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Can Gold Filled Jewellery Tarnish?

Date Posted:4 May 2020 

How to take care of your gold filled jewellery

Let’s start with the first question - Is gold-filled solid gold?

The answer is no. Gold-filled jewellery is not pure or solid gold. Pure gold is extremely malleable. In order to make it sturdier, other metals such as copper and silver are mixed in, thus making this alloy much stronger. However, when the levels of copper and silver are higher than the level of gold, there are chances that your gold-filled jewellery will tarnish. 


This is largely because of the chemical reactions that occur when these filler metals come in excessive contact with pollution, perspiration, chlorine, perfume, skincare products, and other such chemicals that are a part of everyday life. However, there are some protective measures you can take to ensure that your gold-filled jewellery retains its desired sheen.




  • Avoid your gold-filled jewellery to be touched by other people. Excessive touching can lead to surface friction. This could lead to reactions between the alloy and your skin and you could end up with discoloured gold-filled jewellery.
  • Use only warm water and a mild soap-based detergent to clean your jewellery. Soak your jewellery pieces for no more than a minute in the water. If you have to scrub, use a soft baby toothbrush and be gentle. Never use tissue or any other paper-based material to clean the pieces. Always pat the jewellery dry.
  • Air dry your jewellery overnight before you put it away. Excessive moisture when stored can lead to jewellery that is corroded and tarnished.
  • Use a jewellery cloth on your gold-filled pieces to bring back the sparkle that may have washed off with the water. This often happens after gold-filled jewellery comes in contact with water and soap.
  • Do not give your jewellery a matte coating to preserve it. This coating sometimes eats through the gold layering and can turn your jewellery unsightly.
  • Wrap each piece of gold-filled jewellery in tissue and put it in a box to store. Constant rubbing against other pieces of jewellery can make it lose its sheen.
  • Besides not allowing people to touch your gold-filled jewellery, be selective about the number of times you wear it. Constant contact with your skin could lead to discolouration and tarnishing.
  • Never use toothpaste or baking soda to clean gold-filled jewellery. The chemicals can be too abrasive.
  • Avoid wearing your jewellery when your body is in contact with water, be it in the swimming pool, while doing the dishes or gardening. Chemical reactions with chlorine and other elements can lead to tarnishing.


The law requires that gold-filled jewellery contain gold to a prescribed level. Therefore, with proper care and storage, you will have attractive jewellery that lasts.







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