Explaining gold jewelry and its variations can be quite difficult, especially when it comes to contact between jewelry and water. There are so many variations, gold plate, gold alloy, 10K, 14K, 18K, 24K gold, and others. A lot of people who wear golden jewelry regularly forget that they’re wearing it and effortlessly go into the bath or shower without considering whether that poses danger for their jewelry or not.
In this article, we’re going to talk about whether it’s safe to shower with 14K gold and whether it’ll lose its shine and sturdiness that it had before the exposure to the water. Explaining these things before the jewelry gets potentially damaged can help understand how to better care for your jewelry.
That being said, if you occasionally find yourself showering with 14K gold jewelry, or are worried that you will forget to take it off in the future, you should continue reading this article and learn more about why even 14K gold is not 100% protected against the water.
Many people don’t care about what will happen to their gold jewelry so they continue bathing and showering without taking their jewelry off, and for many years of wearing the jewelry, they don’t see any notable difference or tarnish.
However, if the jewelry is your passion and you pride yourself in taking good care of your jewelry, then you should continue reading this article and finding how you can shower with 14K gold and for how long without causing any damage to the materials that can result in tarnish or breakdown of the material.
Can You Shower With 14K Gold?
It’s perfectly safe to wear 14K gold in the shower or bath. Unlike other materials, gold is more precious and is less likely to tarnish in contact with water. It’s mostly plated with durable materials and alloyed with other metals that give it the stability and durability which allow it to last for years.
That being said, it’s okay to shower with your gold jewelry if you’re in a hurry or forget to take it off. However, it’s not always advisable to make this practice your habit. This especially applies if your 14K gold jewelry wasn’t coated in a protective coating.
While the odds of damaging it are quite small because 10K, 14K, and even 18K gold are stronger and sturdier than 24K gold, there is a chance that the plate will begin to wear off and cause the gold to lose its shine over time when exposed to shower water, chlorine, sea salts, and various chemicals such as soaps, shower gels, and shampoos.
For some people, the reaction between the coating, gold, and those chemical products you use to comfort your shower can result in a reaction that could be allergic for you and give you redness and rash which feel uncomfortable.
As we mentioned above, contact with direct water is not always lethal for gold jewelry. Years can pass without you noticing the actual difference. But, the coating wears off over time. Moreover, in rare cases, 14K jewelry is not coated with the right materials so it can lead to the damage of your jewelry that you don’t want.
It’s also important to ensure that your 14K jewelry has stabilizing additional metals that will prevent it from falling apart. Some people who have 24K gold don’t know that they have it, and 24K gold is not the safest option to put under the water, as it’s weaker than other gold variants.
5 Things to Know If You Shower With 14K Gold On
Many people will use 14 karat gold while showering and not notice that the shine disappeared or that anything changed. For people who take good care of their gold jewelry, but occasionally forget to take it off, or don’t want to take it off here’s what you need to do to preserve the quality of your jewelry.
1. Gold Doesn’t Tarnish But Other Elements in It Do
Gold is a material that won’t tarnish, that’s one of the traits that makes it so precious. However, it’s important to note that 14K gold doesn’t consist of other gold but also a set of stabilizing metals alloyed together to make it more stable and durable.
One of the elements located in the gold is sulfur, and among other elements, sulfur is the one that causes the tarnishing effect on jewelry in prolonged reaction with water and other elements in the shower. According to study, sulfur can cause self-assembling filming even on 14K gold jewelry.
Editor’s notes: If you noticed that your 14K gold jewelry started to tarnish, you shouldn’t solely attribute it to your habit of leaving jewelry on while showering. More often than not, it happens due to humidity in your apartment, especially if you keep your jewelry in the bathroom. It can also happen by mundane occurrences such as our sweat.
2. Some Chemicals May Affect Your Jewelry
When it comes to the chemicals you use for showerings, such as shampoos and shower gels, it’s usually advisable to not allow them to get in contact with your jewelry. Some shampoos are simply equipped with the chemicals that cause the deteoriating of your jewelry.
They may not affect gold directly. However, 14K gold can contain other metals such as silver, copper, nickel, and other metals that corrode in contact with other chemicals, which is why it may be a smart idea to avoid wearing it in the bathroom if you notice that those chemicals affect the shine of your jewelry.
3. Rhodium Is the Best Coating for 14K Gold Jewelry
Let’s face it, most 14K gold jewelry is coated in rhodium. Rhodium is one of the best coating materials for gold jewelry which allows it to retain its shine and durability. Although very brittle in nature, as well as expensive, rhodium makes an excellent coating material.
Most gold jewelry bought in good jewelry stores is plated with rhodium. You will notice that your gold jewelry is shinier than gold jewelry that’s not plated.
Rhodium plating also ensures that you won’t damage your gold jewelry in the shower as it protects it from corrosion of other alloys in the metal. However, it will also protect it from scratching and dent and allow it to maintain its luster.
People who are worried about allergic reactions from other materials in the 14K gold also don’t have to worry about reactions to copper or silver. The plating will also protect you from allergic reactions.
Editor’s notes: The best way to see whether your 14K gold jewelry is plated with rhodium is to check whether it shines compared to your other jewelry. You can also go to a jeweler or to the jewelry store to check for yourself.
4. Keeping It in Humid Places is Usually a Bad Idea
The shower is not only a risky factor for jewelry because of the water running out of the shower and chlorine, it’s also a quite humid place which can cause corrosion and tarnishing of your 14K gold jewelry. As mentioned above, rhodium plating usually protects it, but it’s mostly not a smart idea to keep jewelry in the bathroom.
It’s still a habit of some people who forget to move it away from the bathroom. That being said, if you shower with jewelry on and also keep it in the bathroom, it’s likely that your jewelry will begin to tarnish over some time.
Editor’s notes: Keep your jewelry in a small jewelry box where it’s not in contact with light, humidity, or water. It’s also important that the box is not somewhere where it’s not too hot.
5. Hot Water May Reduce the Shine
Many people don’t recommend hot showers, but some people simply can’t resist them. For one, a hot water shower won’t directly cause damage to your 14K golden jewelry. However, it may lead to it reducing its original shine, which is why many jewelry experts recommend not showering with water that is too hot while wearing gold jewelry.
Editor’s notes: One or two hot showers while you’re wearing your gold jewelry is not necessarily bad. However, it can be quite bad if that becomes a habit. One shower won’t lower the shine of your jewelry but making it a habit has the potential to damage your jewelry.
Frequently Asked Questions About 14K Gold Jewelry & Showering
The 14K gold jewelry can be quite expensive. But we compiled a list of questions usually asked when it comes to showering with 14K gold on.
Will 14K Gold Jewelry Tarnish?
As mentioned throughout the article, 14K gold and higher is unlikely to tarnish, despite the presence of stabilizing metals in it. The 14K gold is usually plated with rhodium which prevents tarnishing and also will help the jewelry preserve its shine and luster.
Can 14K Gold Jewelry Make Skin Green?
On rare occasions, it’s possible. The water, moisture, and chemicals like lotions and shower gels can react with the non-gold materials in the 14K jewelry and cause skin discoloration as a result of a chemical reaction. It happens rarely, however, and even less frequently if your 14K gold jewelry is plated with rhodium. According to this report, going with higher KTs can lessen the risk of skin discoloration.