What is the main reason for the black smudges? Ok, it is gold then why does black get on you clothes? This used to be one of the great mysteries of jewelry but now the most likely reason is make-up. That means make-up like ladies wear. Make-up is ground into very fine particles and seems smooth. With a really close look with magnification, make-up has very fine particles in it. These particles act just like sandpaper on the gold!
Since the sanding action is so very fine, the particles of gold that rub off are too small to show the gold color to the eye and simply look black, like a smudge. I believe this is about 90% of the problem ladies have with gold showing smudges on skin or clothing. Seems strange but this is true!
Other reasons for the black smudges. Is, if you don’t wear make-up that could be getting on the necklace, there are some possible other reasons. The problem with these are elusive and hard to track down to one reason or the other for the smudges. If you have worn gold like this before and had no problems, it becomes sort of a detective case. Ask yourself if make-up brand has changed. Ask if any meds might have changed. Ask if you are using a hot tub or swimming in the new necklace.
We have already talked about make-up. The meds is mentioned simply because in some cases, changes in medicines can affect the body chemistry and the chemicals the necklace will contact on your skin. This can sometimes lead to smudges from a chemical reaction to the jewelry metal.
Hot tubs and pools contain chlorine and that is not only damaging to jewelry but can cause a tarnish that will then become smudges on clothing. The tarnish parts are so fine you might not notice on the necklace and general cleaning does not remove that from inside the necklace links; so, smudges can come from tarnish on the gold and get on your skin or clothing.
Salt air will also cause smudges. The chemicals in the air react with body salts and oils and stuff in the air to cause a tarnish on the gold. This tarnish will sometimes be rubbed off onto clothing as the necklace moves along the cloth.
That about covers the black smudge causes. Sometimes it is truly a mystery and I have seen it happen with 10k, 14k, 18k jewelry. My suggestion first of all is to think about what I have said and see if any changes in make-up or meds or living conditions have happened since the necklace was purchased.
If you have other 10k necklaces, do you get any smudge from them? If not, then it is some component in the new necklace causing the problem. Different manufactures use different mixes of metals to make 10k gold for jewelry. Some will work for almost everyone but once in a while a person will find smudge problems with no apparent reason.
Like I said before, I would have to believe the necklace is the gold the seller says it is. The smudges happen with all kinds of karat gold jewelry, depending on the person wearing the gold and the environment. There is no simple cure unless you get a clue from your life and my suggestions of causes.
I would suspect that then necklace is not gold or since it is stamped 10k it is a low karat gold, only 37.5% gold and the rest is what may be causing the black color. Do you get any blacj on your skin? Usually if you take the piece back to the retailer they will refund your money or give you credit for another purchase.
It is probably the alloys used for the mix in the 10k are not stable or badly alloyed and is causing the black color. The best thing to do is to take it back. Try to go up to at least 14k. If the same thing happends with the 14k then it might be that it is the makup that you are using or it is something totall different. Either way you look at it there is something wrong with the alloy or it is the makeup that you use.