How Long Does Gold Plated Jewelry Last & How To Properly Care For It

Every girl deserves a collection of jewelry that makes her feel magical. An abundance of earrings, rings, and necklaces can make you feel like the divine goddess you really are. At BISOULOVELY, we are in the business of crafting pieces that help you feel like your truest, most beautiful self. 

Many of our gorgeous baubles are made using gold-plated materials. Not familiar? Today, we’ll explore gold-plated jewelry and how to keep your pieces looking like new for the long haul.

What Is Gold-Plated Jewelry?

All gold-plated jewelry starts with a sterling silver base. Sterling silver is a durable, lightweight metal. It looks lovely on all skin types and won’t cause irritation, which makes it an easy choice for everyday wear. 

Still, so many of us adore the look of gold jewelry, thanks to the ethereal shine and luster that comes with gold pieces. Luckily, there is a way to get the glitz of gold without paying the full price of true, solid gold. Introducing… gold-plated jewelry! 

To keep all the wonderful benefits of sterling silver while providing the option for whimsical gold pieces, we cover our jewelry with a gold plating

This covers the sterling silver metal base with a thin layer of gold, leaving the metal with a gleaming, golden finish. It’s like a fresh paint job! 

We love gold-plated jewelry. It’s an easy, more affordable way to get that gorgeous gold glimmer we all know and love. Plus, it is more sturdy than solid gold because of its strong sterling silver base. 

As you wear your pieces and they experience wear and tear over time, the gold plating can wear off. Thankfully, it is easy to get your pieces replated and restore your favorite pieces’ radiance like magic. 

How Long Will Gold Plated Jewelry Last?

With proper care, gold-plated jewelry can last for up to two years before losing its luster. Still, plated jewelry is delicate. When exposed to the elements, it can have some trouble staying stunning. The plating can flake off with time, exposing the silver beneath the gold. 

Additionally, gold plating can lose its shine through the years. This is natural but can also be expedited by the elements. Chemicals from cleaning supplies, makeup, and even just water can ruin the radiance of your favorite gold-plated pieces. That’s what we call tarnish. 

What Does Tarnish Look Like?

Jewelry tarnishes when the metal comes in contact with external substances. If you’re wondering what it looks like, here is a simple rule of thumb: If your pieces look dull, dark, dingy, or completely black, they are tarnished. 

Luckily, we have some tips on how to prevent your pieces from tarnishing. 

How To Prevent Wear and Tear for Gold-Plated Jewelry

We can’t completely prevent gold-plating pieces from tarnishing or flaking, but we can give you some tips to prolong their lifespan. Taking the proper precautions will help make sure they last in prime condition for far longer. 

Here are all the things you can do to make sure your gold-plated pieces stay shiny and bright. 

Store Your Jewelry Properly

Ah yes: We know after a long day, it’s so tempting to take off your jewelry and leave it on random tables and countertops. If you want to keep your gold-plated pieces pristine, you need to give them some extra TLC and a place to call their home. 

By this, we mean a jewelry box! There are so many beautiful jewelry boxes out there. While they are gorgeous, trust us — they’re so much more than just a pretty face. A jewelry box is the perfect dark, dry environment for your jewelry to live. 

Moisture, heat, and sunshine can all dull the sparkle of your favorite pieces and speed up the tarnishing process. So, finding a dark and dry place to store your favorite little treasures is a lovely way to keep them safe.

If you do not have a jewelry box, it is a-okay! Store your pieces in a cool drawer where they are hidden from the light. You can place the individual pieces in soft jewelry pouches. If you don’t have those, even plain Ziploc bags will do. 

Wipe Your Pieces Down Daily

Think of how many things you touch during the day. Opening doors, washing your hands… the list goes on and on. Even if a piece of jewelry does not physically touch another object, it is certainly being exposed to the elements. 

We all come in contact with plenty of elements from water to lotion, all of which can dull the sparkle of your favorite baubles. When you take your jewelry off at the end of the day, it’s a good idea to give your pieces a nice wipe down. 

You can use a simple microfiber cloth, or you can buy a special jewelry cleaning cloth. Many jewelry cleaning cloths are treated with a special cleaning solution that is made specifically to help restore your jewelry’s je ne sais quoi

Follow the First Off, Last On Rule

We have been talking a lot about the external substances that can ruin your jewelry here, but that’s because it really is true. Because everything from water to chemicals can expedite the tarnishing process, it is important to keep your jewelry clean, dry, and chemical-free. 

What does this look like? If you are about to hop in the shower, pool, or ocean, take those beautiful baubles off. If you are about to do the dishes, take your rings off before you plunge your hands into that sudsy water. When you’re doing your nighttime routine, take your jewelry off before you lather on all those serums and moisturizers. 

An easy way to remember this is the “first off, last on: rule. Your jewelry should be the first thing you take off before you get undone and the last thing you put on while you are getting ready. 

It’s Too Late! What Do I Do If My Jewelry Is Already Tarnished or Flaking?

Don’t fret — as we mentioned earlier, gold-plating jewelry will probably not last forever. If it does, let us in on your secret because you really ARE magical!

It is totally normal to experience tarnish, peeling, or flaking after a year or two of wear. This is especially true if you wear your pieces frequently. But you don’t need to get rid of them just because they are looking a little dull. There is an easy way to give your jewelry new life: replating!

Getting your jewelry replated is essentially just refreshing the pieces with a fresh layer of gold (or whatever metal you choose, if you’re looking for a change). It’s the same exact process as its original creation, so your pieces will quite literally look good as new. Pretty cool, right?

If you need to get a piece replated, you can head to a professional jeweler or any jewelry store. Most of these retailers should be able to replate your pieces for you. This is an affordable way to keep your favorite talismans looking sparkly and shiny for longer, which means you get even more time to enjoy and wear your favorite accessories again and again. 

All That Glitters Is Gold

… or gold-plated. We love ‘em both! 

We hope this guide helped you figure out how to make the most of your gold-plated purchases and make sure you’re taking proper care of your beloved baubles. 

Just remember, after two years it’s okay for your gold-plated pieces to start looking a little different. Just refer back to this guide so you know exactly what to do when that time comes, and keep sparkling! 

What Does Gold Plated Mean? (Pros & Cons) | Something Borrowed PDX

The Facts on Silver | Dartmouth

Gold: Facts, history and uses of the most malleable chemical element | Live Science