Why does my jewellery go black?

Why does my jewellery go black?

Its unfortunate when your jewellery tarnishes, especially when you haven’t worn it too much, but it usually is easy to fix and return back to its beautiful state. 


I get asked this question all the time so I thought I would give you a basic explanation on why some jewellery discolours.


Tarnishing is the transition process most metal go through, which is also called oxidation.

Tarnishing is like a rusting process and caused from chemicals touching the metal like a perfume, hairspray, body lotion, sweat from your skin and even some food can react on the metal (onions or salty chips fingers can discolour your rings) and of course the moisture in the air.

Plated jewellery, like silver, gold and rose gold plated pieces have been plated with the metal to achieve the colour but the actual base metal can be other types of metal, once the plating erodes off the jewellery the base metal is exposed.

If the base metal contains copper then it is likely to oxidize. The metal copper does oxidize when exposed to the air, or if the metal has nickel then it can turn your skin green. Nickel usually reacts with the acid and sweat in our skin and turns our skin green.

 If your jewellery is sterling silver, this can also tarnish or patina. With sterling silver  you can use a polish cloth to clean the “black” off the metal and it will keep shiny or a while.

The best way to avoid your jewellery from discolouring is to avoid any chemicals touching your jewellery and store is away from moisture.

Also try wearing jewelery that is free from nickel and contains little copper, I recommend wearing hypoallergenic stainless steel, rhodium plated, Platium, and sterling silver jewellery.

We make our jewellery from either stainless steel or sterling silver. Our gold and rose gold pieces are plated on top of these metals. 

Our stainless steel pieces that are not plated, do not tarnish or discolour. This is the advantage of using stainless steel. For the gold and rose gold pieces, we use a special plating process that is very long wearing. They do not discolour on most peoples skin, but we do suggest you take some care with them. 

For our sterling silver pieces, they can patina as this is a natural process for sterling silver, and like I said above, you can easily clean them using a polishing cloth. For gold and rose gold plated sterling silver, again we recommend you take some care when wearing them. 

Another great tip is to always wipe down your jewellery after you wear it. This will remove most of the moisture and acid that may be left on the jewellery from your skin. Then store it in a dry, moisture free place. Storing it in a pouch or plastic bag is a good idea. 

Please message me if you have any questions regarding the care of your jewellery.