Can Gold Plated Jewelry Get Wet?

Jewelry can be durable depending on the materials used to create it. Most jewelry is composed of different kinds of metal, which means it's essential to know what's in your favorite pieces before you take them for a swim. 

One of the biggest problems people have with metal jewelry is that it tends to rust and decay over time. While this is an entirely different kind of wear than cloth and fabric or bead accessories, it is still something that many people are very wary of. 

This natural decay that happens with metal can be confusing. Which pieces of your jewelry should go in the water and which ones shouldn't?

While some metals can go in the water and get wet without too much concern for rust and corrosion, other types are more prone to natural decaying over time. This factor is why you need to know what metal is in the chains, rings, earrings, and bracelets you wear daily. When you see what's in your jewelry, you'll learn how to handle it around water.  

To know how to deal with this kind of decay, it is essential to understand different types of gold and other common metals that are found in jewelry. The answers to this question tend to be a little different for each of these metals.  

Let's take a look at each type to learn how you should handle your favorite metal jewelry. Then, we'll show you some of our favorite water-safe chains and other accessories you can wear daily.

Which Kinds of Metals Can Get Wet and Which Can't? 

Every metal is different. Each type is often composed of very different substances on a molecular level, and all of these substances react differently to water. Some tend to oxidize and lose their color, while others rust and have adverse reactions. 

Still, some metals are just fine in water. Some metal jewelry pieces may even have a protective coating that allows them to retain their appearance even after water contact. There is no one simple answer to whether your jewelry should get wet. Still, it's helpful to know which ones you can feel free to adventure with and which kinds you should be a little more cautious about. 

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is a common jewelry material. Its luscious silver color has long been lauded as exciting and versatile. Its look provides a luxurious feel jewelry-wearers have enjoyed for centuries. But can it get wet?

Generally speaking, sterling silver is safe in the water but should be handled very intentionally. Over time, prolonged exposure to water will likely lead to oxidation, which produces a tarnish over the metal that darkens it and makes it less vibrant. 

It's generally better to avoid wearing sterling silver jewelry when you're in highly chemical water, like a pool. Those chemicals will often accelerate the oxidation process. Long story short, it's okay if sterling silver jewelry comes in contact with water briefly, but extended periods of exposure aren't the best idea.

Nickel 

Nickel is another prevalent metal found in jewelry. While nickel itself is generally not prone to rusting, it is often combined with other metals known to rust. Because of this, the answer is relatively complicated. 

If a piece of jewelry is pure nickel, you may be able to take it in the water without much worry. However, due to the high rate at which nickel is alloyed with other metals, it's generally a better idea to keep jewelry that contains nickel out of water. 

Solid Gold 

Your gold is valuable, so it's critical to know whether or not it can get wet. When it comes to solid gold, it tends to react to water favorably. 

On its own, gold does not rust. So when a piece of jewelry contains pure gold, it is generally acceptable to have the gold in the water. 

In most cases, you should be fine to have solid gold in the water, and it shouldn't have too many problems, as long as you take care of it and occasionally wipe it off with a jewelry cleaning cloth. Take care not to wear it during too many hot showers, though, as that can diminish its luster. 

Gold-Filled 

Gold-filled jewelry is generally less pure but a lot more durable than pure gold. In some cases, you should be fine to get this metal wet for brief amounts of time without serious problems. But since this kind of gold contains more alloy metals, it's best not to wear it in salt water or water with many chemicals like chlorine, like pools. 

Chemicals will often cause oxidation and occasionally create rust. While you can sometimes correct this decay with cleaning, it's still better to be safe than sorry and take off any gold-filled jewelry in saltwater or chemically treated water. 

Gold Vermeil 

This kind of gold jewelry features sterling silver electronically plated with a layer of gold. While the gold itself can stand up to the elements and water, the interior based around sterling silver is much more prone to corrosion, and you should avoid wearing it in water. Long-term wearing in water can lead to a breakdown in the build of the jewelry, as well as a myriad of other cosmetic issues. 

Gold-Plated 

Gold-plated jewelry differs with each jewelry retailer. Some use only a thin layer of gold that can wear off and react to water poorly with oxidation and tarnishing. When it comes to reputable jewelers, gold-plated jewelry can fare in the water just fine. 

At CRAFTD, we use high-quality materials, so you have the most durable jewelry for everyday wear. Our pieces contain 18-karat plated gold coated in a waterproof covering, which means that our jewelry will often fare better than other kinds of jewelry in wet conditions. 

Premium 316L Stainless Steel

This is one of the most popular metals that we use at CRAFTD. This kind of stainless steel's ability to keep corrosion and decay at bay makes it incredibly durable and look incredibly beautiful and luxurious. It reacts well to water, even with chemicals present. In short, you don't have to wonder whether or not this kind of metal will work for you. 

Jewelry You Can Swim in 

Here at CRAFTD, we pride ourselves on making the best jewelry to enhance your wardrobe and compliment your style. That shouldn't end in summer.

It's not always easy to find jewelry that looks great and is durable at the same time, but we've found the most dependable production processes to make sure you look your best, no matter the context.

Here are a few pieces from our selection that can get wet and enhance your look at the same time: 

  • CRAFTD Cuban Chain: The Cuban chain is an iconic piece in men's jewelry history. These are among the most versatile and well-loved styles of chain. You can wear it alone for a straightforward statement look or pair it with other chains for a more eye-catching layered ensemble.
  • CRAFTD Figaro Bracelet: Our Figaro bracelet can add depth and texture to your fashion and look. Its chain link pattern adds subtle yet unique detail to whatever you wear with it. If you're looking for a simple way to boost your look, this is it. 
  • CRAFTD St. Christopher Ring: Rings are one of the best ways to show off your style with class and sophistication. This intricately designed ring reminds you that you always have someone watching over you, helping you succeed at every corner.

    Select your preference of stainless steel or 18-karat plated gold for a piece that can draw eyes and start conversations.
  • CRAFTD Wing Pendant: Whether you believe in angels or not, our CRAFTD Wing Pendant features a sleek wing design that can add personality to any fit. It's a symbol that can remind you that you're not alone in whatever you do, and there's always a force pushing you forward into your next success in life. 

Why CRAFTD Stands Out From the Rest 

At CRAFTD, we want to provide you with jewelry that stands out and helps you feel your best. We make our rings, chains, necklaces, and pendants with the best quality materials to ensure your favorite jewelry lasts for years.  

If you're looking for the next step to elevating your daily wardrobe, CRAFTD jewelry is for you. Wear it in the office or white water rafting; your CRAFTD pieces will stand up to the challenge.

 

Sources:

Oxidation Reaction | Science Direct

The Guide to Wearing Men's Jewelry | Men's Journal

Metals That Tarnish (And Why) | Jewelry Shopping Guide