WHAT JEWELRY DOES NOT RUST?

Rust is a type of corrosion that can cause serious damage to the metal. It is especially troublesome for jewelry because it can discolor and ruin the finish of the metal. There are, however, some types of jewelry that are more resistant to rust than others.


Let's take a look at a few of the most popular types of jewelry that are less likely to rust:



FIRST, WHAT CAUSES METAL TO RUST?


Iron oxide is a substance that causes rust on metal. When iron comes into contact with oxygen in the air, it erodes due to this chemical reaction. The appearance of rust on metal appears as an orange-brown discoloration.


The rusting process affects iron and its alloys, such as steel, by corroding them. When iron, water, and air are combined, metal rust forms. Water is the leading cause of metal rust. Water molecules can enter microscopic openings in iron and steel, which seem solid from the outside. This process begins the corrosion. Iron rust is accelerated when salt is present; similarly, exposure to sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide will accelerate the corrosive process.


Iron rust causes metal pieces to expand, putting significant strain on the entire structure. Simultaneously, metal particles become flaky and brittle as a result. 



WHAT IS CORROSION? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CORROSION AND RUST?


Some people confuse rust oxidation and corrosion. Corrosion is a catch-all phrase referring to any metal material's degradation by oxidation or other chemical processes. In contrast, rust is the process of corroding iron and iron alloys. Thus, the only difference between corrosion and rust is that the word "rust" refers only to the rust of iron, not all types of corrosion.



10 METALS THAT DON'T RUST



However, just because these metals don't rust doesn't mean they don't corrode. They each experience different types of corrosion, including pitting in stainless steel or the bluish-green patina that develops on oxidized copper.

 


1. ALUMINUM METAL



Aluminum metal is one of the most widely used metals on the planet, and it's perhaps the most well-known for not rusting. Aluminum contains almost no iron, while rust is made of iron oxide. Thus, aluminum does not rust but is still vulnerable to metal corrosion.


When you expose aluminum metal to the air, a thin layer of aluminum oxide forms on its surface and acts as an impenetrable rust barrier. Even while aluminum oxidizes, this process serves to protect the underlying unoxidized metal. Due to aluminum oxide's higher corrosion resistance than the aluminum alloy it covers, it protects the base metal from rust.


Aluminum oxide is distinct from rust, which will flake off of an iron alloy and allow rusting to continue until complete material breakdown.



2. BRASS METAL


Brass metal contains little iron; therefore, it does not rust similarly to aluminum.



3. BRONZE METAL 


For the same reason as aluminum, bronze metal does not rust, as it has a tiny amount of iron in it. Because of this, no iron oxide, or rust, can develop.



4. COPPER METAL


Copper, brass, and bronze do not rust for the same reason as aluminum. All three hardly have any iron in them; therefore, no iron oxide, or rust, can develop. However, with exposure to air over time, copper can develop a blue-green patina on its surface.



5. CORTEN OR WEATHERING STEEL


Weathering steel, also known as "COR-TEN" steel, contains up to 21% of alloying elements such as chromium, copper, nickel, and phosphorous. The alloys form a protective rust patina that slows down the metal corrosion process with time.



6. GALVANIZED STEEL


Although technically a coated material, galvanized steel is important to discuss in this context. Carbon steel, or galvanized steel, would most likely corrode if not coated with one or more layers of zinc. The zinc coating serves as a sacrificial metal for the steel. In contrast to the iron in steel, the zinc layer will combine with oxygen more rapidly. This combination develops a coating of zinc oxide that stops the growth of iron oxide, hence preventing the development of rust. However, the zinc coating may become useless if destroyed or if galvanized steel is exposed to harsh environments, which will cause the steel to rust.


The corrosion known as "white rust," which normally involves water or condensation, can also form on galvanized steel under certain circumstances. The emergence of white rust may not necessarily be harmful to the jewelry material or the zinc coating.



7. PURE GOLD METAL


There is no iron in pure gold; it does not rust. Gold metal is the most non-reactive of all metals and is entirely safe in both natural and industrial settings. Because pure gold is a non-reactive metal that does not react with oxygen (one of the most active elements), it will never rust or tarnish.



8. PLATINUM METAL


Platinum - the chemical symbol PT - is classed as a 'noble' metal. This means it is unreactive, and platinum will not tarnish, corrode, rust, or change color over time.


Platinum's resistance to rust and tarnishing is due to its lack of reactivity. Platinum is one of the least reactive elements known to man & it takes very specific conditions or compounds to have it react to something. First, rusting is iron converting to an oxide, so platinum can't rust; it's platinum, not iron. Second, platinum does not tarnish because it does not corrode. Tarnishing is a thin layer of corrosion that can form on some metals when exposed to oxygen in the air. Platinum doesn't corrode because it doesn't react with oxygen, so it can't tarnish.


Platinum, on the other hand, may acquire a patina; this is an all-encompassing term that denotes an aged appearance in the case of platinum. Platinum patina can develop in as little as six months for well-worn jewelry, so platinum can lose its shine quickly. A patina is a thin layer that can form on some metals when exposed to oxygen in the air. Platinum doesn't corrode because it doesn't react with oxygen, so it can't actually tarnish. However, platinum can develop a patina over time. A platinum patina is a thin film that forms on platinum's surface when exposed to the air. Platinum patina is often described as a satiny or slightly frosted finish, although it can vary in color and appearance. Overall, it's a slight loss of luster.
No, platinum does not become yellow with time. Instead, your platinum jewelry won't change much in terms of color, despite acquiring a white patina that gives it a matte finish. The finish has a greyish, matte quality, but there's nothing yellow about it.


Patinas are not damaging to platinum; many people feel they add character and depth to the metal. However, if you prefer the bright, shiny look of new platinum, you can remove it. For example, you may have your jewelry professionally cleaned, buff it with a soft cloth to restore the shine, or delicately clean the jewelry using warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. Because patina returns after a certain amount of time, you'll need to repeat this procedure regularly.


This lack of reactivity also makes it hypoallergenic, which is one reason why platinum is so popular with jewelers. People with allergies to nickel can wear platinum jewelry without having any reactions. Platinum is also a good choice for those with sensitive skin, as it is gentle and non-irritating.



9. PURE SILVER METAL


Pure silver doesn't rust because it doesn't contain iron. Silver is a brilliant white metal that is quite pliable and soft. It is resistant to metal corrosion and does not oxidize readily, although it readily develops a silver sulfide tarnish on its surface layer.



10. STAINLESS STEEL METAL


Yes, stainless steel is another example of a metal that does not rust. However, it's crucial to remember that some grades are more rust-resistant than others. High levels of nickel and chromium are present in austenitic stainless steels like 304 and 316. Before the iron can react, the chromium mixes with the oxygen to generate a chromium oxide coating. Due to its high corrosion resistance, this layer shields the underlying metal from rust and prevents it from developing. However, ferritic or martensitic stainless steels may rust more easily due to their lower chromium content.



HOW TO GET RUST OFF OF JEWELRY


There are a few ways to get the rust off of jewelry. For example, you can use baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice.



1. BAKING SODA 


Baking soda is a great way to remove rust from jewelry. Make a paste out of baking soda and water. Then, apply the paste to the rusty areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub the paste into the rust. Then, rinse the jewelry off with water and dry it off.



2. WHITE VINEGAR


White vinegar is another excellent way to remove rust from jewelry. The acid in vinegar destroys rust because it is acidic. The acid in the vinegar will eat through the rust and corrosion that has tainted the metal, making it simpler to remove with an abrasive sponge.


First, soak the jewelry in white vinegar for a few minutes. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub the white vinegar into the rust. Then, rinse the jewelry off with water and dry it off.



3. LEMON ACID


Lemon juice is another great way to remove rust from jewelry. The acidity of the lemon juice reacts with the rust (iron oxide) to soften and dissolve the deposits making them easier to scrub away.
First, soak your jewelry in lemon juice for a few minutes. Then, use a toothbrush to scrub the lemon juice into the rust. Then, rinse the jewelry off with water and dry it off.



HOW TO PREVENT RUST:



1. REMOVE JEWELRY BEFORE SWIMMING


Swimming, of course, involves getting your jewelry wet, making it easier for rust to form. Furthermore, chlorine and components such as salt found in oceans and pools can aid the rusting process. These chemicals and harsh elements can have several negative consequences on jewelry.



2. APPLY A SEALANT SPRAY 


Sealant sprays are available at most craft and hardware stores. Some are created with silicone as a basis, while others use different chemicals. Spraying your jewelry and allowing it to dry completely produces a barrier between water, oxygen, and your piece. This barrier slows down or even prevents the rusting process.



3. USE CLEAR NAIL POLISH


Simply apply a layer of clear nail polish to any exposed metal to keep your jewelry from rusting. Clear nail polish will create a barrier that will protect the metal from moisture and air. You can reapply the nail polish as needed to maintain the protection.


Clear nail polish may chip with time, but it's an easy and inexpensive way to keep your jewelry from rusting. Be sure to apply the nail polish to any exposed metal, including clasps and findings. Reapply as needed to maintain the protective barrier. If you're looking for a more durable option, consider sealing your jewelry with a clear lacquer. This will provide a long-lasting barrier against rust and other damage.

 


4. UTILIZE CLEAR BAGS


You might want to keep each piece of jewelry in its own sealable bag. Even if pieces are sealed in an airtight container, the extra plastic layer can help keep the air out. Small, translucent bags allow you to see inside easily, so you can choose necklaces, bangles, and earrings without exposing them to moisture.



5. USE GEL PACKS



What's the best way to prevent rust on your jewelry? Gel packs! Just pop a couple of these bad boys in your jewelry box, and they'll keep your pieces looking shiny and new. Plus, they're great for travel since they'll protect your jewelry from getting damaged in transit.


Gel packs absorb moisture and oxygen, which are the two main culprits behind rust. So, keeping your jewelry in a gel pack-protected environment gives it a fighting chance against corrosion. You can find gel packs at most hardware stores or online. Just make sure to get the right size for your jewelry box so that your pieces have plenty of room to breathe.



6. CLEAN JEWELRY REGULARLY


One of the best ways to prevent rust is to clean your jewelry regularly. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that could potentially cause rust to form. You can use a mild soap and water solution, or you can purchase a special jewelry cleaner from your local store. Be sure to rinse your jewelry well after cleaning it and dry it completely before storing it away.


One of the main causes of rust is dirt and debris, so when these particles come into contact with metal, they can cause it to oxidize and eventually form rust. To help prevent this from happening, be sure to clean your jewelry regularly and store it in a safe place where it won’t be exposed to excessive dirt or debris.



7. AVOID CONTACT WITH CHEMICALS


If possible, avoid getting makeup or hair products on your jewelry. Chemicals in conditioners, shampoos, gels, mousses, and hairsprays can cause the metals in jewelry to rust.



CONCLUSION

Hopefully, this article has taught you a few things about rust and how to remove it. Gold, silver, or platinum jewelry will not rust. However, jewelry made of other metals can rust if exposed to water or chemicals. There are several ways to remove rust from jewelry, including baking soda, lemon juice, or white vinegar. There are also several ways to prevent rust from forming on jewelry, such as removing jewelry before swimming, applying a sealant spray, or using clear nail polish. Finally, cleaning jewelry regularly and avoiding contact with chemical products is essential. Thanks for reading!