Cheap metallic components in jewellery
Less expensive metals are perfect for amateur jewellery designers and for the customers who wish to have a variety of jewellery for an affordable price.
However, such problems as tarnish, oxidation, and corrosion of cheaper metal beads, bead spacers, fasteners, pendants, chains and other details used in creation of such jewellery become very common. Seeing your favorite necklace losing color over time, while it's still in great shape otherwise is rather frustrating.
I used to think this was just something to come to terms with and perhaps try and create a workaround for Fore example, I've decided that when using metallic beads, it's best to place them in between bigger non-metallic beads so that they don't come in contact with the skin. The oils in your skin, moisture in the air and other factors contribute to tarnish, so that's the main objective - to limit or completely prevent the contact with skin. This trick does extend the life of an item, so if you don't have a protective coating, stick to this tactic at least.
But yes, there are protective coatings, which are practically invisible and they help preserve the look of the new metallic components as well as protect you from exposure to potentially unsafe elements those might contain. As this article reads, cheap wearing jewellery may create an exposure to toxic stuff - as if we weren't surrounded with that already! So, people with allergies, and those we call 'health nuts' - beware! Buy non-metallic, coated cheap stuff or coat it yourself maybe or ... buy precious metals, right? Who'd have anything against that!
So, protective varnish. To be frank, I have yet to try that and when I do I'll update you on my experience. See, not much of a choice of brands where I live but I'll try to make do with what I have. I'm looking forward to an aerosol form as it seems to be the lightest and easiest to apply.
I'm pretty sure you've seen how worn off metal looks like but just to demonstrate once again, my own 'before and after' shot featuring the same faux gold chain after months of wearing it:
Of course, this necklace is easy to fix by simply replacing the old one with a new chain, but if you're thinking of selling your jewellery, the longer it lasts without maintenance the better. Thus, trying those coatings is the way to go. I only hope they can be truly invisible, otherwise it can make metallic stuff look plastic.
Update 27/11/2014 So I bought this German-made aerosol varnish (Zaponlack, on the picture). Already tried it on some chains, seems to be transparent. Now to check if it really works I'll have to update you in a few weeks or even months.
The instruction from the producer advises one to 3 coats, with a few hours in between. I'll start with one coat and see how long it serves. It takes about 10 minutes for the layer to dry out, very convenient.
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