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How to Keep Your Fashion Jewellery from Tarnishing

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

At Demetrini Jewellery, our most important desire is to design the best, affordable fashion jewellery pieces that make you look and feel exactly how you want to look and feel! You want to stand out, you want to look great and feel that your choice of handmade costume jewellery enhances all your best and finest features.

Pearl effect glass beads in a very neutral shade to combine well with white wedding apparel
Bridal Choker and Earrings Set Bianca

artisanal porcelain earrings glazed on both sides
Ceramic Bird Earrings

Although our handmade costume jewellery made in London can be beautiful and gorgeously designed, it is different to what we refer to as 'Fine Jewellery'. Unlike fine jewellery that is commonly made with materials such as gold, diamonds and a selection of gemstones and will come at a higher cost, our affordable handmade costume fashion jewellery is made with more affordable and common materials such as semi-precious rocks & stones, plated metals, beads made of lampwork glass, wood or resin and you will even find hand sewn intricate components made by some very talented makers.

These more affordable materials are used as alternatives to create similar looks to fine jewellery sold on the market without having to spend a fortune on real gold, diamonds and other precious stones and metals. Realistically, any fashion costume jewellery items that you purchase are not made to last forever in most cases, depending on the material of course, but you can lessen the tarnish of the metals used and signs of wear if you follow advice on how to care for and store your gorgeous handmade jewellery pieces properly.

Why does Costume Jewellery tarnish?

You will be aware that the reality is that all metal parts of contemporary fashion costume jewellery whether they be fashion necklaces, boho bracelets or long, dangle earrings are probably going to tarnish over time. The non metal components will essentially for the most part remain the same. However, metal components need a little more love and attention over time as some metals tarnish faster than others. Why is this? The reason is that with the passing of time, your handmade costume jewellery inevitably comes into contact with air, acids, oils on the skin, moisture on the body and from the air. These all react with the metals used to make the fashion jewellery and this causes tarnishing.

You will have noticed from pieces that you have purchased over the years from various suppliers that certain metals have this tendency to react. You may have left Sterling Silver or Silver Plated items out of their storage boxes and noticed that over time the Silver has darkened somewhat. The reason for this is that the metal has reacted to the moisture and sulphur in the surrounding air. This happens to gold plated 18K items too and gold-filled jewelry too, although gold filled jewelry does tend to last much longer than its gold plated counterparts. It's true that they will show signs of wear later on, but some prefer to purchase gold filled items because of their ability to ward off tarnishing for longer.

The next question is; So what factors determine how long it will take for my fashion jewellery to tarnish. The factors determining this are as follows; the composition of your own skin, the way that you care for the pieces, where you store the items, taking into consideration the air around the area they are stored in, and the materials that were used to make them in the first place.

Some Jewellery turns skin green, Why?

Many have had the experience of wearing a ring only to have taken it off and left with green staining on the skin. Have you experienced this? What causes the green staining around the finger? It happens because the acids on your skin react with the metal causing oxidisation. The reality is that this happening to you specifically depends on your own body chemistry, and we are all very unique. One person's body chemistry is completely different to another's. If it has happened to you, you were probably concerned and wondered if this was actually unsafe. No need to worry. It's not considered harmful to you. This is something that tends to happen when we wear pieces made from copper. It can also happen when wearing silver and gold metals.

Some tips on how to keep your jewellery from tarnishing

1. Keep the jewellery dry

You must, must, must avoid to the best of your ability allowing your fashion jewellery to come into contact with moisture or liquids. If you ignore this factor, your jewellery will tarnish at a faster rate. What does this include? Don't use lotions on your skin before wearing jewellery. Don't wash your hands with rings on, don't spray perfume directly on the area where the jewellery is being worn, and although difficult, don't sweat while wearing jewellery. Yes, I know this is almost impossible. How do you tell your body not to sweat or your skin not to expel oils and moisture? Unfortunately the oils on your skin can wear down silver and gold plating on metals over time. If you notice that your jewellery has become wet or moist, please, please, please dry them immediately.

2. Store it correctly

You cannot expect your fashion jewellery items to last if you fail to store them correctly. We've already stated how exposure to moisture in the air will, over time, causes tarnishing of costume jewellery, so it's important to store them properly. When you receive your handmade jewellery from in a cloth pouch or bag, you should keep it in that. This protects jewellery in the first instance from the sun and obviously from scratches and damage.

If you want to add extra protection in the form of correct storage, it is advisable to store jewellery in a bag, preferably in a Tarnish Prevention Bag (which you can purchase on our website using this link)

keep earrings, bracelets and small necklaces in and protects your Gold, Silver, Brass & Copper jewellery for up to 3 years
Tarnish Prevention Bag, purchase on

Before sealing the bag ensure that you get rid of as much air as possible. The reason you need to do this is because the lack of air will avoid the metal oxidising.

An extra addition to your jewellery bags, pouches and jewellery boxes are what are known on the market as 'Anti-tarnish strips'. These super absorbent pieces of paper will absorb all undesirables in the surrounding air that cause your jewellery to tarnish over time. You'll need to replace the strips every 6 months, normally. They're usually sold in packs of 25 or 50. We don't currently sell them on but may do so in future (watch this space).

3. Jewellery Protectant Spray or Shield

Available on the market are a variety of sprays that can protect metals used in fashion jewellery from tarnishing and keep your pieces bright and looking as new as the day you purchased them. Some can also protect you from allergies like irritation, rashes and hives. Some are 100% hypoallergenic and cruelty-free. There are various available.

Some clients like to use polishing cloths for silver or gold which can do wonders for a tired looking piece of jewellery. A good old wipe with one of these can do wonders for the look of your jewellery. Brings back the shine and brightness in just a few seconds.

On we currently sell Silver Polishing Cloths

Fantastic little cloths for giving your sterling silver or plated silver a clean to bring back the metal's shine and brightness.