Nice gold-colored bracelet that isn't gold
July 6, 2017 7:19 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to buy a nice gold-colored cuff (wide bracelet) that will last. My budget is sterling-silver type costs, one bracelet I like is $200 in SS and $1500 in gold. I usually buy the cheap gold colored jewelry pieces from Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, etc. which tarnish or flake off after a few months of use. What gold-colored options do I have that will not tarnish or flake? Mostly interested in advice on materials to look for, but if you have places where I should shop, so much the better.
posted by arnicae to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You should look at Gold Filled Jewelry. It's more expensive than sterling silver, but looks exactly like solid gold. It won't flake or tarnish.
posted by gregr at 7:30 AM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Look for a good gold-plated sterling silver, or gold filled (often not sterling silver, but sometimes it is).

QVC has a lot of quite nice but inexpensive plated/clad jewelry. My aunts have quite a bit of gold-plated sterling jewelry from there, and it all still looks good, even after being worn for years. (I have a few pieces as well, but I go for the plain sterling, so not much help for you.)
posted by jlkr at 7:40 AM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can't recommend jewelry, but one thing you might do with the cheaper gold-colored pieces you like would be to paint it (inside and out, all edges: the whole thing) with something like clear nail polish, before you ever wear them. That should help prevent the flaking and tarnish, and the occasional bottle of clear nail polish would certainly be cheaper than hundreds of dollars for fancier jewelry!
posted by easily confused at 7:51 AM on July 6, 2017

I recently made a bronze cuff for a customer who was after the same thing: a gold-colored not gold-costing bracelet. It's a lovely, slightly warm, gold color. As with all copper-containing alloys, it does have the potential to tarnish, but you can prevent that with some simple care.
posted by chemicalsyntheticist at 8:05 AM on July 6, 2017

I think brass is beautiful!
posted by the_blizz at 8:12 AM on July 6, 2017

Gold-filled jewelry will take longer to tarnish, but it will eventually tarnish like gold-plated, especially in a bracelet that's in constant touch with body oils and sweat.

Gold-lined-beads hold their color for a very long time, since the color is protected by glass.

Here's an Etsy example, not a recommendation, just to show you what it could look like.
posted by Jesse the K at 8:48 AM on July 6, 2017

+1 to brass. I picked up a solid brass cuff about a year ago at Madewell for about $30 and it has a nice patina now but is definitely still gold colored. Since it's solid I think it's also cleanable, but I haven't tried.
posted by asphericalcow at 9:18 AM on July 6, 2017

Look for gold-filled or gold-vermeil *over sterling silver.* That combination is more expensive to produce than gold filled over copper or base metal, so it's a good filter for quality construction. Even if you have particularly sweaty wrists, gold filled jewelry will last much longer than cheap gold-colored fashion jewelry, although of course it's not heirloom quality.

Personally I love brass for its affordability and warm tones, but it's definitely an earthy bronzy color and increasingly dissimilar from gold as it ages.
posted by serelliya at 10:12 AM on July 6, 2017

Seconding QVC. I'm not at all into jewelry but a platimum-clad ring caught my eye years ago and it's held up to 24/7 hard wear and tear.

Forget the cheesy, porcelain doll past, too: I was just reading that they bought HSN, so they're right behind Amazon and Walmart now. Easy-peasy, no questions asked returns are a plus.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:23 PM on July 6, 2017

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