gold plated brass necklace

Does Gold Plated Brass Tarnish?

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gold plated brass necklace

You saw a nice piece of gold plated brass jewelry, and you’re very tempted to buy it.

However, you still have some concerns about its quality.

You want to know whether it requires a lot of maintenance or not.

More than that, you are probably wondering if it’s going to tarnish.

Well, if you own gold plated brass jewelry or are planning to get some, there are some things you should know about.

Read on to find out more and see whether owning such jewelry is worth it or not.

What Is Gold Plated Brass?

Before we see whether gold plated brass tarnishes over time or not, let’s establish what it is.

Gold plated brass is obtained through the plating.
Basically, plating means that the jewelry piece made of brass, gets a layer of another metal on it – gold, in our case.

As such, we’ll have brass with gold covering it.

Make sure you don’t mistake plated jewelry for a regular alloy.
Something that is part a metal and part another metal.

When a metal core is plated, it receives a thin coating around.

People usually seek this kind of jewelry because it’s much cheaper than getting actual gold pieces.

Just for the sake of giving an example, think of a 100 gr gold bracelet and a 100 gr gold-plated brass bracelet.

While the gold weight in the first one is 100 gr – obviously, the latter will have maybe 1 gram of gold.

That makes a huge difference in price.

So, if you can’t afford gold jewelry but want something that looks like it, then gold plated brass may be just the right option for you.

It is totally legit, and no one has to know it has a brass core.

Does Gold Plated Brass Tarnish?

Now, let’s get to the main answer of this article.

So, you might be wondering whether gold plated brass jewelry tarnishes or not.

Unfortunately, the answer is that it does.

Gold plating is not as strong as actual gold.

There is nothing but a very thin layer of gold surrounding the brass underneath.

So, if you use the jewelry pieces a lot, and you don’t keep them in a safe place, they will tarnish over time.

This type of jewelry usually tarnishes because the metal underneath has some molecules that cause the plating to tarnish.

Basically, they transfer to the gold plating, which causes tarnish.
Although gold jewelry in itself is not going to tarnish, gold as plating will fade away as time goes by.

How Long Does Gold Plated Brass Last?

How long your gold plated brass jewelry will last, depends on various factors.

First of all, it depends on how much plating the piece has.
Some pieces of jewelry have heavier plating.

And if the plating is thick enough, it will last a little longer.

This is why, if you want to get some jewelry made of gold plated brass, you should ask the manufacturer to use an additional layer of gold.

This will ensure the piece lasting for a longer time.

However, if the layer is a thin, 0.5 microns one, then expect it to tarnish considerably faster, especially if you wear it too much.

Other factors that come into play about how long gold plated brass lasts, is where and how often you wear your jewelry.

For instance, it’s not recommended when you go to the pool or perform activities that involve water in general.

If you immerse the jewelry piece in water for too long, then the gold layer may completely go away – and this will happen even if you’re at the pool or just taking a shower.

Not to mention that it shouldn’t be worn all the time.
Because it’s gold plated, it may get scratched or chip more easily, which will ruin it.

Lastly, you must be careful where you store this kind of jewelry.

When you don’t wear it, you should keep it by separately in a soft jewelry bag or a Ziplock bag.

Can Gold Plated Brass Turn Your Skin Green?

Sadly, it can.

Because brass is made of zinc and copper, it is possible for your skin to turn green, as zinc is especially known for.
However, it’s important to know that it won’t turn your skin green from the get-go.

The gold plating will make sure this doesn’t happen.

Nevertheless, once oxidation occurs, and the plating wears off; you will start noticing that your skin turns green.

How much is gold plated brass worth? Is it worth anything?

You may be thinking that reselling such a jewelry piece would bring you some additional cash but in reality, it’s not worth that much.

It does contain gold but only in a very small amount, and this is not enough to bring you a fortune.

There are just a few microns of gold within the plating, so it’s not really advantageous trying to resell it.

As for refining the plating, it may end up costing more than getting an actual solid gold item, thus it’s hardly worth the hassle in the long run.

How to Clean Gold Plated Brass Jewelry?

Cleaning gold plated brass jewelry is not that difficult, but you need to be careful not to use any water or harsh chemicals when doing it.

In order to clean such an item, you should only use a cotton ball or a soft cloth.

To get rid of potential oil and grime, be as gentle as possible so that you don’t scratch the plating.

Another tip to remember is that you should avoid wearing the jewelry piece if you used perfume in that body area.

The chemicals in the fragrance will react with the piece and quicken tarnish.

Does Gold Plated Brass Rust?

So, we’ve seen that gold plated brass tarnishes with time.

Even so, here is the good news: it doesn’t rust.

This is one of the reasons why brass is a popular material used in jewelry making.

Because this material is not an iron-bearing one, you will not have to worry about any potential rusting going on.

It will only corrode after a long time.

Is Gold Plated Brass Hypoallergenic?

You should know that the brass under the gold plating is not hypoallergenic.
Basically, it contains nickel or lead, which may cause allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin.

Having said that, if you’re prone to allergies, you should be careful with the jewelry you’re wearing and avoid gold plated brass.

In this case, preferring hypoallergenic jewelry metals would be a good idea.

Even if gold plated brass is protected by the coating, remember that this will go away over time, and you may not even notice it.

And when the brass comes in contact with your skin, you may develop an allergic reaction.

Settle for something safer if you worry about this issue.

The Verdict

Gold plated brass is a wonderful choice for people who want the gold look but don’t have the budget for the full package.

This material carries the beauty of gold.

It is great to wear for special occasions where bling gets high attention.
However, keep in mind that it is not recommended for frequent use because the gold plating may wear off more easily.

Make sure to keep it away from water, including shower, pool and seaside.

So, if you think you can rock a gold-plated brass jewelry piece and don’t have metal allergies, then you can give it a go!