HOW TO: Slow down costume jewellery discolouration

When it comes to costume jewellery, expensive designer, chain store or eBay brand, it does not matter how expensive or how cheap it is it will all go the same way. Down the road to discolouration.

Now one way around this is to save up and buy sterling silver or gold rings such as mine below. They cost me between $30 and $50 and the two cameos came from eBay.

sterling silver rings

Unfortunately rings and necklaces, especially gold ones, will discolour faster than silver. Such as my gold rings below. It took one wear to turn them silver.

discoloured rings after one wear

There are several steps you can do to prolong the discolouration, but it is inevitable for all costume jewellery.

discoloured chain store ring

With bracelets, this yellow one is how it’s supposed to look inside, the orange one below it happened after one wear.

good coloured bracelet

The reason it discoloured so fast? I had perfume on my wrist!

discoloured bracelet

Even beads on necklaces can or will fade with destruction because of perfume.

discoloured and peeled beads

And expensive designer labels such as Samantha Wills will have problems too. She has her stuff made in the same Chinese manufacturing plants as all of the chain stores so there’s not much difference (except for the price) since so many of her pieces break and discolour after only a few wears.

discoloured Samantha Wills expensive costume ring after three wears

Now there are some rules to help your jewellery last longer.

1 – Store your jewellery away from light, sun and dirt. Use plastic zip lock or even organza bags to store your pieces and then store them away in a drawer or pretty box. If you lose stones they may be in the bottom of the bag and you can glue them back in.

2 – DO NOT hang them on vases and bowls. Not only is there the chance you will lose one, your dog will eat it, your kid will swallow it, you have a better chance of losing stones and making it discolour faster for being out on display. It may look pretty but it does nothing for its longevity. And if you’re hanging necklaces on the inside of doors DON’T, it will only bash them around and hitch them on your clothes. They will rot faster from any odours and tarnish each other from bashing together. Quickest way of destroying necklaces. Hanging also stretches elastic and strung bracelets and necklaces.

3 – The old saying of make sure it’s the last thing you put on and the first you take off is true. DO NOT spray your perfume on AFTER putting your jewellery on. When you get home, take it all off, leave it for half hour or so for an air out, give it a quick wipe over with a soft or jewellery cloth and put it in it’s bag.

4 – With costume jewellery you can paint rings with clear nail polish around the ring part so it doesn’t discolour as fast as it might have. You could even paint the underpart of the ring base that no one sees anyway.

5 – DO NOT wear creams, perfume, sunscreen or other products on the wrists you are going to wear your bracelet stacks on. If you sweat, all of those products will cause MASS discolouration of the bracelets and beads. Try to put perfume in your elbow and along your arm where the bracelets won’t be. 

6 – If wearing necklaces, avoid perfume as well if they are choker style. You’ll discolour beads and end up with stains on your neck.

7 – Try using roll on perfumes instead of sprays. You’ll get it where you want it to go and it won’t spray all over your jewellery.

8 – You could try just wearing, wood, plastic, resin or real jewellery. They will last longer, if not decades, and you won’t have as many problems.

These are just some of the rules you could follow. Either way, treat your jewellery, cheap or expensive, with absolute care. They will last longer and you won’t have to keep replacing them every few months.

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1 Comment

  1. Tatiana Roumeliotis January 2, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    Excellent article – many thanks for this information.


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