Most jewelry lovers would prefer to shop for jewelry at high-end jewelry brands like Cartier, Bvlgari, and Tiffany & Co if given the opportunity. However, not everyone can afford the high prices luxury brands charge for jewelry, so they resort to buying fake and inferior-quality pieces.
While some of these pieces might look good when you buy them, they deteriorate quickly. You should know how to keep them from tarnishing if you want to save money.
Methods to Prevent Fake Jewelry From Tarnishing
No type of jewelry is entirely immune from tarnish; however, fake jewelry is more prone to tarnish than high-quality ones. Therefore, you must pay closer attention to your fake jewelry if you care about maintaining its good appearance. The great thing is that some easy steps keep fake jewelry from tarnishing as you use it for years.
1. Clean the Jewelry Regularly
Your jewelry will begin to tarnish as it reacts to moisture. While it is easy to avoid moisture from pools or use your jewelry in the shower, other sources of moisture are unavoidable— for instance, sweat, perfumes, and general moisture in the atmosphere.
When the moisture from these sources finds its way onto your jewelry, it will soon begin to tarnish. To prevent the tarnish from starting, you can wash your jewelry regularly to remove the moisture in the hidden corners of your piece. After washing, carefully dry the jewelry with a soft cloth and allow it to dry properly before storing.
Also, try to use soft cleaners like dishwashing liquid instead of abrasive ones to keep your jewelry from scratching. Also, harsh cleaners will cause plated jewelry to wear off and look dull. You can also find out how to clean tarnished silver here.
2. Keep Away From Moisture
Keeping your jewelry dry is an important way to prevent tarnishing. First, you should avoid intentionally allowing your jewelry to come in contact with liquids. Simple steps include not wearing fake jewelry to swim, in the shower, or before you spray perfume.
After cleaning or using your jewelry, storing it away from moisture is equally as important as keeping it dry while you use it. Storing your jewelry away from moisture is even more important if it’s a piece you do not often wear, giving it more time to tarnish. Below are some steps you should take to keep your jewelry “dryly” stored away:
- Firstly, dry your jewelry properly before storing it. If you just finished washing or cleaning it, ensure that you dry it with a soft and absorbent piece of cloth.
- Use a bag made of dry and absorbent material, like a velvet bag. The softness of the bag is an additional advantage as this protects your jewelry from scratches and chips.
- You can also store your jewelry in a Ziploc bag; however, you should ensure that you rid the bag of all the air before sealing it. Ridding the bag of any air will ensure that moist air cannot oxidize the metal.
- Finally, it would be best to put anti-tarnish strips in the same storage space as your jewelry. These strips are pieces of paper that help protect your jewelry by absorbing all the moisture in the bag. Because they are flexible, you can use them in jewelry pouches, bags, or drawers.
3. Store Different Metals Separately
One of the conditions that cause metals to tarnish is known as galvanic corrosion. In summary, galvanic corrosion results from charged particles moving between certain metals that are put together. The environment of the metals will determine if the effect will take several years or if the tarnish will happen very quickly.
For example, copper and silver do not stay well together; you will notice that silver will cause the copper to tarnish. Also, copper causes stainless steel to tarnish, and silver jewelry will cause aluminum to tarnish.
Some other metals might cause the other to tarnish, and you can research what metals you can safely put together. However, the safest thing to do is to put only the jewelry made of the same materials together as you might make a mistake.
To further put yourself on the safe side, only store one piece of jewelry in a pouch or drawer. Store jewelry away from others will protect you from producers of fake jewelry who will put a deceptive description of the materials used in making pieces.
Finally, you should try to avoid buying jewelry made of mixed metals. While some might look very attractive, the jeweler might not know the consequence of mixing those two metals into one piece. Buying such jewelry means you could be dealing with tarnish as soon as you start using it.
4. Store Away From Direct Sunlight
Storing your jewelry in a plastic bag is not ideal; velvet is a better option. However, if you must use a plastic bag, ensure that you keep it away from direct sunlight to protect your jewelry.
While direct sunlight would not directly affect the jewelry, it will cause the bag to build up moisture which can cause the jewelry to tarnish. Also, direct sunlight on the plastic bag causes the temperature to rise significantly, which can also wear out your jewelry. With all that in mind, always keep your plastic jewelry pouches in a lidded box, away from direct sunlight.
5. Keep Leather Away From Jewelry
Designers use leather to make a host of beautiful fashion items, and nowadays, some jewelry pieces are a combination of leather and metals. While the appearance of leather jewelry might appeal to the eyes, it’s never a good idea in the long run. Leather and metals do not mix well because leather causes them to tarnish.
Raw leather cannot cause metals to tarnish; however, the issue lies in the chemicals that manufacturers use to process it. This production process starts with prepping, tanning, re-tanning, and surface coating. Sulfide compounds play an important role in the preparatory stages of leather; however, the tanning process is the greatest determinant of whether leather will cause the jewelry to tarnish.
To keep fake jewelry from tarnishing, you should avoid leather jewelry. If you buy one, take great care with preserving your jewelry to avoid the leather making contact with the metal.
Also, never use a leather jewelry bag as they will surely cause your jewelry to tarnish. You should use a plastic or velvet bag as your jewelry pouch/bag.
6. Coat With Nail Polish
You can use transparent nail polish as an affordable means of adding an extra layer of coating to your fake jewelry and stopping it from tarnishing. The best nail polish to use for this process is clear nail polish, as it doesn’t change the color of your jewelry.
To coat your fake jewelry with nail polish, gently use the nail polish brush on every part of the jewelry. The good thing about using nail polish to coat jewelry is that you can coat specific parts of the piece and leave some uncoated. Ensure that you avoid coating any gemstones or charms attached to your jewelry, as this might affect its brilliance.
Using a nail polish coating is not a foolproof way to prevent fake jewelry from tarnishing as it doesn’t last long on jewelry. The coating layer will automatically wear out over some weeks, depending on the quality of the polish you use and the thickness of the coating. Also, the nail polish doesn’t wear off uniformly, causing only some parts to tarnish.
7. Use Jewelry Protectant Spray
Like nail polish, jewelry protectant spray provides your fake jewelry with a layer of coating. This layer of coating stops the moisture in the air from touching your jewelry and causing it to tarnish. Some jewelry protectants also help protect you from allergies like irritation, rashes, and hives.
Jewelry protectant sprays are better than nail polish because they last longer. One issue with using nail polish is the amount of time it takes to apply it to jewelry. Jewelry protectant is a spray; therefore, it is faster and easier to apply to your fake jewelry.
The steps to use jewelry protectant spray are:
- First, you shouldn’t spray the jewelry protectant on your gems and charms. Cover the gems and charms with masking tape before you begin to protect them from the spray.
- Lay one side of your jewelry on cardboard before you start spraying. Spraying jewelry directly on the ground will leave a pleasant and sticky effect on the floor after you are done.
- Spray the first side of your jewelry from 10-12 inches to evenly touch every part of the piece.
- After spraying one side, wait 10 minutes, turn to the other side and spray again.
- Wait another 10-20 minutes for the jewelry to be completely dried, and peel off the tapes before storing the jewelry.
Read More: How to Clean Oxidized Metal Jewelry