Plated jewelry is an affordable alternative to solid gold or silver jewelry. However, one downside of plated jewelry is that it tends to tarnish over time. Tarnishing occurs when the thin layer of plating on the jewelry starts to wear off, exposing the base metal underneath. Here are some reasons why plated jewelry tarnishes and how to prevent it.
Quality of the plating
The quality of the plating plays a significant role in how long the jewelry will last without tarnishing. If the plating is thin or poorly applied, it will wear off quickly, exposing the base metal underneath. Higher quality plating may cost more upfront, but it will last longer and require less maintenance
Exposure to moisture and chemicals
Plated jewelry should not be exposed to moisture or chemicals, as this can speed up the tarnishing process. Moisture can come from wearing jewelry while swimming or showering, while chemicals can come from cleaning products or perfume. Make sure to remove plated jewelry before exposing it to moisture or chemicals to prevent tarnishing
The pH of your skin can also affect the rate at which plated jewelry tarnishes. If your skin has a high pH, it can cause the plating to wear off faster. You can prevent this by keeping your skin clean and dry, and avoiding wearing jewelry for extended periods
Friction and abrasion
Friction and abrasion can cause the plating on jewelry to wear off, exposing the base metal underneath. This can happen when jewelry is worn frequently, especially if it rubs against other objects. To prevent this, avoid wearing plated jewelry for activities that may cause friction or abrasion, such as sports or manual labor
Lack of care and maintenance
Proper care and maintenance can go a long way in preventing plated jewelry from tarnishing. Regular cleaning and polishing can help remove any buildup of dirt or oils that can cause tarnishing. Additionally, storing plated jewelry in a dry, cool place, such as a jewelry box or a pouch, can help prevent exposure to moisture and other elements that can cause tarnishing.
In conclusion, plated jewelry tarnishes due to various factors, including the quality of the plating, exposure to moisture and chemicals, skin pH, friction and abrasion, and lack of care and maintenance. By taking the necessary precautions and properly caring for your plated jewelry, you can ensure that it stays shiny and beautiful for as long as possible.