Discovering the colour change in fake jewellery

By | December 14, 2023

Discovering the colour change in fake jewellery

Discovering the colour change in fake jewellery. You’re about to embark on a fascinating journey of understanding why fake jewelry changes its color over time. This intriguing exploration will shed light on the chemical reactions that prompt your faux gold necklace or silver ring to lose its original shimmer and shine. Brace yourself to unravel these mysteries concealed in your jewelry box and know what really happens to your imitation trinkets over time.

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Understanding the Concept of Fake Jewellery

As you delve into the world of ornamental accessories, it’s integral to understand the concept of fake jewellery. These pieces, also known as costume jewellery, often mimic the form and style of genuine pieces but use inferior materials in their production. There’s an incredible diversity of types and styles, and they all offer a more affordable way to dress up your attire without breaking the bank.

Defining Fake Jewellery

The term ‘fake jewellery’ refers to pieces that are crafted to resemble authentic jewellery but made from lower-value materials. They might pulsate with dazzling allure but, under closer scrutiny, reveal their sub-standard composition. Examples can include pieces promoted as gold or silver that, in reality, are just base metals with a thin veneer of gold or silver coating.

Comparing Real to Fake Jewellery

When comparing real and fake jewellery, there are stark differences you should note. Authentic jewellery is made from precious metals like gold or silver or contains genuine gemstones. In contrast, fake jewellery generally features plated or painted base metals and synthetic stones. Real jewellery holds its value over time, whereas faux jewellery tends to tarnish, degrade, or change color over time.

Industries That Produce Fake Jewellery

Various industries produce fake jewellery. These can range from designer brands creating high-quality costume pieces to mass producers crafting low-cost trinkets. This type of jewellery is incredibly popular in the fashion industry due to its affordability and versatility, allowing designers to create bold, dramatic pieces that might be prohibitively expensive if made from authentic materials.

Common Materials Used in Fake Jewellery

Fake jewellery can be assembled from a wide array of materials to conjure a deceptive illusion of authenticity and luxury.

Fake Gold

Fake gold might impersonate the gleaming allure of the real thing, but it’s typically just a base metal coated with a thin layer of gold. This layer can wear over time, revealing the inferior base material underneath.

Fake Silver

Similar to fake gold, fake silver jewellery is usually a cheaper metal coated or plated with silver. As the jewellery is worn and exposed to the elements, the coating will eventually wear, revealing the base metal beneath.

Copper and Other Metals

Copper, nickel, and zinc are commonly used in fake jewellery due to their malleability and relatively low cost. They can be moulded into intricate designs and then plated to resemble genuine gold, silver, or platinum jewellery.

Plastics and Resins

Plastics and resins can be dyed and moulded to imitate a variety of materials, including gemstones and precious metals. They are lightweight and incredibly inexpensive, making them a popular choice for cost-conserving jewellery makers.

Discovering the colour change in fake jewellery

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Colour Changes in Fake Jewellery

A common sign that you’re dealing with fake jewellery is the change in its color over time.

Physical Changes over Time

Over time, the thin layer of gold or silver on fake jewellery can wear away, revealing the less-shiny base metal beneath. This change is often indicative of the piece’s fake origins and can be exacerbated by factors like moisture, heat, and friction.

Chemical Reactions causing Discolouration

Fake jewellery often discolors due to chemical reactions between the metals and the environment. This could be due to regular exposure to the elements or even reactions with substances like perfume, lotions, or sweat. The end result is often a piece of jewellery that looks tarnished, discolored, or lacklustre.

Effects of Wear and Tear on Colour

Wear and tear are synonymous with all jewellery types. However, fake jewellery tends to show signs of wear more rapidly, especially when exposed to harsh conditions or abrasive substances. Excessive rubbing, impact with hard surfaces, or exposure to harsh chemicals can result in a significant color fade or change.

Why Does Fake Jewellery Turn Green Or Black?

Have you ever wondered why your skin turns green or your jewellery darkens after wearing fake jewellery? Understanding this requires a grasp of some basic chemistry principles.

Chemical Composition of Fake Metals

Many fake jewellery pieces incorporate copper or nickel in their composition. These metals react with body sweat (which contains salt) or atmospheric hydrogen sulfide (in polluted air), leading to the formation of respective salts or sulphides that have a dark or green color.

Skin pH and its Effects

Your skin’s pH level can speed up the oxidation process in fake jewellery, leading to discolouration. If your skin is more acidic, it can corrode the thin plating on the jewellery more quickly, revealing the base metal beneath.

Oxidation Process with Fake Jewellery

Exposure to oxygen and humidity in the air accelerates the oxidation process, leading to tarnishing or a color change in fake jewellery. This is similar to how iron rusts when exposed to air and water.

Discovering the colour change in fake jewellery

Detecting Fake Jewellery through Discolouration

Discolouration can be a reliable indicator that you’re dealing with fake jewellery.

Warning Signs of Fake Jewellery

Common warning signs include the jewellery turning your skin green or black, a fading gold or silver layer, or spotting on the piece’s surface.

Tests to Identify Fake Jewellery

There are several methods to test jewellery for authenticity. These include professional tests relying on density, magnetism, and sound, as well as home tests like the rub test, nitric acid test, or bite test. However, be aware that these methods aren’t foolproof.

Understanding Tarnishing

Tarnishing is a natural process that occurs when the metal surface reacts with elements in the environment. While all jewellery can tarnish with time, fake jewellery often tarnishes more quickly and severely.

Health Concerns Related to Fake Jewellery

While fake jewellery can be a cost-effective fashion choice, it’s worth being aware of the potential health concerns.

Skin Irritation and Allergy

The metals used in fake jewellery can often trigger allergic reactions resulting in itching, redness, swelling, or blistering. Nickel, in particular, is a common cause of contact dermatitis.

Toxic Metals and their Effects

Some fake jewellery can contain toxic metals like lead or cadmium, which can have lethal effects if ingested or absorbed through prolonged skin contact. Children are particularly vulnerable to these toxins.

Long Term Health Impacts

Wearing counterfeit jewellery for prolonged periods can increase your exposure to these harmful elements, leading to possible long-term health impacts, including neurological or reproductive problems. Therefore, considering the material of your jewellery is essential.

Discovering the colour change in fake jewellery

Preventing Colour Change in Fake Jewellery

Although fake jewellery is notorious for changing colours, there are a few things you can do to prevent or delay this alteration.

Appropriate Care and Maintenance

Proper care, which includes regular cleaning and avoiding contact with chemicals (like pools or cleaning supplies), can help prolong the lifespan and appearance of fake jewellery.

Effective Methods to Clean Fake Jewellery

To clean your fake jewellery, you can use mild soap, warm water, and a soft cloth. Always remember to dry your jewellery properly after cleaning to prevent any moisture-induced damage.

Steps to Reduce Tarnishing

Storing your fake jewellery in a cool, dry place wrapped in a soft cloth can also help slow down the tarnishing process.

The Industry Standards for Real Vs. Fake Jewellery

Industry standards exist to protect customers and ensure they fully understand the product they’re buying.

Standard Tests for Authenticity

In the jewellery industry, there are established tests to determine if a piece is genuine, such as the touchstone method for gold and the acid test for silver.

Quality Marks in Jewellery

Quality marks, such as hallmarks, are another way the industry guarantees the authenticity of metal. Hallmarks are small stamps on the jewellery piece indicating the purity of the metal.

Legal Implications for Selling Fake Jewellery

Laws vary by region, but generally speaking, selling counterfeit jewellery without proper disclosure is illegal and can lead to serious fines and penalties.

Discovering the colour change in fake jewellery

Ways to Spot Fake Jewellery at First Glance

With a trained eye and some know-how, you can typically spot fake jewellery at first glance.

Hallmarks of Genuine Jewellery

Look for quality or hallmark stamps, which indicate the purity of the metal. Also, genuine gold and silver won’t tarnish or discolor your skin.

Tricks and Tips to Avoid Being Duped

Always buy from reputable dealers, become familiar with hallmarks, and when in doubt, ask questions or have the piece tested. Moreover, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Approaching a Jewellery Purchase

Purchasing jewellery is both a financial and emotional investment. Approach it with due diligence, research, and clarity of what you want in terms of design, brand, materials used, and of course, your budget.

Alternatives to Fake Jewellery

If health concerns and rapid wear make you reconsider fake jewellery, look into these alternatives. Is Louis Vuitton Jewellery Made of Real Gold?

Affordable Real Jewellery options

Stainless steel, titanium, and sterling silver are more affordable than gold and platinum, but still offer durability and aesthetic appeal. They are excellent choices for both men and women.

Eco-Friendly Jewellery Choices

Eco-friendly jewellery, made from sustainably sourced materials or recycled objects, is increasingly popular. These pieces not only look good, they’re also kind to the planet.

Cultural Shifts Away from Fake Jewellery

Due to health and environmental concerns, many consumers are shifting away from fake jewellery. There’s a growing trend towards investing in fewer but higher quality pieces that hold their value over time, also known as ‘slow fashion’.

In a nutshell, fake jewellery might be a cheaper way to keep up with trends, but the drawbacks tend to overshadow the benefits in the long run. Understanding the difference between fake and real jewellery, recognizing the signs of fakes, and knowing how to maintain your pieces can help you make more informed jewellery purchases in the future.

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Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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