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If you are looking to buy gold jewelry, you will probably find 14-karat or 14k jewelry is one of the most popular choices. Why is it popular? Does 14k gold jewelry tarnish? If it does, how should you remove the tarnish?

What is a Gold Karat?

Karat is a unit measuring the fineness of gold. Each karat indicates 1/24th of the whole.  Pure gold is 24 karat, meaning that 24 out of 24 parts of the metal are gold. Pure gold is very soft for everyday wear, it is common that other metals such as silver, copper, nickel or zinc, are added and become a more durable alloy. An object that contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy metal is 14k gold. In other words, 14k gold is a mix of approximately 58% gold and 42% other metals. The following chart shows how to measure gold purity:

gold-purity-conversion-chart-9k 10k 12k 14k 18k 22k 24k.

Gold purity conversion chart

Let’s say if your gold jewelry is 12K gold. The number amount of karats you have is 12 karat while the purest gold is 24, so divide the 12 Karats by 24. You will get 0.500, so the gold purity is 50%, which means that your gold jewelry contains 50% of gold.

Does 14K Gold Tarnish?

14k gold jewelry is popular because of its affordability.  Its strength is good for rings, bracelets to necklaces and earrings. For anyone who has 14-k gold jewelry, one question usually asks is if 14k gold tarnish.  Tarnishing is caused by corrosion of the surface, resulting in a dark-tinged discoloration of the metal.

14k gold contains 10 out of 24 parts other metals, which commonly nickel, copper, silver, and zinc. These metals dilute the value of the gold, causing 14k gold jewelry to eventually tarnish.

Does 24K gold tarnish?

Does Pure Gold Tarnish

As indicated by the karat number, pure gold (24k gold) does not react with oxygen, which means it is unlikely to tarnish.

How to Fix Your Tarnished 14K Gold Jewelry?

14k gold does tarnish slowly. The good new is removing tarnish from it is inexpensive and you can easily do it at home.

  1. Prepare a mixture of tap water and non-phosphate dish-washing detergent.
  2. Scrub the tarnish off of 14K gold jewelry with soapy water and a soft toothbrush.
  3. Rinse the jewelry piece in warm water until the water runs clear.
  4. Use a soft cloth to dry the jewelry and then allow it to air dry.

Further reading: How to Clean Tarnished Gold Jewelry and Make It Shine?

How to Prevent 14K Gold Jewelry from Tarnishing?

In nature 14k gold jewelry does tarnish, but there are things you can do to keep it from tarnishing. Read this for some tips on preventing tarnish.


Does 14K Gold Tarnish and How to Remove Tarnish

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