Can Gold Get Scratched Easily? Simple Scratch Removal Tips

Find out if gold can get scratched easily and how to remove light scratches.

Jane Pardo | Updated December 30, 2023

Gold is a precious metal prized for its beauty, rarity, and outstanding properties.

However, daily gold jewelry pieces, like gold rings, earrings, and bracelets, are vulnerable to scratches.

Fortunately, there’s an easy DIY solution to bring back the flawless look of your gold.

Keep reading to find out if gold can get scratched easily and how to remove light scratches.

Different gold karats and levels of scratch resistance

24k gold, the purest gold form, is very soft, malleable, and easy to scratch. This means it is easily bent and shaped into various sizes. Gold alloys, which contain other metals, are more durable. They can still get scratches, especially when used daily. Fortunately, light scratches can be removed using a special polishing cloth.

Manufacturers typically alloy gold with silver, bronze, brass, nickel, or zinc to increase durability, improve strength, and resist dents and scratches.

  • 22k gold, containing 91.7% gold, is likely to scratch and dent more easily than lower karats. It’s a soft metal that may lose shape when subjected to force. 
  • 18k gold is 75% pure and can scratch easily with daily wear and tear. This gold fineness is generally used in making watches.
  • 14k gold is made of 58.3% gold and is much more resistant to scratches and scuffs. It’s widely used in engagement and wedding rings.
  • 10k gold is the least pure, with only 41.7% gold content, but it’s the most durable form of gold. It’s very hard and highly resistant to scratches and dents. This low-karat gold is commonly used in making earrings.

Learn more about gold’s uses.

Easy DIY method to remove scratches from gold

The following method involves using a gold polishing cloth. It’s ideal for removing light scratches from gold. 

  1. Add several drops of liquid detergent to warm water.
  2. Immerse your gold item for 5 minutes.
  3. Thoroughly rinse under tap water, and dry with a soft, clean cloth.
  4. Gently polish using the polishing cloth in circular motions to buff the scratches.
  5. Avoid rubbing any gemstones, as a polishing cloth can damage them.

You may do this method once every two to three months to keep your gold pieces free of scratches.

Remember the above process will remove scratches by buffing down the outer layer. That means there’s a risk of revealing the base metal if your gold has very thin gold plating.

Avoid excessive polishing, which will make the gold thinner and affect its appearance.


What’s the safest and most effective method to remove scratches from gold?

Polishing by a professional jeweler is the safest and most effective method to remove scratches from gold without causing additional damage. Professional polishing is best done only once or twice a year.

What do I do if there are deep scratches?

You may have your gold-plated item replated if there are deep scratches. Replating gives jewelry pieces a fresh layer of gold for a renewed shine.

Should I remove scratches from gold coins?

Avoid removing scratches from gold coins. Polishing gold coins will likely cause more damage and further diminish their value. However, you may buff scratches if you don’t mind reducing your gold coin’s value.

Final thoughts

Once you’ve removed scratches from your gold item, remember to store it in a jewelry box or a fabric-lined pouch for safekeeping.

Ensure your gold jewelry pieces or coins do not touch each other when not in use to prevent scratches.

It’s best to wear special high-purity gold pieces, like 22k gold, less frequently to maintain their beautiful, pristine look.

Written by Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo

Jane Pardo is our senior gold & silver expert. Jane lends insight into precious metals investing, collecting, testing, and maintenance.