One of the most common questions you will get in a jewelry store is, does zinc alloy tarnish? Anyone shopping for zinc alloy jewelry must be concerned about how long their desired necklace will serve them. I am sure you wouldn’t want to spend your money on something that won’t serve you for long. Well, this article will discuss zinc alloy jewelry in-depth and answer any questions you might have about zinc alloy. You will understand if that piece of zinc jewelry you are shopping for is worth your money and make an informed decision.

Does Zinc Alloy Jewelry Tarnish?


What is zinc alloy?

Zinc alloy is a standard metal in jewelry making. It has been used for a long time for making different types of jewelry thanks to its affordability and versatility. However, not all people know what zinc alloy is. This metal is an alloy of several metallic elements, among them, lead and nickel. This metal comes in different versions, and it’s believed that zinc alloyed with nickel is not safe. That’s because nickel is an allergic element and might cause damage to your skin.

Which is the best zinc alloy for making jewelry?

After the above information, your next question must be, which is the best zinc alloy for jewelry? Well, there is the zinc alloy made of brass. This is a combination of copper and zinc. This alloy is the best for making zinc alloy jewelry because the two metals are hypo allergic. The metal is also corrosion resistant and boasts durability.

Does zinc alloy tarnish?

The truth of the matter is that zinc alloy tarnishes whether it has nickel or not. However, the good news is that the tarnishing doesn’t happen overnight. That’s because zinc alloy has strong corrosion resistance and will form a protective layer when exposed to the air. Its reaction with carbon dioxide helps in boosting the durability of zinc alloy jewelry. Therefore, this should encourage you to proceed with your purchase since your jewelry will serve you for a long time.

Does zinc alloy change color?

Does zinc alloy change color? Well, this is another question that jewelry shoppers will ask. Well, zinc alloy is prone to change of color due to oxidation. Once exposed to air, your zinc alloy jewelry can change to brown, blue, black, or green. The change in color doesn’t necessarily mean that you have neglected taking care of your jewelry. The type of beauty products you use on your skin is among the leading causes of change in color in zinc alloy jewelry. Besides, your jewelry can change its color after coming into contact with water. However, there are various ways of taking care of zinc alloy jewelry, as we shall confirm in this article.

What causes zinc alloy to tarnish?

As mentioned earlier, the tarnishing of zinc alloy jewelry doesn’t happen in a day. There are various causes of zinc alloy tarnishing. Some of these causes include the elements of metal and environmental conditions. These conditions will dictate how fast your jewelry will tarnish. Let’s look at the leading causes of tarnishing in zinc alloy.

Environmental factors

Whenever your zinc alloy jewelry is exposed to extreme weather conditions, it has a high tarnishing chance. These conditions include high temperatures or extreme humidity. This calls for you to avoid exposing your jewelry to such conditions.


If your zinc alloy jewelry is cut and dented, then it will tarnish quickly. This happens by moisture getting into the jewelry through the dents. This moisture and dirt will translate to the corrosion and tarnishing of the jewelry.


The reaction between the air and zinc alloy is called oxidation. It is among the primary cause of tarnishing in jewelry. The nonmetallic elements found in the surroundings of your jewelry are the catalysts behind the oxidation reaction.

Other reactions

Other reactions are the ones that take place when your piece of jewelry is clean. They are the ones that lead to their change in color. Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide are the causes of such reactions.

How to clean zinc alloy jewelry?

Your piece of jewelry getting tarnished is not the end of the road. That’s because there are ways of cleaning zinc alloy jewelry and getting rid of the tarnish. However, each method depends on how severe the tarnish is. Here are the methods.

Removal of black deposits using a nail polish remover.

If you notice that your zinc alloy jewelry has got some black deposits, you can use a nail polish remover to clean them. This is done by dipping a piece of cotton in the nail polish remover and wiping your necklace through the back and forth method. You will notice that the remover is dissolving the stains gradually. Repeat this until your jewelry is all shining.

Use of acetone-based remover

Sometimes your piece of zinc alloy jewelry maybe having extreme stains. This is more so if you have not worn them for long. In such a case, you might need to use an acetone-based remover. This works magically on deeply stained jewelry. All you have to do is dip your bracelet in acetone and leave it for some minutes. Take a piece of brush and start brushing off the stains gently. Once done, rinse your jewelry and dry it properly.

Use of toothpaste

The use of toothpaste is another excellent way of cleaning zinc alloy jewelry. This is done by applying a lather toothpaste on the jewelry using a soft brush. If the metal is significantly tarnished, then you might be required to brush for long. Ensure you cover all the affected areas, and after that, rinse the jewelry in cold water. Please do not leave any residue of the paste because it will react, causing more damage. Dry your jewelry correctly and store it.

Use of lemon juice and baking soda

A paste of lemon juice and baking soda will magically bring back the sparkle of your jewelry. This is achieved by applying the paste on the jewelry by using a piece of cloth. Ensure you give more attention to the most stained areas. Rinse with warm water and dry properly to avoid water damage.

Qualities of zinc alloy

There are many reasons why this metal is famous. Below are the qualities of zinc alloy.

  • The metal has a thin wall capability
  • It is recyclable, and this is why it’s more used in factories
  • Boasts a high thermal conductivity
  • It is accurate and stable
  • It is readily available and cheap
  • The metal is perfect for conducting electricity
  • High level of corrosion resistance
  • Zinc alloy is strong and has a hardness

Does Zinc Alloy Jewelry Tarnish?


Applications of zinc alloy

Besides making jewelry, here are other applications of zinc alloy.


Zinc alloy can form a layer after reacting with air. This quality makes it ideal for galvanization. The metal comes in handy in making coatings over steel and surfaces, especially on steel structures. This is majorly done on roofing materials and the construction of automobiles. Zinc alloys are the most used metals in galvanization with over 50 % usage.


Zinc alloy has played a significant role in farming. This is because it has been used to produce zinc fertilizer, which contains zinc sulfate and chloride. The fertilizer plays a significant role in plant respiration and the metabolism of carbohydrates. Besides being beneficial to plants, the metal is good for our health. The metal helps our immune systems remain strong.

Rubber manufacturing

Zinc is also used in producing zinc oxide, which plays a significant role in rubber manufacturing. Other uses of zinc alloy include the production of protective skin ointments and household items.

Advantages of zinc alloy

This metal boasts a lot of qualities, and this explains why it trends in jewelry making. Here are some advantages of zinc alloy.

Durability: This metal will give you value for your money. Purchasing any jewelry made of zinc alloy is an assurance that you will use it for a long time. However, the longevity will depend on how you take care of your jewelry.

Cost-efficient: Unlike other metals, zinc alloy is cheap and readily available. You don’t have to spend a fortune for you to rock in a zinc alloy necklace. The prices are never exaggerated thanks to its availability in the mines.

Corrosion-resistant: Zinc alloy is corrosion resistant and will withstand extreme conditions. This means you are not limited to your engagements, like swimming and house chores duties. The metal is also rustproof.



Zinc alloy is famous compared to other metals. It boasts diverse qualities that increase its applications in various ways. This metal is most jewelers favorite metal because it is easy to use and shape. Have you been asking yourself questions about zinc alloy jewelry? Well, I believe this article has been timely. You now understand everything that pertains to zinc alloy jewelry; that is how to pick the best and lastly care for one. This will significantly help you in shopping for that long-desired piece of zinc alloy jewelry.

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