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If you love wearing gold bracelets, you might be wondering: can a gold bracelet stretch by wearing it? The answer to this question is yes – but it all depends on what kind of gold your bracelet is made of.
When it comes to jewelry, delicate, soft metals are much more prone to bending and stretching than more durable steels and metals. As you may already know, gold happens to be considered a soft metal. However, the karat of your gold is also going to play a significant factor in how resistant your bracelet is.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at what types of gold are more prone to stretching than others, and give you some tips on how you can keep all your gold jewelry in mint condition – even when you wear your bracelet regularly. Let’s take a look!
What causes a gold bracelet to stretch?
Gold bracelets and bangles can stretch over time with continued wear and use. Here are a just a couple of reasons you might find that your bracelet is now looser than it originally was:
Higher karat quality
While high karat gold is beautiful and eye-catching, the downside to this type of jewelry is that it’s more delicate and prone to damage than lower karat equivalents. Understanding the karat system is key to understanding how easily your gold jewelry could become damaged: it’s all about the ratio of gold (a soft metal) to alloyed metals (which are typically more durable and resistant.)
For example, a pure 22k gold bracelet is going to be much more easily damaged or stretched than lower karat gold, because the gold is much more malleable. On the other hand, 22 karat gold bangles are going to be more resistant, as they come with 8% alloyed metals that enhance their durability against wear and damage.
One of the main reasons you might end up stretching a gold bracelet is through everyday wear. High karat, soft metals aren’t really designed to be worn every day, as they’re incredibly delicate and prone to scratching and fading. This is why jewelers create lower karat alternatives, so you enjoy that gorgeous gold sheen, without damaging the piece over time.
Another simple reason your bracelet might feel stretched is that your wrists have got smaller; for example, through weight loss. If you’ve recently shed some weight, it might be in your interest to think about getting your gold bracelet or bangle re-sized by a professional jeweler.
Having a loose or poorly fitting bracelet will increase your chances of losing it, so a re-sizing appointment is worth the investment. This is especially true if your bracelet holds sentimental value. To get an accurate measurement, use a tape measure to measure the circumference of your wrist, making sure you’re able to slide one finger between the bracelet and your wrist. For accurate bangle sizing, measure the circumference of your knuckles, while bringing all your fingers together in a tight clasp.
How to prevent your bracelets and bangles from stretching
It’s fairly easy to keep your bangles and bracelets in tip-top condition. Here are just a few tips and tricks for ensuring your gold stays shiny, firm, and perfectly fitted:
Get a professional sizing
If you think you may have made errors when taking your own wrist measurements, get your wrist sized by a professional jeweler. Once you know your official wrist size, you’ll be able to get your bracelet resized to ensure that it fits perfectly.
Wear fine jewelry on special occasions
If you want to limit regular wear and tear, limit wearing your fine jewelry to special occasions. Not only will this help keep them in pristine condition, but you’ll also be able to make more of a fashion statement if you wear these items sparingly.
Avoid pure gold
Finally, another way to enjoy mint-condition gold jewelry all year round is to avoid pure gold pieces. Pure gold is malleable, delicate, and too expensive to end up damaged, stretched, or faded. If you want to enjoy that high-shine, yellow hue of real gold, opt for 22k gold jewelry, which resembles pure gold but has a higher durability thanks to its small percentage of alloyed metals.