How to Care for Gold Jewelry, Because Those Softies are More Vulnerable Than You Might Think

I'm a disgrace to my best friend. You see, she's a die-hard silver girl. Any and all of her accessories? Silver. As for gold? She won't touch the stuff. And she doesn't approve that I do. Although I don't understand not liking gold (It's so classic!), I'll give her one victory: It's more difficult to care for gold jewelry than silver. That's right, the yellow stuff, especially at higher karats, is softer than other metals. This makes it an easier target for dirt to stick to, and scratches to sink into.

But just because gold is more sensitive than the others doesn't mean you should let it be bullied. And don't worry, it's actually pretty simple to care for your special pieces. Just remember that the higher the karat, the more important it is to follow these rules. Lower karat gold is usually mixed with other metals, it is somewhat sturdier, so it can handle more lenient treatment. However, at the end of the day, it is still more vulnerable than silver. So keep in mind that not all jewelry is created equal, and take these precautions to keep your gold looking clean and pristine.

1. Put It On Last, Take It Off First

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Make sure when getting ready and unready, gold jewelry is the last piece added and first removed. This will give it a little extra protection from being sprayed with perfume or caught in clothing.

2. Take Solo Showers

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Try not to wear your gold jewelry when showering or bathing. Soaps can dull gold, resulting in it needing to be cleaned more frequently. And don't even think about wearing it in pools and hot tubs. Chlorine can permanently discolor your gold jewelry, but as long as you're following the above-mentioned rule, you won't even have to worry about this one.

3. Periodically Polish And Clean

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Did you know that beer is actually a really good cleanser for gold jewelry? When you feel like your gold is starting to look less than its best, pour a little on a cloth and rub away any impurities. Of course, you can also simply polish with just a dry cloth or one of these other methods.

4. Store It Properly

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Make sure to store your gold jewelry separately in a space with a lid to minimize dust collection. Since gold is soft and easily scratched, proper storage will also keep your jewelry from getting tangled and scraping against each other.

5. Get Professional Help

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If you find your jewelry has a broken clasp or chain, has scratches that need to be buffed out, or is just too dirty, take it to a professional jeweler. They will easily be able to restore your pieces to look like new.

Images: Ali Gilliams; Giphy (5)