Pure gold (100%), titanium and silver do not tarnish. The metals that can wear out are copper, brass, bronze and alloys, including any fine jewelry of less than 24 carats or 100% pure silver, such as 9, 14, 18 carat gold or sterling silver. Like all plated items, 18-carat gold-plated jewelry tarnishes over time and reveals the metal underneath. You may think that a higher value of gold plating will prevent tarnishing, but that's not true.
It may take a while before your 18-carat gold-plated jewelry starts to tarnish, but it will tarnish over time. Gold is one of the least reactive chemical elements. Gold alone or pure gold doesn't combine easily with oxygen, so it stays shiny, doesn't rust or tarnish, again, that's pure gold. In jewelry, it's rare to find a piece that contains only the element pure gold.
Pure gold or 24-karat gold is too soft to be used in jewelry, so it is generally alloyed with other base metals that alter its properties. It's these other base metals alloyed with gold that actually react with or with oxygen, sulfur, and moisture that eventually tarnish your gold jewelry. All gold metals smaller than 24 carats tarnish because gold alloys with other metal alloys to make it harder and more durable. Adding other metal alloys makes it more difficult for the metal to maintain a perfect shine and will naturally tarnish over time.
This is due to several reasons, including the fact that 24-karat gold is too soft to work with and is expensive. We hope that you now have all the information you need to make smart purchases and know how to care for your 18-carat gold jewelry. However, there are things you can do to slow down gold plating and keep your gold-plated jewelry in good condition for as long as possible. These metals are susceptible to discoloration, and when that occurs, it affects the appearance of 18-carat yellow gold.
In general, tarnishing is mainly seen in jewelry that has less than a carat of gold and, generally, in items that have less than 14 carats of gold. While you won't notice any immediate effect when you wet your 18-carat gold, it is possible that it will discolor in the long run. Over time, soaps and hard water will tend to leave residue on the gold, making it look opaque. Therefore, you cannot shower yourself with 18-carat gold-plated jewelry, especially if you want them to reach two years old.
Gold tarnishing is the slight corrosion of the surface of gold and is evident as a dark discoloration of the gold item, also called tarnished film. However, over time, it is still possible for the gold layer of gold-filled jewelry to wear away, exposing the base metal underneath. The higher the carat of a gold jewel, the less likely it is to tarnish, while 24-carat gold cannot tarnish. In general, don't be surprised if, unexpectedly, your gold-plated jewelry starts to behave as such.
It's even more essential to take off your jewelry when you enter the water, even in showers, household chores, sauna and swimming, since it's a thin layer of gold.