Caring for your jewelry

STERLING SILVER

Tarnishing (also known as oxidation) is the result that occurs when oxygen or sulfur comes into contact with silver. Tarnished silver is duller and sometimes dark in color or with yellowish hues. But remember that some of my products intentionally have a very particular finish such as aging to highlight certain details of a piece of jewelry. For this reason and in order to best preserve sterling silver jewelry here are some tips to consider.

What causes silver to tarnish?

925 sterling silver is a metal made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals. This composition makes 925 silver very popular due to its affordability and malleability, and because of this it tarnishes quickly.

If your silver jewel has darkened, looks dirty or yellow in color, don´t panic! This usually happens and is completely normal for silver to undergo changes in its color or shine. The most common reason for tarnishing is the result of a chemical reaction with airborne oxygen or sulfur particles.

Cleaning your sterling silver jewelry

Keep in mind that even the best-cared for jewelry sometimes requires cleaning. That’s why we suggest you clean your jewelry relatively often to maintain its shine and beauty with a polishing cloth. We also recommend using only the following silver jewelry cleaners: polishing cloth, polishing powder, jewelry cleaning liquid (remember for oxidized silver, look for specialized products that don´t strip away the darkened finish), and the 2-ply cloth.

When cleaning the jewel, make sure to do the following: use a special non-abrasive cloth to avoid scratches. Avoid areas that are intentionally oxidized or aged as part of the design. Avoid rubbing in a circular pattern – follow the pattern of the silver’s design or finish.

And gold plated/gilt jewelry?

Gently rubbing the surface of your gold plated jewelry with a soft jewelry cloth helps restore shine. AVOID use a polishing cloth as this will remove the finish. If your jewelry needs further cleaning, you can clean it with warm soapy water. Soak for a few minutes and then  clean it with a soft cloth.

Did you know?

Wearing your sterling silver jewelry frequently helps prevent it from tarnishing! The natural oils on your skin help protect and clean the silver. But there are certain activities that can cause your jewelry to tarnish quickly. It´s recommended to remove sterling silver jewelry before doing any of the following activities:

  • Swimming and sun bathing
  • Taking shower
  • Applying hair products, lotion or makeup

Proper care is the key

Paying attention to how you store, wear, and clean sterling silver jewelry can significantly prolong its life. Always remember to store jewelry in a dry and airtight place. Wear the jewelry often, but be sure to remove it when bathing, swimming, or working with certain chemicals or foods that contain sulfur. As a general rule, it is always best to put on jewelry after dressing and applying perfume or makeup. Attempting to polish the jewelry before it tarnishes too much will minimize the amount of work required, but make sure you use the correct type of polishing cloth and powder. Try to avoid that your jewelry undergoes hard knocks or falling, as this can cause cracks and stones or pearls can be dislodged.

Taking these simple steps will help keep your sterling silver jewelry in good condition for a long time!

Last but not least, storing sterling silver jewelry

Humidity and oxygen will tarnish sterling silver jewelry, so it’s important to properly store the pieces to minimize the oxidation process. Here are some storage tips:

  • Store jewelry in an area with low humidity (avoid the bathroom).
  • Store each piece in an airtight bag (zip locks are a good example).
  • Place a packet of silica or chalk in the storage bag.
  • Avoid leaving sterling silver jewelry directly on wood, as wood often contains acids that can affect the silver’s surface.

 

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