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273 W. Main Street, Meriden, CT 06451    


(203) 237-0899

Does Gold Tarnish?

Whether gold tarnishes or not has become a basis of endless debates. Well, gold, in its pure form, does not tarnish. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements you will ever come across. However, when mixed with other minerals like copper in jewelry, it changes to dark decolorization.

24k gold is considered pure and is too soft to be used in jewelry. That is why, in most cases, it is alloyed with other minerals. With alloying, your gold jewelry gets a proper balance between wearability, hardness, and appearance, against fuzziness and resistance to chemical reactions. These base minerals react with oxygen, sulfur, and moisture and, with time, cause the dark decolorization.

Pieces of jewelry with lower karat are more affordable and will tarnish faster than a piece of high karat jewelry. For example, a 9k gold is more prone to tarnishing than a 10k gold. The best jewelry should be a 12-14k gold composition.


How To Reduce Tarnishing In Gold Jewelry

As said earlier, tarnishing results from a series of chemical reactions when you expose your jewelry to oxygen, moisture, and Sulphur. We can not guarantee that you can entirely prevent this from happening, but you can reduce the chances by observing these two simple tips;

  • Make sure that you do not wear your gold jewelry when washing your hand or showering. Soap and water contain all three chemical elements that quickly react with the surface of your jewelry.
  • Put some silica gel packets in your jewelry box to remove the moisture. Also, try to keep your jewelry separate to reduce any frictions that may cause scratches.


How Should you Clean Your Gold Jewellery When It Begins to Tarnish?

You can use the following two simple steps to clean your gold jewelry when it starts to tarnish;

  1. Wash your gold jewelry using mild, non-phosphate dish soap and warm water
  2. Dry the jewelry with a soft towel and rub gently with a polishing cloth for a nice shine Some sites suggest that you use toothpaste or baking soda. Do not attempt that! Such solutions are very abrasive and will do more damage to your jewelry.


What to Do When You Cannot Treat Your Tarnished Gold jewelry by Yourself?

The damage only happens on the surface layer, and tarnished gold can still be melted down and reclaimed. When you are not sure how to clean your jewelry (or you are unable to), you can take it to a professional jeweler. They have the skills to access and polish your gold jewelry back to its sparkling form. A good jeweler will give you accurate tips to help you take care of and clean your jewelry. You can also sell it as second-hand jewelry to a gold dealer. Such dealers have ready markets from people who see this a cheap gold.


Bottom line The degree of tarnish in your gold jewelry will depend on the purity level and how you take care of it. The higher the karat of your gold jewelry, the less likely it is to tarnish. When you expose your jewelry to harsh conditions, it becomes more prone to corrosion and tarnishing.


Do Pawnshops Buy Tarnished Gold?

That all depends on the type of pawnshop! Some that are specialist gold buyers may also buy it for its scrap value.  Those that buy gold for scrap can buy it in any condition, tarnished or broken.  For tarnished but unbroken pieces, you may get less however for scrap than you would for the whole item.  To find out how much your tarnished gold could be worth in Meriden, CT, speak to Meriden Pawn: (203) 237-0899