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Does Sterling Silver and Gold filled jewellery tarnish?- How to care for your jewellery

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Polishing cloth and metals

We get asked often whether if our Sterling Silver/Gold filled jewellery will tarnish, and how our Jewellery will look like over time. So we’ll do a deep dive here in this blog post and explain a little bit of tarnishing. First of all let’s talk about some basics.

what is gold filled/sterling silver?

925 SterlinG Silver

Silver is one of the seven metals of antiquity and continues to be one of the most used metals in jewellery design and production today. You might wonder: 

Is Sterling Silver REAL Silver?

The answer is a definite yes. However it is important to note that 925 sterling silver should not be confused with pure silver, also known as fine silver, which is 99.9% pure.

Sterling silver is an alloy made of 92.5% PURE SILVER and 7.5% other metals (usually copper).

Why not 100% pure silver?

Pure Silver is too soft to be used in jewellery-making on its own and not suitable for everyday wear. Its prone to scratches and dents, hence the need for the addition of other metals in sterling silver. The addition of these metals makes the silver stronger and more resistant to damage, while also helping to preserve its shine.

While pure silver is generally considered more valuable, sterling silver is still precious and often used in high-end jewellery. 925 sterling silver is a popular choice for jewelry because it is durable, beautiful, and relatively affordable. 

Additionally, 925 sterling silver is hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin. Overall, it is a great option for those looking for high-quality, long-lasting jewelry. Not to mention that Sterling silver also has a brighter and more lustrous appearance than pure silver.


14k gold-filled jewelry is a type of jewellery made by bonding a layer of 14k gold to a base metal core creating a durable and long-lasting product that is tarnish-resistant and hypoallergenic. 

It is a great option for those looking for high-quality jewellery.Unlike gold plated jewelry, the gold layer in 14k gold filled is much thicker, making it less likely to wear off over time. Plus, it has the same look and feel as solid gold jewelry, making it a popular choice for those who want the luxurious look without the high price tag.

14K Gold filled or 18K Gold plated? What is the difference?

14k gold filled and 18k gold plated are both methods of incorporating a layer of gold onto a base metal (usually brass or copper) but they aren’t entirely composed of solid gold. However, there are some differences between the two.
14k gold filled involves bonding a thick layer of 14k gold to a base metal using heat and pressure. This results in a durable and long-lasting piece of jewellery that is resistant to tarnishing, fading, and wear. On the other hand, 18k gold plated involves applying a thin layer of 18k gold onto a base metal through a process called electroplating. While this process is less expensive and produces a shiny finish, the layer of gold will wear off over time and expose the base metal. Ultimately, gold filled jewelry is a better lifetime solution compared to gold plated jewellery,  however the choice between 14k gold filled and 18k gold plated depends on personal preference and budget.



Gold filled jewellery can last a lifetime with proper care, while gold plated jewellery may only last a few months to a few years before the gold layer wears off. Additionally, gold filled jewellery is more valuable and contains a higher percentage of gold than gold plated jewellery.

So now that you now, what are these metals, LETS TALK ABOUT TARNISH.


Is my jewellery faulty if it is tarnishes? 

The short answer is: Your jewellery is ABSOLUTELY NOT faulty if it tarnished!
Don’t assume the problem is related to the quality of your jewellery or it not being made of real silver.

Which metal tarnish?

Pure (100%) gold, titanium and 100% silver do not tarnish. But 24k gold and pure silver is too soft to wear on a daily basis. Gold filled is an alloy, so are sterling silver and 9k 18k, 14k solid gold. However, compared to lower quality alloys, these fine materials (gold filled, solid gold) can resist tarnish at a higher rate.


Sterling silver jewellery can tarnish over time due to exposure to air and moisture but tarnishing also depends on a number of factors:


The environment can also effect your jewellery. Acidity in the air, pollution and humidity are major factors in jewelry tarnish. To reduce the effects of environmental wear on your gold filled or sterling silver piece, we recommend to clean the jewelry often with a polishing cloth, and keep the it away from moisture and sunlight in our boxes.


Your body chemistry can affect how quickly your jewellery tarnishes, which is why some people can wear earrings for years with no tarnishing, whereas other people can experience tarnishing of earrings after only a week of wear.


To keep your jewellery tarnish-free,
store it in a dry and airtight container,
such as your jewellery box.

Avoid exposing your jewellery to harsh chemicals, perfumes, and lotions, as these can also cause tarnishing. To remove tarnish, you can use a silver polishing cloth or a mixture of baking soda and water. Simply rub the tarnished areas gently with the cloth or the mixture, then rinse and dry thoroughly. 14k gold filled jewelry is less prone to tarnishing, but it still requires proper care to maintain its shine. Follow the same storage and cleaning tips as for sterling silver jewellery to keep it looking its best and to help maintain the shine and beauty of the jewellery.

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Wondering about whether to wear gold jewellery or silver jewellery? Wearing Gold vs. Silver coloured jewellery has been a long-debated topic and there’s plenty of confusion around which metal to choose to suit yourself.

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