Fashion jewelry can add color, style and variety to your wardrobe. Distinguished from fine jewelry by its materials as well as its comparatively low cost, fashion jewelry is abundant and affordable. While fine jewelry is made of precious metals, such as platinum, gold and silver, fashion jewelry is often made of less expensive base metals, such as brass, which are sometimes plated with precious metals. One drawback to the affordability and variety of fashion jewelry, however, is its tendency to darken with wear and time. You can take steps to prevent your fashion jewelry from turning dark.

Things You'll Need

Avoid wearing your fashion jewelry in the water. Remove your fashion jewelry before bathing, showering, swimming, washing dishes or engaging in other activities that will expose it to water.

Store your fashion jewelry away from moisture in a cool, dry environment. Do not leave your fashion jewelry in a bathroom, where it will be exposed to steam and heat. Keep it in a bedroom, closet or other dry environment.

Do not expose your fashion jewelry to oils, creams and perfumes. Avoid applying such products on your body where you will be wearing fashion jewelry, or allow them to absorb completely into your skin before putting on the fashion jewelry.

Prevent your fashion jewelry from coming in contact with household chemicals. Remove your jewelry before using any cleaning products. Some chemicals can cause the metal of your fashion jewelry to darken.

Use mild dish soap and warm water if you must clean you fashion jewelry, and rinse and dry it promptly. Avoid using harsh cleaners designed for cleaning precious metal jewelry, as they can cause fashion jewelry to darken.

Avoid scratching or abrading your fashion jewelry. For example, do not wear a fashion jewelry bracelet if you will be inadvertently scraping it against your work desk throughout the day, which will abrade the metal, causing it to darken. Do not store your fashion jewelry in a tangle or jumble where the pieces can rub against each other, causing scratches and chips and wearing away at the metal, which leads to darkening.

Keep fashion jewelry wrapped or covered when you are not wearing it so it is not exposed to dust and air. Store your fashion jewelry neatly in a lidded jewelry case lined with soft fabric, such as velvet. Or, keep your pieces of fashion jewelry stored in individual pouches made of soft fabric or in plastic zip-close bags. Shielding your fashion jewelry from dust will help it to maintain its attractive color and shine.


  • Fashion jewelry is also referred to as costume jewelry. These terms are used to described jewelry that is not made with solid precious materials.

  • Oak jewelry boxes can actually release fumes that are potentially damaging to costume jewelry. Choose a jewelry box that is not made of oak.