Why gold turns black on the human body: scientific and folk versions of the causes of oxidation

Gold Jewelry - one of the most valuable and expensive among jewelry. However, sometimes gold going black and loses its attractive appearance. Why does this happen? There may be many reasons, from the jeweler's use of poor-quality material to health problems. Read our article on what to do if your gold goes dark.

The properties of metal and the reasons for its darkening

Gold tarnishing is a fairly common problem. Many people mistakenly believe that it rusting. However, this precious metal has no such property. The jewelry acquires a black, gray or even green color when oxidized.

Why does gold turn black on a person's body
Cleaning blackened jewelry

There are several scientifically proven reasons for the darkening of jewelry. Let's consider the most common ones.

The poor quality of the product. What impurities cause gold jewelry to oxidize

Today there is practically no jewelry made of pure gold. The most common metals that are added are silver, nickel, copper, and sometimes iron, chromium, and aluminum. Because of these inclusions, gold oxidizes and plaques appear on the piece. However, this happens if there are more extraneous metals than the basic material, or if the goldsmith has used gold of a purity less than 585.

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Experts recommend cleaning jewelry every 1-1.5 months

Taking medications (externally and internally)

Some substances affect the precious metal in a special way, and noticeable stains may appear. These usually occur when the metal interacts with mercury and with iodine. These elements damage the top layer of gold, after which the product cannot be restored.

Mercury and iodine are often present in preparations for external or internal use. Therefore, you should carefully study the composition of the medicines during treatment if you wear jewelry. Even a small amount of therapeutic ointment with iodine can damage the surface of the piece and lead to stains. Many experts believe that gold can turn black if you are taking hormones.

Applying cosmetics and perfumes without removing jewelry

Some cosmetic products and perfumes contain substances that may damage the jewelry. Therefore, you should remove all gold jewelry before applying creams, spraying toilet water and perfume, or applying other cosmetics.

Even hand cream, which women use at least once a day, over time can ruin rings, bracelets, and chains.

Using household chemicals without gloves

This is one of the most common causes, Why it's turning black gold. Household detergents contain substances that oxidize gold. Moreover, they contain many other aggressive impurities that damage the structure of the metal and cause scratches, dark spots, and discoloration.

Using household chemicals without gloves
Cleaning gold with household chemicals while wearing gloves

State of health and sweat production

The human body contains many pores that regulate metabolism in the body. They are also involved in the thermoregulation process. Because of this, there are many pores in the human body. gold alloys drops of sweat get in. From regular impacts The metal oxidizes. It turns out that increased perspiration contributes to the darkening of jewelry.

Interesting! The precious metal turns dark because of eating large quantities of meat. Protein foods contain nitrogen, which interacts with the alloy. The nitrogen itself is excreted by the human body with sweat. However, this version has not been scientifically confirmed.

This is also an opinion that the blackening of the precious element indicates various illnesses and ailments. For example, many people believe that the oxidation of gold is a sign of abnormalities in the work of the internal organs.

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Skin peculiarities and allergic reactions to gold impurities

Кроме пота, кожа человека выделяет множество других соединений. К кожному жиру прилипает грязь, пыль, мелкий мусор. Изделие пачкается и нередко окисляется.  Кроме того, некоторые люди имеют аллергию на примеси, которые содержатся в составе золотых украшений.

Allergic reactions The less contact your jewelry has with your skin, the better for it. It turns out that the less jewelry is in contact with the skin, the better for it.

An esoteric approach to blackening gold

People who believe in esotericism believe that the precious metal turns black not because of external causes. They claim that blackened gold - A clear sign of an unfavorable aura, curses, and the evil eye. Also, esotericists believe that precious metals, feel their owner, reacting to him by changing color. Consider the most common reasons for the darkening of jewelry in terms of esotericism.

Darkening of gold - an indirect sign of deterioration

There is an opinion that if your favorite piece of gold jewelry goes dark, it means that the person was jinxed or spoiled. It turns out that the piece of precious metal wants to warn its owner about the enemy.

Darkening of gold is a tell-tale sign of spoilage
Darkening of the gold ring

Gold warns of danger

There is also another belief: if darkened jewelry, which was a gift from a loved one, then there is trouble with him. In this case, the owner of the jewelry will be in danger.

Evidence of committed sin, deceit

There is a folk omen: gold ring on the finger of an honest man shines brightly, but on the finger of a cheater it is darkened. Knowing this, you can avoid communication with unpleasant people. Also, the ornament obtained by dishonest way blackens.

Envy of your enemies to your success

Superstitious people do not recommend bragging about your successes to avoid the evil eye. The evil eye will not only harm you, it will also age any necklace or other jewelry made of gold.

A gift not from the heart

Decoration and even the wearer's skin may turn black if the item was not given from the heart. Perhaps something in your circle is hypocritical.

Can gold rust or change color 05
Gold ring with obvious signs of oxidation

How to clean gold: tips from superstitious people

If you think the gold has tarnished due to jealousy, the evil eye, or other similar reasons, a simple cleaning of the jewelry may be ineffective.

People associated with esoteric teachings suggest "cleansing" the jewelry with ordinary water. So, to get rid of the evil eye, you will need spring water. Dip a gold ring or other item in running water from the spring, then wipe your hands with it, and then wash your face. Water is a special liquid, it will take away with it all bad things.

Also superstitious people purify jewelry with air, earth, and fire. However, all these methods are not scientifically substantiated and are not recommended by specialists.

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Cleaning jewelry with water
Energy cleaning of jewelry

Top 6 methods to clean blackened gold at home

There are several proven recipes that can be used to clean alloyed jewelry:

  1. Ammonia + laundry detergent. You need 4 drops of ammonia (about one spoon) mixed with water (one glass), then - with laundry detergent. Dip the product in the mixture, rub it with a soft cloth. The method is excellent for cleaning low-grade jewelry.
  2. Soap solution is one of the simplest methods. Mix liquid or bar soap with water, dip a toothbrush in it and rub the object with it. Rub gently until the ornament is clean.
  3. Ammonia + baby shampoo. Take one spoonful of baby shampoo, 100 ml of water, 30 ml of ammonia. Mix the ingredients. Place the decoration in the resulting product for 1.5-2 hours.
  4. Ammonia + sugar + water. Mix 200 ml of steep boiling water with 50 grams of sugar. Place the product in the resulting remedy for two days, then wipe it with ammonia and warm water.
  5. Hydrogen peroxide + baking soda. Mix the ingredients: 100 ml of water, 35 ml of hydrogen peroxide, 20 grams of baking soda. Place the decoration in the resulting mixture for 2-3 hours.
  6. Sugar/Salt + Water. Fill a glass container with 150 ml of hot water, add 50 grams of salt or sugar. Immerse the gold object in the mixture. After 10 hours, rinse the jewelry in clean water, remove any traces of sugar/salt and wipe with a soft cloth or paper towel.
  7. Ammonia + magnesia + glycerin. Take the same amount of ingredients, mix them in a pre-prepared container. You will be able to use the same amount of the ingredients in the same way as you would use the same amount.
  8. Beer + egg white. You will need the protein of one chicken egg and 2 teaspoons of light beer. Combine the ingredients, mixing them thoroughly in a separate container. The gold jewelry should be rubbed with the resulting remedy, then rinse off the rest of the cleansing mixture.
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Gold Cleaning
Gold cleaning at home

There are still unusual ways to clean gold jewelry from darkening:

  • Soak a cotton swab in acetic acid and wipe the piece. This cleaning method can be used when removing plaque from jewelry with stones. Vinegar can replace the freshly squeezed juice of one onion.
  • Dip your jewelry into a glass of Pepsi or Coca Cola. The substances in the drinks will clean the darkening chains, rings, crosses, etc.
  • Pour a 25% ammonia solution into a container and dip the ornament in it for 10 minutes.
  • Lip balm or lipstick will get rid of a little dirt.
Unusual ways to clean gold jewelry from darkening
Ways to clean gold jewelry

How to prevent tarnishing of gold

To ensure that the metal does not darken, and the jewelry does not lose its original appearance, follow these tips:

  • Buy your jewelry at specialized jewelry stores. Major jewelry stores value their reputation and offer only quality pieces. Usually all jewelry is tested in a lab and store before it is sold.
  • Choose gold high proof, buy 583-585 proof or higher.
  • Remove jewelry when in contact with chemical products. Household chemicals contain many corrosive substances that will corrode the plated jewellery. Therefore, wear gloves when cleaning, washing dishes or doing any other household task.
  • Keep an eye on your health and sweating. Active sweating can cause your precious metals to blacken. To avoid this, do not wear jewelry in hot weather or while playing sports. If you need to take pills, study their composition carefully. Make sure that the preparations do not contain substances that spoil gold.
  • Periodically wipe your jewelry with a dry velvet handkerchief. This removes any tiny, as yet unseen, stains from your jewelry. Moreover, the velvet's delicate texture will not harm your gold and will not leave even the tiniest scratches. The main thing is not to use any chemicals. Treatment with a dry velvet handkerchief will be an excellent prevention of blackening of gold.
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Video: gold darkened, what to do

Question-and-answer section

Why does gold turn dark in a child's ears and how to fix the problem?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
There can be many reasons - from the poor quality of the alloy from which the earrings are made, to the peculiarities of the skin. The latter is especially relevant, because earrings in the ear are constantly in contact with the skin. To fix the problem, clean the jewelry in a gentle way. Suitable, for example, soapy water or a mixture of soda and hydrogen peroxide. It is best not to use aggressive cleaning agents, as they can irritate the delicate skin of the child.

Why does the gold on a person's neck turn black - a cross and a chain?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
Jewelry on the neck can turn black because of the properties of the skin. Special pores remove various substances that react with oxygen and oxidize gold. This causes chains, crosses, and necklaces to turn black.

Often, gold on the neck loses its characteristic shade due to the use of cosmetics and perfume. To avoid this, spray eau de toilette only on clothing and use cosmetics that do not contain harsh substances.

Darkened gold ring, what could it mean?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
Many people explain the darkening of the ring in terms of mysticism. A blackened engagement ring leads to quarrels and misunderstandings between spouses. And if an ordinary ring darkens, it is possible that the person was put an evil eye or spell on him.

But more often than not, mysticism has nothing to do with it. The precious metal turns dark because of the effects of chemicals, cosmetics, medications, and even human sweat. On the other hand, many believe that if the gold is blackened, you need to check your health: perhaps the cause is an ailment.

Why does a gold ring turn black from the inside on a pregnant woman's finger?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
There are many omens in one way or another associated with pregnancy. Often mystical meanings are attributed to the jewelry of a woman in the position.

Expectant mother should not worry: blackening of the ring from the inside has a perfectly logical explanation. Most likely, the metal has lost its usual color due to contact with the skin or these or other substances. Among the most common reasons are the composition of sweat due to changes in hormone levels, hand cream, as well as polishing paste, which is used to cover the rings before sale.

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Why does the gold on my left hand turn black?

Opinion of an expert
Mikhail Petrovich Grishanov
Jeweler, Director of Grishanov & Co.
Some people believe that the darkening of gold on the hands is associated with diseases of the internal organs. In this way, their beloved jewelry warns their owners. However, there is no scientific explanation between the darkening of gold and the presence of pathologies. Most likely the cause is due to excessive sweating and contact with harmful substances. The latter substances can be found in cosmetics, perfumes and medicines. Among the most dangerous elements for gold are mercury and iodine.

Does the gold itself turn black or where does the black mark come from?

Opinion of an expert
Pribrezhny Gennady Valentinovich
6th class jeweler
Gold is a rather capricious material, and it is sensitive to the aggressive influence of the environment. Most often, jewelry is not made of pure but of alloyed material, i.e. mixtures of different metals (copper, silver, nickel, etc.). These darken, and with them the whole piece of jewelry. However, gold can blacken on its own if it has a low grade.

Jeweler's services and average cost of cleaning

If gold cleaning The metal is darkened, but if you can't do it at home, it's better to go to a professional jeweler. Only a specialist will be able to determine the exact cause of the darkening of the metal. Thus, if the jewelry has lost color due to poor-quality materials that were used in its manufacture, independently clean the product will not work.

The cost of gold cleaning varies from one jewellery house to another. The price depends on the reason for the tarnish, the gold grade, and the degree of damage to the piece. Gold cleaning is generally inexpensive and costs from 100 roubles. Appeal only to proven specialists: that way, you will be sure that the master will definitely help you and not spoil your jewelry even more.

Gold can turn black for a variety of reasons. Many people attribute discoloration The most common reason for the oxidation of gold is a mysticism, as there are many folk omens about the precious metal. However, most often the oxidation of gold has a perfectly explainable reason.

If trouble has occurred to your jewelry, do not despair, try cleaning it at home. Now there are many recipes for this purpose. If you can't do it on your own, contact a specialist.

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