Everyday Enemies: Understanding What Can Damage Gold Jewelry

February 5th, 2024

A woman in a white tank wearing a trio of gold necklaces.

Gold jewelry holds a special place in our hearts, often symbolizing cherished memories and significant moments in our lives. However, its enduring beauty can be susceptible to subtle yet potentially harmful everyday factors that may go unnoticed. Understanding these common mistakes is crucial for the preservation of your precious pieces. In this guide, we'll delve into the world of gold jewelry care and explore the everyday errors that could be slowly but surely damaging these beloved adornments. By identifying and rectifying these missteps, you can ensure that your gold jewelry continues to shine brilliantly for generations to come.

A woman wearing gold jewelry posing by a water fountain.

Water Damage

Despite its life-giving properties, water can surprisingly be detrimental to gold jewelry if not handled with care. The main issue lies in prolonged exposure to moisture, as it can lead to a gradual weakening of the metal. Water can cause a thin layer of oxide to form on the surface of gold, known as tarnish, which can diminish its lustrous appearance. Additionally, if gold is submerged in water containing chemicals or minerals, such as chlorine in swimming pools or saltwater from the ocean, it can accelerate the tarnishing process and even lead to corrosion. To keep your gold jewelry in pristine condition, it's advisable to remove it before activities involving water and take the necessary steps to dry and clean it properly if it comes into contact with moisture.

A woman pulls back her hair while wearing white gold bracelets.

Sun Exposure

A subtle yet significant threat to the vibrancy of gold jewelry is sun exposure. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can lead to a gradual fading or discoloration of the metal's shine and brilliance. This phenomenon, often referred to as "solar fading," occurs as the UV rays in sunlight interact with the gold, causing it to lose some of its luster over time. While the effects may not be immediately noticeable, repeated and prolonged exposure to the sun can result in a noticeable change in the appearance of your gold jewelry. To protect your cherished pieces from sun discoloration, store them away from direct sunlight and wear them with caution when spending extended periods outdoors.

A woman, freshly out of the shower, puts on a gold station necklace.

Contact with Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals found in various household cleaning solutions and beauty products pose a significant threat to the longevity and brilliance of your gold jewelry. These chemicals can react with the metal, leading to tarnish, discoloration, or even corrosion in severe cases. Cleaning solutions containing acids or abrasive compounds can be particularly damaging, as they may strip away the protective layers of the gold. Perfumes, makeup, and lotions often contain chemicals that can leave residue on your jewelry, diminishing its shine and attractiveness. To safeguard your cherished gold pieces, it's essential to remove them before using such products and to clean them gently with a soft cloth and mild, soapy water when needed, ensuring they remain free from harmful chemical interactions.

A group of necklaces sit messily on a mirror and tan fabric.

Tangling In Storage

Allowing your gold jewelry to become tangled together can also lead to damage that is often underestimated. When necklaces, bracelets, and rings get intertwined, they can rub against each other, causing scratches, dings, or even more severe structural damage. Delicate chains are particularly vulnerable to tangling, as they can easily knot and kink. The metal surfaces of your jewelry can also suffer from abrasion, leading to a loss of shine and finish. To prevent such damage, it's advisable to store your gold pieces separately or invest in jewelry organizers to keep them neatly arranged. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your precious gold jewelry remains in pristine condition and ready to adorn you for years to come.

A woman wearing a gold heart necklace and bracelet.

Protect Your Gold Jewelry at Hing Wa Lee Jewelers

At Hing Wa Lee Jewelers, we understand the importance of protecting your cherished gold jewelry, and our team of experts is here to assist you. With a legacy of unparalleled craftsmanship and a commitment to preserving the beauty of your precious pieces, we offer an array of services to ensure the longevity of your jewelry. Whether it's professional cleaning, repair, or custom design to breathe new life into heirlooms, you can trust our expertise. Visit any of our Southern California jewelry stores, including our locations in San Gabriel, Walnut, and Los Angeles, to experience the Hing Wa Lee difference. Schedule an appointment with us today and discover how we can assist you in preserving your precious memories.