Certain decorative situations, like costume design or interior staging, use dull gold to create an antiqued appearance. Pure gold dulls -- not tarnishes -- due to the alloy composition. However, due to its softness, pure gold is used to make few items. Items of 24 karat gold contain small amounts of tarnish-vulnerable metals like copper and silver, while 14 karat gold contains an even higher percentage of these materials. The purity level of a gold item determines how quickly dulling and tarnishing occurs.
- Paper towels
- Chlorine bleach
- Bucket or wide container
Spray perfumed oils on your gold. The chemicals in spray perfume, deodorant and even hairspray interact poorly with gold, creating a dull surface. Place your gold on a paper towel and spritz both sides liberally with perfumed spray. Allow the spray to dry on the gold surface. Repeat this process daily until you see results.
Submerge your gold in chlorinated water. Combine one part chlorinated bleach with 100 parts tap water in bucket or wide container. Submerge the gold in the liquid for several hours at a time over several weeks until you see results. For swimmers, wear your jewelry in the pool as the chlorine in public swimming or bathing facilities ruins the protective layer of gold. High quantities of chlorine exposure can permanently dull your gold.
Wear your gold in the shower and scrub the surface vigorously with a wet soapy washcloth. Scrub both sides thoroughly and don't rinse off the suds until the end of your shower. The residual film from soap dulls the appearance of your gold. Over time, this residue hardens like soap-scum and becomes difficult to remove.
Exercise in your gold jewelry. Wear the jewelry while perspiring and avoid wiping away the sweat. Letting the gold jewelry sit in your perspiration allows the corrosive salts and body oils to take full dulling effect.
Gold won't dull overnight; you must expose your items to contaminants regularly and often to see the dulling effect.