10 Tried & Tested, Tarnish-Free “Gold” Jewellery Brands

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Tarnish-free gold jewellery sounds too good to be true and often it is, unless you’re ready to really invest. With "waterproof", "sweat-proof" and "swim-proof" jewellery styles dominating social media, how do you avoid the dreaded green-tinged fingers? Or be certain that "gold" necklace won’t resemble a rusty spoon after a couple of swims in the sea? Forever sceptical of grand marketing claims, I set out to find out.
Gearing up for a strenuous month of jewellery styling, I loaded my wrists, ears and neck with a good helping of pretty gold pieces — think Daisy Jones bangle tambourine wrists — to see which ones still glistened after a few weeks of wear. It’s a tough life, I know. 
The general consensus among jewellery experts is that solid gold is the only way to guarantee your jewellery will remain tarnish-free. That said, many budget-friendly brands have put a new gold-plating technique into practice and so far it’s seen impressive results. Known as ​​physical vapor deposition (PVD), this new technique is ten times thicker than regular gold plating, making pieces much less susceptible to corrosion, tarnishing or fading. Comparing the real-deal investment pieces with these cost-friendly PVD picks, I’m yet to notice a difference in the tarnish-free stakes following several showers, sea swims and sweat sessions.
Keep scrolling to read my reviews of tarnish-free jewellery brands to suit every budget, from standout styles you’ll want to save up for to payday pick-me-ups that seem to last just as long.
You've likely seen Hey Harper all over social media as the waterproof jewellery brand has become a firm favourite of many a material girl. And with prices starting at £20, it's easy to see why.
Being a longtime fan of the brand, I made the most of my testing time, donning the Bermuda Bracelet, £43, Bermuda Necklace, £52, Marbella Ring, £52 and Huggies Set, £56. Did they stand up to the test? Absolutely, thanks to that pretty clever PVD coating.
I'm not alone in my love of Astrid & Miyu. In fact, the only downside about picking a piece from this brand is that you may find a number of your friends have had the same idea — great if you’re a safety-in-numbers kind of fashion fan, not so much if you prefer to have a signature style.
Astrid & Miyu makes no claims about being tarnish-free. There’s a whole page on its website dedicated to caring for your jewellery to make it last longer, including keeping it away from lotions, sweat and water. So I can’t claim that it’s tarnish-free, although I did fall in love with the Essential Medium Hoops in Gold, £60, and just made sure to follow all good jewellery-owner steps to keep them looking sparkly: no showers, baths or sea swims on the menu.
D. Louise has seen some impressive success since its launch in 2021. There's a host of gold-tone necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings on offer, all sold as "waterproof". The brand claims its gold-plating process, utilising 361L stainless steel with a LifeGuard™ coating, is ten times stronger than standard gold plating and that the colour won't fade.
Was I sceptical of such grand claims? Absolutely. But after wearing the Essentials Bracelet, £40, the Paperclip Necklace, £50, and the Pleated Huggie Earrings, £50, for over one month, I've been proved wrong. Several baths, showers and a dip in the sea later, each piece is as glistening gold as it was when it arrived. What’s more, almost all of the brand's jewellery is priced under £100. Need I go on?
Monica Vinader needs no introduction for the jewellery fans out there. Selling seriously stylish pieces, from simple chains to enamel earrings, it’s one of the best brands for bling, from the everyday to the exceptional. Offered the chance to try it out, then, I went in. On one wrist sits the Mini Nugget Gemstone Beaded Bracelet, £128, and Alta Textured Chain Bracelet, £98. On the other, the Nura Reef Bangle, £178, with the Siren Muse Medium Hoop Earrings, £128, in my lobes for good measure.
All look exceptional and so far I’ve noticed no tarnish. But that’s not to say it won’t come, as the brand does not claim to be waterproof or tarnish-free. What it does offer is a five-year warranty, during which time any piece will be repaired, no questions asked. You can also pay to activate a lifetime warranty to keep pieces looking pretty forever, which seems like a no-brainer to me.
By Rae uses the same PVD gold plating as D. Louise and Hey Harper so unsurprisingly it yields the same results. The brand claims its pieces are waterproof, sweat-proof and sea-proof, and I can’t argue. The Lily Box Chain Bracelet, £34, has sparkled on my wrist for over a month now and is showing no sign of silver specks or going green.
It’s also the cheapest piece of jewellery on this list so anyone after a bargain buy better pay attention. In fact, the most expensive piece from the brand comes in at £62. It seems slightly less sturdy than some of the pricer picks but hey, at this price, who can complain?
I’ve been following Umara for a while now. The brand’s 18 Karat Yellow Gold Piercing Ring, £40, hasn’t left my earlobe in over a year and I’ve just added the Dome Stud, £40 and Flower Stud, £40. It’s simple, it’s chic, it’s subtle: perfect for those who like tiny, dainty pieces. Even better, you’ll be supporting a small brand and are unlikely to spot anyone else wearing your special piece.
Every item is crafted from 14- and 18-karat gold, fusing traditional Indian craftsmanship with modern design. This makes it more expensive but there’s no risk of it tarnishing so consider it a long-term investment. 
Galleria Armadoro stocks both gold-tone and silver jewellery and is a treasure trove for those who like chunkier, costume-like pieces. The brand doesn’t claim to be tarnish-free and is honest that its "gold vermeil plated pieces are subject to fading over time". But what it does do to ensure your pieces sparkle forever is offer free replating and repairs, which may be even better. This does mean that its prices are a little higher than some of the other brands here.
The Speira Icon Gold Vermeil Ring, £97.50, is one of my favourites, along with the Baby Darla Gold Vermeil Hoops, £156.50, neither of which I've had to send for replating yet.
If you love the stacked jewellery look but don’t know where to start, allow me to introduce you to Maya Brenner's Delicate Trio Stacking Rings, £212 which makes building a jewellery look much more simple.
These set isn't cheap so this is a brand for investment buys rather than little pick-me-ups. But if I had the choice, I’d never take off any of these rings (and I haven’t for weeks now while I pretend they’re mine). They're made from solid 14-karat gold so they won’t fade or tarnish but they are incredibly delicate. Luckily, the brand has a quick-turnaround repair shop to sort you out should the worst happen.
If you're after a little bit of luxury, Kitty Joyas may be the brand for you. A Joyas Heart Necklace, £185, is one of the brand's bestsellers and for good reason. It catches everyone’s eye and gained a lot of compliments every time I wore it out and about. It makes a lovely gift for someone special in your life — you can even receive a discount when buying in bulk. Bridesmaid presents, perhaps?
My favourite pieces have to be the XS Signature Hoops, £115 and matching Forged Stacking Rings, £65, both made from recycled sterling silver and plated with ​​3 microns of 18 karat gold. The brand says that the colour of its jewellery can fade but offers a renew service from £15 to keep your pieces looking perfect.
Otiumberg pieces are really very special and will arrive at your door beautifully gift-wrapped and tied with a bow. Founded by sisters Christie and Rosanna, the London-based brand stocks delicate pieces crafted from solid gold, gold vermeil and sterling silver. The look is very much old-money luxury — think initial necklaces, dainty rings and small studs.
The solid gold Essential Huggie Hoops, £200, stood out as my favourite — they're chic, subtle and luxurious, but also comfortable for everyday wear. They are seriously spenny compared to most other pieces in this list but they will most likely last a lifetime, tarnish-free, so consider them an investment.

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