How to Keep Jewelry Metals from Corroding in Salty Sea Air?

by Jean BH
Carriacou, Grenada

How to Keep Jewelry Metals from Corroding in Salty Sea Air?  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

HELP!! I live in Carriacou, Grenada. The reason I mention this is because of the salt in the air.

I use stainless steel jump rings with no problem. But when I use the gold or brass jump rings they tend to rust. Is it because of the atmosphere?

All of my jump rings were purchased from Amazon. I try to buy only stainless steel. Do they make stainless steel in gold or other colors? Help!!!!

Thanks so much for any suggestions.

Jean BH

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  • Hi Jean! I used to live near a sea coast too, and I totally understand the issue of jewelry metals in the salty sea air! If I took off a piece of my personal jewelry and left it on my dresser for a couple of days, I could already see the tarnish or patina starting on the jewelry. I kept all of my metal jewelry supplies, my finished jewelry inventory, and my own personal jewelry tightly closed up in ziplock jewelry baggies. I also put no-tarnish strips (available from most jewelry suppliers) in each baggie, and changed the no-tarnish strips every 3 to 6 months. I also used no-tarnish cloth (sometimes called Pacific cloth, available from sewing / fabric stores) to cover each drawer and container where any of my jewelry metals were. And immediately after wearing my personal jewelry, or after having my jewelry inventory on display at a show, I used jewelry polishing cloths (like Sunshine cloths) to wipe down each piece of jewelry and returned it to its baggie. It’s a bit of a hassle, but it’s much easier to prevent the tarnish than to clean it off of all your supplies, inventory, and personal jewelry! 🙂 I hope this helps.

    I’d love to hear how other coastal jewelry artists deal with this issue!

  • Mimi says:

    Hi Jean! You may want to use niobium and/or titanium jump rings for other colors. Both metals can be anodized and should not corrode. There are even small anodizers you can purchase so you can learn to anodize at home. That way you can get the colors you want and you just need to purchase plain titanium or niobium. Good luck!

  • Jessie Koh says:

    Hi Jean, I’ve also been on the look out for gold plated stainless steel findings. Hard to find, but I’ve purchased some in my city KL before, namely gold plated chains. If I do come across any, will let you know. Cheers!

  • Jean BH says:

    Thank you everyone for your feedback. This really helps. With these suggestions I can feel a little better about selling my jewelry here without rust issue.

    Thank you so much.

  • Leslie Schmidt says:

    I found out that the metal finish in most findings at big box stores is cheap junk. My skin alone would wear through the finish in no time, let alone living near the beach of Santa Cruz CA. When I started buying findings from a different source (B’Sue Boutiques) online, the finish is a special plating that Brenda Sue worked hard to get for us jewelry makers, I have no problems anymore. The gold finish is a 22 carat gold, there is also brass ox, silver, raw brass along with the B’Sue by 1928 rusted iron, gingerbread, old silver, raw pewter (all these B’Sue by 1928 are lead free pewter). The jump rings are 18 gauge, headpins the same. I rarely buy big box store things anymore as the quality is amazing. I will have to redo all the older jewelry I made before 2014 when I found their products as everything tarnished no matter how I stored it or cared for it.

  • Kelsey Keyes says:

    I would like to second the recommendation for titanium and niobium. Not only do they resist corrosion they are also hypoallergenic. I have never had a customer react to either. Even people who react to sterling silver and most gold, won’t react to titanium or niobium. My other tip is to store regular white chalk in with your other jewelry and materials to prevent tarnish. It is very effective and inexpensive.

  • Jean BH says:

    I love the feedback on this subject and plan to incorporate your suggestions into my jewelry cases in order to eliminate any rusting/corrosion of my finished jewelry and supplies. I really appreciate the time everyone took to respond to a fellow jewelry maker. So now I am off to research where to buy (Amazon) the items mentioned, as I live in Carriacou, Grenada and those findings are not available here…..LOL! Chalk I can get here…..(smile)

    Thanks everyone,

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