When you first purchase your sterling silver jewelry, it has a stunning shine to it. A few weeks later, however, you might become frustrated keeping that same vibrancy after wearing your jewelry or even just keeping it in a box. Worry not: there is always a way to return a tarnished piece of sterling silver to its former glory.
Sterling silver tarnishes because the metals react with moisture in the air to create a faint golden layer of tarnish known as patina. You may notice that the pieces of sterling silver jewelry you adorn everyday tarnishes slower than those that sit in your jewelry box. This is because your skin naturally secretes oils that prevent your jewelry from tarnishing quickly. However, this does not mean that exposing your jewelry to everything your hands touch is necessarily a good thing. Here are a few simple tips to keep your sterling shining.
Use and Wear:
Sterling silver is a very sensitive metal, when it is exposed to even the most docile of chemicals; it tends to speed up the tarnishing process. Anything from hand lotion, to chlorine and even shampoos can decrease the shine in sterling silver. Avoid wearing it in the shower and if you’re wearing a bracelet or ring, try to protect it while washing your hands. It should also be the last thing you put on in the morning before you’re out the door: don’t put it on before applying any lotion, cologne or perfume you may use.
A simple airtight Ziploc bag does wonders to protect less frequently worn sterling pieces from the elements. Wrapping your jewelry in a soft cloth before placing it in the Ziploc bag always helps too!
There are several different methods when it comes to cleaning, using either store bought products or home remedies. Mix a bit of warm water with baking soda and you have a great cleaning solution. Dunk your silver pieces in and wipe the tarnish off using your soft wash cloth.
For other methods bought in stores, I am personally a fan of dry jewelry wipes. These cloths have a delicate chemical on them that works not only on sterling silver, but they work on gold, platinum as well as most semi-precious stones. Since the cloth is dry, it’s much easier to use than any goopy liquid jewelry cleaners.
With either of these, it’s important to always use a soft cloth or a soft bristled toothbrush. Sterling silver is a relatively soft metal and can be scratched easier than one may think.
It’s important to note that Sterling Silver is not pure silver. Pure silver is actually much too soft to be used in jewelry as it bends and breaks very easily. For this reason, it is common practice to dilute pure silver with copper to get a material that still shines like silver however is much stronger. True sterling silver will have a .925 stamp. This is to note that the piece is real sterling silver as it contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or other metals. If a piece contains any less than 92.5% pure silver, than by industry- and legal- standards, it is too diluted to be considered sterling silver.
Now, enough being serious! Scroll right to check out some of our favorite sterling silver jewelry created on CustomMade. Which is your style? Leave a comment and let us know – or check out our Silver Pinterest Board.