reactions, irritate the skin, or cause discoloration to the skin. Gold-filled jewelry contains 100x more gold alloy than gold-plate jewelry. 


- How do I store Gold Filled? 

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The best way to store gold-filled jewelry is in an airtight bag. The more airtight, the less chance your jewelry has of tarnishing or having discoloration. Make sure there is absolutely no moisture in your bags as well, this is the main cause of tarnishing! If it is stored well and taken care of, gold filled jewelry can last you up to thirty years!  

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