Does 18K Gold Tarnish?

Does 18K Gold Tarnish?

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Gold is beautiful and valuable. It is used to make engagement rings, wedding rings, along with other types of jewelry and many industrial uses as well. When a piece of jewelry tarnishes, this means that it will lose luster as a result of exposure to air or moisture. This can dull its color and cause it to lose brightness. 

If you are looking to buy a 18 karat gold ring or already own one, you may be wondering, does 18k gold tarnish?

24k gold (pure gold) doesn’t tarnish. 18k gold does have some non-gold metal mixed into it to make you stronger since gold is very soft. This could lead to tarnish over time but it’s highly unlikely and not common.

So, it is very rare for a 18k gold piece of jewelry to tarnish. Things that could cause it to tarnish are how the 25 percent of other metals into the gold ring react to oxygen, sulfur, and moisture. If your 18k gold ring does tarnish somehow, it can be removed with a good cleaning. 

The reason it may tarnish is because 18k gold is not pure gold. It is made up of 24 karat gold and 25 percent of other metals. This is done to increase the hardness of the ring and influence its color. For example, rose gold had a pink undertone because of included metals like copper which can also give it a hardness. 

Gold is soft and pure gold is easy to bend. Jewelry adds other metals to the gold to make it durable and able to be worn on a day to day basis. 18 karat gold is the highest gold you can get to being almost completely pure that  is also very durable. It is still real gold and valuable. 

Because of this many engagement rings and wedding rings which are worn everyday are made of 18k gold. The non-gold metal used to make the 18k gold could tarnish but this is highly unlikely to happen.

To see the most popular 18k gold jewelry pieces just click here. 

Can You Wear 18k Gold In The Shower?

Your 18k gold ring is beautiful and shiny. We know that you want to wear your ring all of the time but, sometimes it’s best to take it off to perform certain daily tasks. 

So, can you wear 18k gold in the shower?

You can wear a 18k gold ring in the shower and it won’t be damaged. However, exfoliators from the soap could cause damage to the ring. The water and soap could also make it easier for the ring to slip off your finger and so it isn’t recommended to wear your ring in the shower.

The same goes for all 18k gold jewelry. You can wear them in the shower, bath or water, but this isn’t recommended because over time, this could discolor the ring. To keep it in good condition, take off all of your gold jewelry before you take a shower. 

Some other things you should not do with your 18k gold ring on are:

  1. In the shower – regular water won’t damage 18k gold but some harsh soaps or exfoliators could scratch it or discolor it. It could also slip more easily off your finger by all of the soap and water you use in a shower.
  1. Sleeping – When sleeping, you could apply unnecessary pressure to the ring and cause the end of the prongs to become loose. This could result in a lost diamond. You could also end up starching your face/skin if you wear rings to bed. Remember that gold is soft so wearing gold rings to sleep in isn’t a good idea.
  1. Working out – When you work out, you sweat a lot and also put pressure on the ring causing it to bend. Silicone rings are recommended for working out instead of your gold engagement or wedding band.
  1. Cleaning – The harsh chemicals you use when cleaning could damage the gold ring by discoloring it.
  1. Fixing hair – Hair sprays, and other hair products could cause build up on your ring.
  1. Doing makeup – Cosmetics clouds also cause buildup on your ring.
  1. Cooking – Germs and bacteria could get lodged in the ring when you are preparing food or cooking.
  1. Doing dishes – Just like in the shower, doing dishes with all the soap and water could cause the ring to slip off your finger and down the drain. The soap could also damage it. 
  1. Moisturizing – Lotions could cause buildup on the ring.
  1. Swimming – Cold water causes your fingers to shrink making it easier for your ring to fall off into the water. Chlorine could also damage the ring.

The chemicals in soaps, cleaners, etc. don’t react with pure gold but if your ring is 18k gold, this could happen since 25 percent of the ring is made with other metals. Which could be damaged by these things. 

So, it is best to take off your 18k gold ring before showering so you keep it in good condition.

Is 18k Gold Good For Everyday Wear?

The higher the amount of gold in a ring, the less likely it is to tarnish. Since 18k gold is just below 24k gold which is pure gold, it is unlikely it will tanish. But, it’s still good to take care of your ring. 

So, is 18k gold good for everyday wear?

18k gold is strong and durable and good for everyday wear. Because 25 percent of the gold ring is made up of strong metals, it is perfect for wearing everyday. 18k gold rings are usually seen in engagement or wedding rings which people wear daily.

Pure gold is soft. The alloys that make up 18k gold are what make it strong. Many engagement or wedding rings are made of 18k gold which is 75 percent 24k gold (pure gold) and 25 percent other metal alloys. The metal alloys make it perfect for everyday wear while also being a valuable piece of jewelry. 

18k gold is still real gold and a great choice for a ring because of its high purity and durability. It is difficult to tarnish. Some things such as oxygen, sulfur, or moisture could damage the ring over time, but it is highly unlikely this could happen. By avoiding some of the things we mentioned in the last section of this article, you can help keep your ring in good condition. 

As long as you take proper care of your ring, 18k gold is good for everyday wear.

Final Thoughts

With 75 percent of it being made of pure gold, 18 karat gold is very unlikely to tarnish. Pure gold doesn’t lose its luster. In order to make it more durable and suitable for everyday wear, the other 25 percent of the 18k gold is added alloys. 

These alloys could be tarnished by things like oxygen, sulfur, or moisture but, like we said, since the ring is mostly made of pure gold, it is very rare. By taking care of your ring or jewelry you can help it keep it in good condition.

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