If you've ever picked up a piece of costume jewelry that you haven't touched in a while and found parts of it covered with this weird greenish or bluish corrosion, you've seen verdigris, a patina that forms after repeated exposure to dirt, moisture, and more -- you know, everything that can be on your skin as you go about your day. Verdigris can be removed, but it is corrosive to metal and can create damage. It's better to not let it form in the first place.
Verdigris Can Appear on Anything
First, verdigris is often associated with metals like bronze and copper, but it can appear on pretty much any metal. If you have jewelry that you wear often, those pieces are more likely to develop verdigris if you're not careful. Never assume a particular piece of jewelry is immune to verdigris. Even stainless steel, with its reputation for being corrosion-resistant, is not free from verdigris. It is true that stainless steel is a lot tougher than many other metals. But when it's exposed to the dirt, dead skin, and everything else on your neck, shoulders, or wherever else the jewelry touches, it can start to develop that patina just like any other piece of jewelry.
Proactive Cleaning Can Prevent It
You can reduce the chances of it appearing if you do some proactive cleaning. Depending on how often you wear the item and for how long -- things you wear a lot for a long time should be cleaned more often -- try soaking the piece for a few minutes in vinegar if the piece is plain steel metal, or lemon juice if the piece has gemstones or is silver. Gently scrub the piece with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and dry it thoroughly. Don't put it away until you're sure it's dry.
Don't Wait if You See It Forming
If you still see a bit of verdigris forming, don't wait. At the soonest opportunity, soak and brush the item. Try to get rid of all the verdigris. If you can't get rid of it all, take the piece to a jeweler to see about having it professionally cleaned.
Verdigris might be a common sight, but it's not something you have to live with. And if you have shiny, tough jewelry made out of stainless steel, you don't want to make it look worse by allowing verdigris to take over. Clean your stainless steel chain necklace or other jewelry on a regular basis, gently, so that it remains in fantastic shape.
When you get ready in the morning, the outfit that you choose is a simple starting point for your entire look. Unfortunately, picking the wrong accessories might send your look in a completely different direction. I have been dressing people for twenty years, and I could tell you horror stories about accessory mishaps. The wrong bag could make you look messy, or an ugly set of earrings could clash with your skin tone. I want you to look your best, which is one of the reasons I made this website. Read here to learn how to accessorize each and every outfit with great jewelry, bags, and hats.