How Come Gold Jewelry Turns White Sometimes?

Sometimes customers come to me and ask why their gold jewelry suddenly changes color or has white spots, worrying about that they may have bought a fake.

In fact, usually these worries are unnecessary. Under normal circumstances, as long as it is bought from a regular gold shop, the quality of the gold jewelry is guaranteed. After a little jewelry cleaning by some staff in a gold shop, the white spots on the gold will disappear, and the jewelry will be re-lit as new.

Why would this happen? How come the gold jewelry turns white? Gold is one of the nature's most stable metals, and it does not react with any oxide gas in the air at room temperature, nor with three major acid (sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid) or weak acid. Only aqua regia (a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acid) can corrode it. But mercury is an exception, it is very easy to react with gold and produce a white compound called amalgam. Therefore, once the gold jewelry is exposed to mercury, it will turn white immediately. And because mercury is volatile, it can cause discoloration of gold even from a distance.

This may occur in the home, because mercury or mercury-type substances exist in many detergents, cosmetics and skin care products. If gold is exposed to these items, it is likely to change its color, turning white, gray, or dark. Many ladies have a habit of using skin care product before touching their jewelry, which makes the chemicals contact the gold directly and causes discoloration of the jewelry. In addition, perfume, hair spray, sea water, swimming pool water, and dirt caused by long-term wearing, are also likely to make gold jewelry change its color or fade. This has nothing to do with the purity of the gold, and it does not mean the jewelry is a fake.

Gold jewelry should be kept from direct exposure to the substances referred, and should be cleaned regularly. And if the surface of gold jewelry has changed color, do not use a hard object or tool to eradicate the changed part. The correct approach is to use alcohol lamp or welding torch which is used in jewelry processing to heat the white part of the gold, so that mercury can sublimate out of amalgam and separate from gold. When the jewelry gets cool, brush it lightly with a toothbrush, and then wipe it and press it hard for a few times with a soft cloth, after which the gold will recover its color. But do not try to do this with a lighter, because the jewelry will turn black easily for incomplete combustion of the gas. K gold and inlaid jewelry do not suit this method, they should be taken to the gold shop to have other proper treatment. However, if consumers do have doubts about the quality of their jewelry, they should go to the professional department and have the jewelry identified as soon as possible.

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"I Can Only Wear Gold Jewelry" – The Truth About Jewelry Allergies

I can only wear gold jewelry, everything else breaks me out. " How many times did I hear that exact phrase from my mother when I was a child? Every time I would give her jewelry that was her response.

Why does everything but gold break my mother out? Is that statement even true? When I started designing jewelry over ten years ago I decided to find out. I wanted to design jewelry for my mom that she could wear without fear of a breakout. Now I am going to let you in on what I have discovered.

My mother, like many people, develops contact dermatitis when her skin comes in contact with some types of jewelry. Her dermatitis is a result of an allergic reaction to the nickel found in many types of jewelry. Nickel allergies are very common, in fact one out of every seven people are likely to suffer from a nickel allergy. More often, women tend to suffer from nickel allergies than men. Allergy treatment can help with the symptoms of a nickel allergy. Unfortunately once the allergy has developed, a person will remain sensitive to nickel for the rest of their life.

Nickel is found in many types of costume jewelry, especially those that are mass-produced. It may also be found in other everyday items like coins, zippers, eyeglass frames, and cellphones.

So why is my mom allergic to nickel, you may ask. For some reason, which science still does not understand, her body has mistaken nickel (or similar metals like cobalt) as a threat. In response to that threat, her body causes an immune response (aka allergic reaction) to get rid of the threat. This reaction causes her to breakout in an itchy rash. But others could have a more severe reaction to nickel.

Now that I knew what was causing my mother's breakout, I set out to find out which types of jewelry did not contain nickel.

First I looked at gold jewelry . Generally speaking, yellow gold (above 14 karat) will not cause an allergic reaction. However white gold may. White gold alloys contain nickel and other "white" metals to produce its silver coloring. One out of every nine people will react to the nickel in white gold.

Another form of gold jewelry is gold filled or "GF" jewelry. Gold filled jewelry metal is created when a base metal is coated with a layer of gold. Gold filled differs from gold-plated by the amount of gold applied. The layer used in gold filled jewelry is typically 50 to 100 time thicker that the layer used to coat gold-plated products.

Next I looked at silver jewelry. For those who are nickel sensitive, fine silver and sterling silver are great choices for "white" metals.

Fine silver is by definition 99.9% pure silver. Jewelry is generally not made of fine silver because the metal is extremely soft and does not withstand normal wear and tear well.

Most silver jewelry is made using sterling silver. Sterling