You notice a slight scratch on your 14k gold chain.....What should you do?
Basically, you have three choices. You can
Do nothing and try to be more careful. You understand that gold is a soft metal and accidents happen.
Polish it yourself and hope the scratch disappears.
Take it to a jeweler you trust and ask them to polish the gold piece.
Since doing nothing is not really an option and you can solve the problem with one of the other two ideas, first try polishing your gold jewelry at home. Here’s how;
Clean your gold piece by washing it very gently with a smidgeon of dish detergent and warm water. This will remove any oils or dirt.
Dry it with a very soft cloth. Inspect to make sure it is clean.
Then use a polishing cloth made especially for polishing jewelry. You can purchase one online or in a jewelry store.
One caution. If there is a diamond or gemstone on the piece, be sure not to rub that part with the polishing cloth. You don’t want to dull its surface or damage it.
This method will be sufficient for most light scratches, but if the scratch remains, or if it’s very deep, you will need to take it to a jeweler.
Jewelers Have Special Equipment for Removing Scratches
The jeweler will be able to assess the damaged piece and use the appropriate abrasive to restore your jewelry to its former luster. A special machine may be used to do the job.
Don’t get the idea that you can just file the piece or use harsh home chemicals to remove a scratch. That would almost certainly make the damage worse. So, in this case, let the professional handle the job.
Polishing Too Often Will Weaken Your Gold Jewelry
If you notice a minor scratch or two, don’t rush to the jewelry store. Polishing removes part of the gold, so over time, your precious chain will be weakened.
A good guideline is polish no more often than once or twice a year. And remember, less is more in this case. If you don’t wear the gold piece every day, a trip to the jeweler may be delayed by two or three years.
Buffing it yourself with the special polishing cloth can be done more often. Every two or three months should be plenty.
Prevent Scratches in Your Gold
One way to prevent scratches which many people don’t consider, is buying sturdier jewelry. A 14K gold chain will scratch more easily than 10K, for example, due to its higher pure gold content. So if you are the kind of person who is hard on jewelry, or you have activities that may lead to damage, you may want to opt for the 10K gold pieces.
Rings and cuban bracelets, for example, would be candidates for 10K gold, as they are more likely to be exposed to damage. A piece worn less often, such as a chain, could be a higher karat, or percentage of pure gold.
You can also wear the higher karat gold pieces less often, or on occasions when you are less likely to scratch them. Wear the lower karat jewelry for frequent use.