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A 10K Rose Gold Ring Tarnished On Us. Here’s What We Did Wrong.

Previously, we published a post about how 10K gold resists tarnishing from normal wear.

This is still true. We’ve had interesting client feedback stating that the 10K rings they purchased from us months ago still look as fresh as they did upon purchase. Some have even survived trips to the beach. Awesome!

Now, we wouldn’t recommend that you take your 10K gold jewelry to the beach regularly. Nor should you bring it to the pool, because chlorinated water can cause your jewelry to break.

Personally, we do own a few 10K rings that we use somewhat regularly. We keep them in a glass-topped leather ring box with individual slots. We also make sure to clean them with mild soap and water to get rid of any grime. Afterwards, we dry them carefully.

I have a condition called palmar hyperhidrosis which causes me to have very sweaty hands. The sweat often starts randomly, with no cause. Because I have anxiety, the sweating can get even worse.

Nevertheless, I don’t let my sweaty hands ruin the fun of owning sweet jewelry pieces. I wear my 10k rings and truly enjoy them. None of my personal rings, whether rose or yellow gold, have tarnished on me.

Imagine what a surprise it was to see that one of our stock rings tarnished! From a beautiful rose gold, it turned into a rusty brown with some almost black areas.

Close-up of the blackened area on the rose gold ring.

We knew right away that this couldn’t have happened without negligence on our part.

Just some facts about rose gold…

Rose gold is a copper alloy. This means that gold is mixed with a certain percentage of other metals, the majority of which is copper, in order to achieve a classy pink shade.

Unlike pure gold, however, copper does tarnish. And a lower percentage of gold often means a higher percentage of other metals and copper. 10 karat gold is 40% gold.

There is term for tarnish on copper: patina. On pure copper items, patina is not necessarily a bad thing. When patina forms on a copper-based item, it can be removed and the metal will still be preserved.

That said, rose gold does have a tendency to turn darker and redder, giving it a more vintage look as time passes.

Why did our rose gold ring darken so quickly?

We believe a number of factors contributed to our ring tarnishing, namely:

  1. We had kept it in storage for a long time. By “a long time,” we mean at least two months without being taken out to be worn or at least exposed to some air.
  2. The last time I tried it on, I most likely had sweaty hands. But sweaty hands may not have been the main issue.
  3. The main problem could have been that we put it back inside a sealed plastic bag (zip-loc) and did not take it out for a long time. The fact that the ring was damp caused the tarnishing to happen faster inside that enclosed space.

Our personally owned 10k rose gold rings, on the other hand, which are years older yet constantly worn and otherwise kept in their leather box, appear to be in mint condition.

Upon consulting this with one of our senior smiths, we were able to confirm that blackening is truly a common occurrence in rose gold items.

Thankfully, the tarnishing can be reversed by simply dipping the ring into a solution of silver cleaner. This procedure can be done at home, but you will get the best results if you take your ring to a professional jeweler. Besides, silver cleaner is a very strong solution that may be harmful if handled incorrectly.

In Conclusion…

One must NOT fear tarnishing on their 10k rose gold items! Remember that all 10k rose gold rings are destined to get darker, but if it gets too dark too soon, you should definitely have it cleaned by a jeweler to remove the tarnish. Also, avoid keeping your ring in damp, tightly sealed environments as this can quicken the tarnishing process.

Another tip: 10k gold rings are meant to be worn! Flaunt them, don’t hide them — that’s one sure way to keep your pieces looking great for many days to come. Make sure to air them out constantly, and wash them from time to time in mild soap and water. Occasional soaping can be effective in removing surface tarnish permanently.

After rinsing in soapy water… this ring is looking good as new!

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