Only one type of gold never tarnishes. Pure gold is a tarnish-resistant metal, so it will not discolor. However, gold that is not pure will tarnish over time. The higher the karat of the gold, the less it will tarnish. For example, 24 karat gold is 100% gold and therefore will not tarnish at all. 18 karat gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals, and it will take much longer to tarnish than 14 karat gold, which is only 58% gold.


The purity of gold is measured in karats, with 24 karats being the highest possible purity. However, pure gold is very soft and is often mixed with other metals to give it strength and durability.

For example, 18 karat gold is 75% pure gold, and 14 karat gold is 58% pure gold. 10k gold is only 41.7% pure gold; the lower the amount of pure gold, the quicker the jewelry will tarnish. This discoloration process results from the other metals mixed in with the gold starting to oxidize when exposed to air.


Even though pure gold's chemical makeup prevents discoloration, gold alloys do, and the pace of discoloration varies depending on the blend. For instance, different types of gold alloys are frequently created by adding different amounts of silver, copper, iron, zinc, and aluminum to gold. These metals tarnish more quickly than gold because they have higher reactivity values. When metals are combined, a reaction occurs known as displacement in chemistry.

Another chemical process that can change the hue of gold alloys is oxidation. Metal loses electrons when it oxidizes because it is exposed to oxygen. Again, pure gold is extremely unlikely to oxidize due to its low reactivity; however, the other metals in gold alloys will.


Gold is a highly soft metal by itself, which makes it difficult to employ for jewelry use. Gold alloys have the advantages of reinforcing gold, producing a variety of colors, and changing the value despite the fact that they can deteriorate with time.

The amount of gold in an alloy, often represented by its karat value, determines how long it takes for that alloy to tarnish. Even though the majority of gold alloys will tarnish over time, with the right maintenance and cleaning, they can regain their former shine.


Gold plating​ is when a thin layer of gold is chemically bonded to a base metal using electricity. This procedure repeats several times to create multiple layers of gold for high-quality gold plating. When done correctly, gold plating prevents tarnishing by using pure gold and shielding the more reactive base metal from the environment. In this case, discoloration won't happen until the plating completely fades to reveal the base metal underneath.

Plated gold tarnish results from lower-grade plating using a low-grade gold alloy. This typically results in a thin layer or improperly bonded layers that fade easily, exposing the base metal underneath to gold tarnish.


Tarnished gold typically has a dull, grayish color and may appear discolored or have darker patches. In some cases, a tarnished gold color can even be greenish.

Tarnish in gold results from a reaction to oxygen in the air. The reaction produces gold oxide, which is a black substance. When gold comes into contact with other metals, such as copper or silver, it can also produce a tarnished gold color that is greenish-black.



All gold purities below 24k gold contain other metals such as silver, copper, zinc, and nickel because these alloys increase the metal's hardness and help the metal gain a higher polish and brighter luster. The other alloy metals react to oxygen, sulfur, and moisture, causing tarnish in gold.



Yes, sulfur will tarnish gold. Sulfur is an element that can cause tarnishing in many different metals, including gold. When sulfur comes into contact with gold, it creates a chemical reaction that produces sulfuric acid. This acid then reacts with the gold, causing it to tarnish. Sulfur can come into contact with gold in a number of ways, including through the air, soil, and water. In most cases, the tarnishing caused by sulfur is not permanent, and you can remove it with a simple cleaning. However, if the tarnishing is severe, it may require professional help to restore the gold to its original condition.

If you have tarnished gold, the best thing to do is to take it to a professional jeweler or goldsmith for evaluation. They will be able to tell you for sure whether or not the tarnishing is severe and if they can clean it. If the tarnishing is severe, they may recommend that you have the gold piece replated. Replating is a process where a new layer of gold coats an existing base layer. This replating will cover up any damage caused by the sulfur and restore the gold to its original appearance. 


If you're looking for a short answer, the answer is yes - gold can tarnish in water. However, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to prevent this from happening:

  1. It's important to remember that not all waters are created equal. Some contain more minerals than others, which can speed up the tarnishing process.
  2. The type of gold you have will also affect how quickly it tarnishes. For example, 14-karat gold is more likely to tarnish than 18-karat gold.
  3. The way you store your gold can also impact its likelihood of tarnishing. If you store it in a humid environment or expose it to chemicals, it's more likely to tarnish over time.

Now that you know a little bit more about how gold can tarnish in water, there are a few things you can do to prevent it:

  1. Avoid wearing your gold jewelry in the pool or shower. The chlorine in pool water and the soap in shower water can both contribute to tarnishing.
  2. Be sure to store your gold jewelry in a cool, dry place. A jewelry box or drawer is ideal.
  3. If you do notice that your gold jewelry is starting to tarnish, clean it as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove the tarnish. If you follow these tips, you can help keep your gold jewelry looking like new for years to come.


Yes, you can clean tarnished gold. There are a few ways to do it, but the most common is to use mild soap and warm water. You can also use a commercial gold cleaner or even make your own at home. Just be sure to rinse the gold well after cleaning it to remove any soap residue. If the tarnish is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a soft toothbrush to help remove it. 


There's nothing worse than taking off your beautiful jewelry only to find it's tarnished. Here are a few tips on how to store your jewelry so it stays shining bright.

First, keep your jewelry away from moisture.

Avoiding mosisture means taking off your rings before you wash your hands and taking off your necklace before you go swimming. If you must store your jewelry in a humid environment, consider using a silica gel packet to help absorb the moisture.

Second, keep your jewelry away from chemicals.

These chemicals includes perfumes, lotions, and hair products. Perfumes and other chemicals can corrode the metal alloys that makeup gold jewelry even if they don't directly react with pure gold. The chemicals in perfume frequently cause discoloration of this precious metal or merely dull its brilliance, both of which have an immediate effect.

Third, store your jewelry in a cool, dark place.

The molecules in the air around us are constantly moving. When they come into contact with the metal surface of your jewelry, they cause a chemical reaction that produces tarnish. The rate of this reaction is increased by heat, so it's important to store your jewelry in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

Fourth, use a jewelry box or pouch to protect your jewelry from scratches.

Scratches can cause tarnish because they provide a place for oxygen and other chemicals to come into contact with the metal surface. When this happens, a chemical reaction causes the metal to tarnish. The best way to prevent this is to store your jewelry in a place where it won't get scratched, like a jewelry box or pouch.


Finally, you can polish tarnished gold with a soft cloth to restore its shine. With a little elbow grease, you can make your gold jewelry look like new again.

1. First, you will need a soft, clean cloth lined with rouge.

2. Next, gently rub the rouge-lined side of the cloth along the surface of the gold in circular motions.

3. Be sure to avoid any scratches by using only light pressure.

4. Finally, buff the gold to a shine with the clean, polishing side of the rouge cloth.


Don't despair if your favorite piece of gold jewelry has lost its luster. There is a way to fix tarnished gold.

You can fix tarnished gold with a process called replating. Replating involves applying a new layer of gold to the surface of jewelry. This  process restores the original color and shine of the gold.


Gold is a beautiful metal that can last a lifetime if properly cared for. However, over time, even the 2nd highest karat gold will tarnish if it is not cleaned and stored properly. If you notice that your gold jewelry is starting to tarnish, be sure to clean it with gentle soap and avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals. With proper care, your gold jewelry will continue to look its best for years to come.