Gold has always been a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Its beautiful lustre and sheen have made it a popular choice for jewellery, coins, and other precious items for centuries. However, while gold is a highly valued metal, it is not always the most durable. Even gold jewellery can tarnish or lose its shine over time. This is why some people opt for bonded gold, which is less likely to tarnish. But the question remains – will bonded gold tarnish?
What is bonded gold?
Before we answer this crucial question, we must first understand what bonded gold is. Bonded gold, sometimes called gold-filled, is a type of gold jewellery that is made by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal. The base metal is usually brass, nickel, or copper. The layer of gold is usually at least 5% of the jewellery’s total weight.
Bonded gold is not the same as gold-plated jewellery, which only has a thin layer of gold coated onto the base metal. Gold plating is not as durable as bonded gold, and the gold layer can wear off over time. Bonded gold, on the other hand, is more durable and can last for years with proper care.
Will bonded gold tarnish?
Now we can answer the question – will bonded gold tarnish? The short answer is yes, it can tarnish over time, but it is less likely to do so than other types of gold jewellery. The reason for this is that the layer of gold in bonded gold is much thicker than in gold-plated jewellery.
The thickness of the gold layer can vary depending on the manufacturer and the intended use of the jewellery. However, most bonded gold jewellery has a gold layer that is at least 5% of the total weight of the piece. Some high-end bonded gold jewellery can have a gold layer that is up to 20% of the total weight.
The thickness of the gold layer makes a big difference when it comes to tarnishing. The thicker the gold layer, the less likely it is that the jewellery will tarnish or lose its shine. However, even with a thicker layer of gold, some bonded gold jewellery can still tarnish over time.
The reason for this is that bonded gold jewellery can be exposed to a range of different factors that can cause tarnishing. These factors can include exposure to air, water, or even sweat. The base metal can also play a role in how quickly the gold layer tarnishes. For example, jewellery made with nickel as the base metal may be more prone to tarnishing than jewellery made with copper.
How to care for bonded gold jewellery
While bonded gold jewellery is less likely to tarnish than other types of gold jewellery, it still needs proper care to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips for caring for your bonded gold jewellery:
1. Keep it clean – Regularly clean your bonded gold jewellery to remove any dirt, sweat, or other debris that can build up on the surface. Use a soft cloth or a mild cleaning solution to gently clean the jewellery.
2. Store it properly – Store your bonded gold jewellery in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight and heat can cause the gold layer to tarnish more quickly.
3. Avoid wearing it in water – Avoid wearing your bonded gold jewellery in the shower, swimming pool, or hot tub. Exposure to water can cause the gold layer to tarnish more quickly.
4. Avoid harsh chemicals – Avoid exposing your bonded gold jewellery to harsh chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, or chlorine. These chemicals can damage the gold layer and cause it to tarnish.
5. Have it professionally cleaned – If your bonded gold jewellery starts to tarnish or lose its shine, take it to a professional jeweller to have it cleaned and polished. They can restore the jewellery to its original lustre and shine.
Bonded gold jewellery is a popular choice for those who want the look of gold without the high price tag. While bonded gold is less likely to tarnish than other types of gold jewellery, it can still tarnish over time if not properly cared for. By following the tips above, you can keep your bonded gold jewellery looking its best for years to come. As with all things of value, proper care and maintenance is essential for your bonded gold jewellery to remain beautiful and valuable.