Gold is soft, and this is why scratching it is always an important concern when you wear jewelry made of this metal. Let’s see what options you have for polishing your gold jewelry and keeping it free of scratches.
Polishing Gold Jewelry at Home
The easiest way to polish your gold rings and other jewelry is to buff them at home using a polishing cloth, which you can buy at most stores. Click here to see an example of a polishing cloth we recommend.
Note that this method can help you polish out only very light scratches – if your jewelry is scratched more deeply, it is better to have it polished by a professional.
Before using a polishing cloth on your jewelry, make sure it is clean. You can wipe the jewelry with a damp cloth dipped in soapy water.
After you’ve cleaned your piece and dried it, you can wipe it with the polishing cloth to shine it.
If your gold jewelry has gemstones, do not rub them with the polishing cloth as you may damage them.
Professional Gold Polishing
If your gold jewelry has lots of scratches, some of which are also deep, it is best to have it polished by a professional.
Jewelers use polishing materials that are more abrasive than your regular polishing cloth, and that’s why professional buffing is more effective.
The problem with polishing: One of the inevitable downsides of polishing gold jewelry is that the process involves removing a tiny layer off the piece’s surface so that it can become even again.
This is why too many polishing sessions can wear down your gold jewelry and even weaken it.
How Often to Polish Gold Jewelry
Because of the abrasive nature of polishing, you shouldn’t go to your jeweler to have your pieces buffed every time you notice a couple of visible scratches. In general, you shouldn’t have your gold jewelry polished more often than once or twice a year.
If you don’t wear your rings or other jewelry every day, polishing them once every two or three years may also work well for you. It’s best to not have your jewelry polished until it is scratched extensively.
As for buffing your pieces with a polishing cloth, you can do so more often since these cloths are not that abrasive – once a month or once every two to three months is an acceptable frequency for this kind of polishing.
How to Avoid Scratches on Gold Jewelry
It goes without saying that you should protect your gold pieces from hits and bumps in order to avoid scratches. Here are some additional ideas that you may find useful:
Buy gold jewelry that doesn’t scratch easily.
Since gold is one of the softest metals, the higher the karat of a jewelry piece, the softer it is. In contrast, lower karat jewelry is harder and more durable as it contains less gold.
You can go with a lower karat for pieces that will be more likely to be scratched or damaged – for example, rings and bracelets – and choose higher karats for jewelry that will be less exposed to the risk of damage (e.g., necklaces or pendants).
Wear the less durable pieces less often.
You can also match how often you wear a piece to its durability.
For example, wear your high-karat gold jewelry (18K or 20K) less often to protect it from wearing down quickly. Instead, use your 10K or 14K pieces for everyday wear.