Cleaning jewelry marked 14K with copper cleaner

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Sea_Hag
Posts: 53
Joined: 1 year ago

Cleaning jewelry marked 14K with copper cleaner

Post by Sea_Hag » 1 month ago

Does anyone know, for sure, why cream copper cleaner is the only thing that would clean a solid, Figaro necklace that is marked 14K gold?
Story: years ago, my dad worked for a scrap metal company and came home with some jewelry found in a drain that was all discolored; dark like bronze or tarnished copper. Back then, I tried cleaning it with typical liquid jewelry cleaner appropriate for gold jewelry as the necklace was stamped 14K. It just wouldn't come clean. I tried dish soap, sonic cleaner, but nothing seemed to work. Years later (just a week ago) my dad hands me this same jewelry asking if it could be turned in for cash. Now that I know more about jewelry in general, I grabbed my cream silver cleaner and tried to clean it with that thinking it might work if it was gold over sterling, but that didn't work. My last attempt was with a cream copper cleaner that I use for some genuine copper jewelry I have and voila, the necklace looked brand new. I understand that 10K and 14K gold is mixed with alloy metals to make it sturdy as the higher carat gold, being more pure, is also much softer. Anyway, can I assume the necklace is gold over copper? I just don't know what to make of this. I do not have a local jeweler that I know to take this necklace to; can anyone offer up some insight or advice? I'll keep the necklace knowing my copper cleaner will work and no one but me will know it may not be real gold, but I'm just curious. Thanks for any help you might be able to share!
8 x

Sissy2
Posts: 195
Joined: 5 months ago

Re: Cleaning jewelry marked 14K with copper cleaner

Post by Sissy2 » 1 month ago

Sea Hag. I posed this question to Jewelry Queen and she says that anything less than 24kt gold can tarnish. 18kt 14kt and 10kt gold can tarnish because the alloys they use to strengthen it makes also makes it vulnerable to tarnishing. In yellow gold the most frequently used alloy is copper as it also makes the gold a darker yellow so that 14 can look almost like 18. That is why the copper cleaner worked. A DIY cleaning method for tarnished gold chains is the following. Note: NOT for use with gold jewelry that has gemstones.

Boil two cups of water with one tablespoon of salt
Line the bottom of a baking dish with aluminum foil shiny side up
Place the chain flat in a U shape in the dish
Coat the chain with a goodly layer of baking soda
Pour the hot water mixture over
Leave for eight to ten minutes (not longer)
Use tweezers to remove if water is still hot
Rinse THOUROUGHLY for a minute under cold water
Dry/buff with a soft cloth

PS she says Hi! to everyone.
9 x

Sea_Hag
Posts: 53
Joined: 1 year ago

Re: Cleaning jewelry marked 14K with copper cleaner

Post by Sea_Hag » 1 month ago

@Sissy2 Thank you! My instincts were right, then. I appreciate the response, That cleaning method you describe, I've actually tried that before, but it was so long ago, I don't recall if I'd tried it on the necklace I mention. Again, thanks!
7 x

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