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 are worrying over will it ever tarnish.

The answer is gold plated brass jewelry does tarnish.

Yet, you still might have some concerns about its quality.

We have answered all important questions on gold plated bling in this post.

Read on to find out more and see whether getting a gold plated piece is worth it or not.

What Is Gold Plated Brass?

Gold plated pieces are obtained by covering a cheaper core base with a layer of gold.

In our case, the initial material is made of brass.

Make sure you don’t mistake plated jewelry for a regular alloy.

An alloy is a mixture of at least two metals.

And a gold-brass alloy is different than gold plated brass jewelry.

For example, stainless steel is an alloy of iron and chromium or rose gold is an alloy of yellow gold and copper.

Brass itself is an alloy of copper and zinc.

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

Often the outer metal is much more expensive.

It is often one of precious metals like gold or silver.

People usually seek this kind of jewelry because it’s much cheaper with the same look.

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

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

That makes a huge difference in price.

Note that there are different types of gold like 10k, 14k and 18k gold.

These all different purity levels which will heavily impact price.

Check this post on 10k vs 14k vs 18k gold for more.

So, if you want something that have the look with a better deal, then gold plated jewelry may be just the right option for you.

It is totally legit, and no one has to know it has a core made of base metals!

Does Gold Plated Brass Tarnish?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes, it does.

Gold plating is not as strong as the actual precious metal.

It is a very thin layer surrounding the brass underneath.

So, if you use the pieces frequently, and you don’t keep them in a safe place, they will tarnish over time as the coating wears off.

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

Basically, when the yellow color metal starts diminishing, brass gets interacting with oxygen and humidity in the air. This will pave the way to tarnish.

How Long Does Gold Plated Brass Last?

How long your 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 flash plating.

And if the plating is thick enough, it will last a little longer as it will endure more physical impacts and chemical agents like perfumes and deodorants.

This is why, if you want to get a custom made gold plated jewelry, you should ask the manufacturer to use an additional layer of gold increasing the protection.

This will ensure the piece lasting for a longer time.

However, if the layer is thin, around 0.5 microns, then expect it to tarnish considerably faster, especially if you prefer it for daily wear.

Other factors that come into play about how long the plating lasts, is where and how often you wear your bling.

For instance, gold plated jewelry is not recommended for pool or  water activities in general.

If you immerse such a piece in water for too long, 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 plating will make sure this doesn’t happen.

Nevertheless, once oxidation occurs, and the outer layer 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 real gold but only in a very small amount, and this is not enough to bring you a fortune like a solid gold jewelry.

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 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 plating is not hypoallergenic.

Basically, it contains nickel or lead, which may cause allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin and people with metal allergies.

Having said that, if you’re prone to allergies, you should be careful with the jewelry you’re wearing and prefer more pure and hypoallergenic jewelry.

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

Even if the jewelry piece 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 jewelry 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 the precious yellow metal.

It is great to wear for special occasions where bling gets high attention.

However, keep in mind that it is not recommended for everyday wear use because the gold plating may wear off more easily.

If this occurs, you can simply ask your local jewelry store for a re-plating session and demand multiple layers of gold for prolonged use.

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!