I have had a lot of years wearing jewelry and a few making it *giggle* and I have learned over the years, things that tarnish jewelry, that might not be obvious and as I learn new things I will add them here for reference! I've written other articles about this (in this blog) and I wanted to get a bit more specific about the causes of tarnish! Tarnish can be extreme in that it turns your jewelry colors including black or mild in that it turns your skin green and slightly discolors the jewelry.
- Your own body chemistry: high acidic body ph will tarnish jewelry pretty fast. Some people cannot wear gold without it tarnishing and this is the reason. You can purchase a ph kit to test your ph levels and should probably adjust your eating or eliminate high acid foods and drinks to regulate your ph. Since certain disease like cancer grow in high acidic environments this could be a good indicator you need to make some changes to your diet to stay happy and healthy!
- Hydrogen Peroxide: in ANY form including products that contain hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide is used by some jewelers to oxidize jewelry because of the nice black color that it creates! Many beauty products and make ups contain hydrogen peroxide.
- Chlorine: an overly chlorinated pool will tarnish all your jewelry with a 5 minute swim. This includes hot tubs!
- Humidity: if you live in a high humidity area, you could be having issues with tarnish. Keeping your jewelry in air tight containers and using tarnish strips or placing it with silica strips will help keep your jewelry clean and tarnish free!
- Hair Dye: contains ammonia and hydrogen peroxide and we don't always think to remove jewelry before coloring, especially earrings!
- Sulphur: Its in things you never thought about and sulphur will tarnish jewelry! Hairspray, lotions, shampoos and perfumes contain sulphates and it doesn't even need direct contact with the item, the fumes from the sulfates can cause tarnish! Never store your jewelry in the open in a bathroom
- Rubber: rubber contains sulphur and storing jewelry with rubber bands or in a rubber container will tarnish jewelry!
With silver the tarnish will be really obvious but gold filled, pink gold filled and 14k golds will also tarnish. 10k, 12k, 18k gold, white gold etc will also tarnish but at a much slower rate. Pure gold doesn't tarnish however pure gold is almost impossible to make jewelry out of because it is so soft, so they contain alloys that harden it up and make it stronger and the alloys are what cause the tarnish!