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Can You Have a Permanent Gold Tattoo?

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Unfortunately, any shiny gold tattoos you may have seen are temporary. Gold is not available in a permanent ink. If you want a gold tattoo, you’ll have to compromise with either a non-shiny gold colored tattoo or a temporary tattoo. If you think about how tattoos work, you’ll understand why a shiny tattoo will never be a possibility. Tattoo ink is placed under your skin, so it simply can’t be reflective – is your skin reflective? Even if glittery ink could be made – a layer of skin covering the tat would dull it completely.

Are There Any Permanent Metallic Tattoos?

Sadly, there is no way to make a permanent tattoo for any metallic color. The act of placing the ink under a layer of dull skin will not allow any metallic or shiny hue. Your skin isn’t shiny, so anything placed under your skin will not appear as shiny either. Your best bet for a permanent metallic tattoo is to find an artist that specializes in hypo-realism and can create something that looks metallic – but not shiny – by blending colors and tints.

How To Make a Tattoo Look Gold

You may be able to find an artist that can make non-metallic gold colors very well. By combining yellows and browns, your artist can create a very nice gold color. Of course these will not be shiny, but you can use it as a base. If you’re dedicated to the gold look – you can layer temporary gold foil tattoos on top of your regular tattoo. You’ll need to replace the temporary tattoo at least every two weeks, but it’s a way to get the complete look at least whenever you want it.

How Long Does a Gold Tattoo Last?

A gold tattoo that you may see pictures of is most commonly actually a very thin gold colored metallic foil that is pressed into the skin surface, similar to that of a temporary tattoo. Because these are actually placed on top of the skin instead of under it, the tattoo can maintain its shiny-ness. While the average temporary tattoo lasts about 5-10 days, these gold foil tattoos can last a little bit longer. Of course that depends on how high quality the foil is and how the tattoo is treated. If placed in an area that doesn’t move to much and stays out of direct sunlight, it’ll last a bit longer.


Unfortunately, shiny tattoos simply cannot be permanent. Because permanent tattoos have the ink placed under the skin, any ink that would by shiny could not appear as shiny through your non-shiny skin cells. If you want a true gold tattoo, you’ll need to go for a temporary tattoo made from gold foil. Gold foil temporary tattoos are completely safe, but unfortunately they do wear off after a week or two. If you need a permanent gold tattoo, you can visit an artist that specializes in realism and they will be your best bet to create an accurate color and look. But remember – no matter how good they are – it will not be shiny or metallic and it will not be truly gold.