Care for Your Silver!
WE love silver jewelry, don’t we?
It’s a no brainer, given its luster, shine, brilliance, understated sophistication, and affordability. Over continuous use and wear the jewelry gets tarnished (loses its shin and turns dark). We have clients writing in to us about silver that looks tarnished and dark, and what is the best way to store silver. We thought it would be good idea to do a little blog on caring for your silver.
Most of us tend to neglect the beautiful silver jewelry that we own. The result – tarnished and dark pieces. The cause – when humidity, oxygen or sulfur come in contact with silver, they chemically bond to its surface and cause the silver to appear dirty or discolored.
All you need is to read on a few facts about the metal and adopt some tricks for cleaning. Presto, your silver jewelry will sparkle like a star and shine its way through.
Taking care of silver also helps when you know the purity of silver. The purity of the metal determines the speed at which it will tarnish. For example, if the purity of silver is .950 the silver will bend easily as also tarnish faster in comparison to. 925, due to its purity. Tarnishing is a tad bit different than oxidation. Ironically darkened silver or oxidized silver is also in fashion now. For some works silversmiths intentionally allow parts of the jewelry to darken and oxidize (treated chemically) in order to have tones and highlight parts of the jewelry. In this case the detailing can be lost, though, with excessive cleaning and polishing. So oxidized jewelry should be cleaned with care, in order to keep the detailing pronounced.
A little care goes a long way. Caring for your silver pieces will leave the shine on for years to come. It needs hardly an effort to do so. It is as simple as waking up every morning and brushing your teeth J
Wear: You can avoid tarnish by wearing your jewelry often. The oils in your skin will “clean” the silver and keep it looking shiny.
Avoid exposure: Continuous contact with household chemicals, perspiration, rubber, chlorinated water, or any sulfur added substance will cause the silver to corrode or tarnish faster. So, if you want to preserve the sheen, you may remove the silver jewelry while addressing your chores. Outside atmosphere like extreme sunlight, humidity also darken the silver. Chemical infused products like lotions and cosmetics, hair spray, perfumes, deodorants also increases tarnishing.
Storage: While you would want to wear your silver as much as possible, little things can help reduce the tarnish. Open them while you are doing your chores. The other being proper storage. Store your silver wrapped in cotton and store in air tight bags/ pouches. Try to make sure that the storage area has low humidity. You can also place a piece of chalk, a packet of activated charcoal, or a container of silica gel in the storage area to minimize tarnish. It will serve a twofold purpose. It soaks the unwanted humidity of the jewelry as also protects it from the external factors. Another important thing to note is not to store multiple jewelry pieces in the same bag: silver is a soft metal, so the individual pieces can scratch each other.
Love your silver and show it….