How to restore tarnished, fake gold jewelry, and make it gold and shiny again! And, learn how harmful fake jewelry really is!
(No baking soda, aluminum foil, ammonia, or similar, as these “at home remedies” only works for real gold or silver)
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We all own them. The fake gold jewelry pieces. They looked so good and shiny in the store, while they tempted us with their diversity and affordable prices.
Unfortunately, the fun doesn’t last for too long – within a week or two, your brand-new fake gold isn’t really gold anymore. It has tarnished and now looks dull, green, and unwearable.
But don’t worry, this article tells you how to restore your fake gold jewelry in just 2 minutes, with ingredients you already have!
Why not use a DIY jewelry polish?
As shortly mentioned above, you might have seen some recipes around the web on how to fix your gold at home with stuff like ketchup, baking soda, or ammonia. This is super effective, but ONLY on real gold and silver, NOT on fake gold plated jewelry –
Fake jewelry is made from metals, usually brass, aluminum, zinc, or nickel (read about the metals here.) As none of these metals have a natural golden color, it has to be coated in gold. Sometimes this gold plating is a super-thin layer of real 18k or 24k gold, or it’s a fake imitation of gold, like titanium nitride.
No matter real or fake gold plating – when you do a jewelry polish with chemical ingredients like baking soda, your thin gold coat will most likely wear off.
Stuff to read later:
Is fake jewelry dangerous?
Whether your costume jewelry is harmful or not, depends on how you see it and what it’s made from. Despite strict regulations, many fake pieces of jewelry contain high levels of unsafe chemicals. For instance lead, chromium, nickel, or arsenic – but the list is much longer.
To put it in perspective – researchers from ‘Healthy Stuff Lab’, took jewelry samples from 14 common retailers selling ‘fake jewelry’ such as Glitter, Forever 21, Walmart, H&M, Claire’s, and Target, among others. With an analyzing tool, the researchers checked the jewelry for a bunch of toxic chemicals. They found that over half of the products had high levels of hazardous chemicals. (Read the full study at ecocenter.)
There is no doubt that a lot of the fake jewelry out there is harmful to you. It’s also harmful to the environment. Please consider investing in proper gold or silver. Although it might seem more expensive, it’s actually the cheapest option, as it lasts forever. 100$ for a gold necklace lasting for generations VS. 10$ on an H&M necklace with possibly harmful chemicals, that you have to re-purchase every month for the rest of your life.
Some suggestions on real gold rings that are also affordable. Click on the picture to check out the jewelry, the link takes you to Amazon:
What kind of costume (fake) jewelry is safe?
If real gold isn’t an option for you, there certainly exists “fake” gold that is non-toxic and won’t do you harm.
Try finding costume jewelry with surgical stainless steel or titanium. Make sure there are no harmful add-ons.
Another option is to purchase 737 sterling silver, with an 18k + gold coat. This is slightly (just slightly) more expensive than the cheapest metals, but sterling silver with a quality gold layer tends to last for a couple of years, even more if you don’t swim/shower with the jewelry! When the gold eventually wears off, you could do the steps below to restore it, or you could just wear it as the beautiful silver it is.
Some suggestions on non-toxic cheap jewelry. Click on the picture to check out the piece, the link takes you to Amazon:
Amazon’s gold pages really have a huge selection of beautiful, unique pieces. A plus is you can read other people’s opinions about its quality and tarnish-time.
Anyway. Let’s get back to why you’re here –
How to restore fake gold jewelry, and make it look gold again
You only need two ingredients: gold nail polish or gold spray, and a shiny transparent topcoat.
Use whatever you have, but bear in mind that most nail polishes are also super toxic, especially when in physical contact with the skin, as the skin absorbs more of the toxins than the nails.
For the topcoat (the polish in actual contact with your skin) consider using a vegan, natural, organic, and skin-safe nail polish, in addition to a regular stronger gold shade.
Gold nail polish: Use whatever you find that gives similar color to real gold. It’s important to use nail polish without glitter (as real gold obviously doesn’t have big glitter bites in it), but a slight pearly shimmer is completely fine – whatever you prefer. It’s hard to find a non-glittery metallic shade, but I love the ingzy gold polish, it has no glitter and a slight yellow tint which makes it good for jewelry. Another beautiful shade with some pearly shimmer is OPI’s slinging mezcal, or OPI’s bells bling if you’d like a darker gold.
Gold spray: I’ve seen some people use the Krylon gold spray for costume jewelry. Worth checking out!
Rose gold or Silver: All the products mentioned above also have rose gold and silver options!
Transparent shiny nail polish: This is used to make the gold layer stay on longer, make the jewelry shinier, and protect your skin. Karma’s natural top coat is a cheap and non-toxic option.
How to restore your tarnished fake gold:
- Wash your jewelry at let it dry
- Apply 1 coat of gold nail polish, and let it dry
- Apply 1 coat of natural top-coat
- Let it all dry overnight. If you are in a hurry, put your freshly coated jewelry in a container filled with ice cubes and water, for a super quick drying process!
(Using the Smith & Cult Gold, and a random toxic top coat)
Psst. Make sure to check out our newest article on Cheap skin care products that are BETTER than high-end products!
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//How to restore fake gold jewelry