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sterling silver

Sterling silver is a popular choice for everyday jewelry because it’s durable, affordable, and easy to care for. It’s often used to make a wide range of accessories, including rings, bracelets, and earrings.

Tarnishing and How to Prevent It

Sterling silver can tarnish if it’s not properly stored or worn. The best way to prevent it is to take proactive steps to help keep it looking its best for longer.

Use a storage container that’s sealed to prevent air from entering it. This is important because new air will cause the silica packs to become saturated and lose their effectiveness.

Avoid storing your sterling silver in areas that are high in humidity, such as bathroom cabinets, closets, or drawers. This can accelerate tarnishing and discoloration, especially if the air is treated with chemicals.

Wear your sterling silver often to counteract the effects of tarnishing, and always store it in a cool place when not in use. The oils in your skin keep your jewelry lustrous for much longer than it would if you were to leave it unattended in a dark jewelry box.

Clean your jewelry regularly using a solution of warm water and mild soap, rubbing it gently with a soft polishing cloth. Doing this every few months can keep your sterling silver looking as good as it did when you first purchased it.

Check your sterling silver for hallmarks and maker’s marks – These markings can be helpful in identifying the piece’s age, country of origin, and maker. In the UK, hallmarks date back more than 500 years and are accompanied by a letter that details where the silver was made.

Remove your jewelry before doing household chores, going to the beach, or playing in the park – These activities can accelerate tarnishing by exposing your pieces to chemicals and perspiration. They’ll also increase the amount of oxygen that gets in contact with your silver, which can lead to oxidation and discoloration.

Don’t wear your sterling silver in the shower or pool – The humidity and chlorine in these places can also damage your sterling silver. The heat and UV rays of the sun can also speed up tarnishing.

Test your sterling silver for tarnishing with an acid test – Many established jewellery dealers will propose this, but you should always use gloves and eye protection to avoid injury. The acid tests that you can purchase online will allow you to determine if your piece of sterling silver has tarnished, as well as what colour it’s turning.

You can also try dipping your jewelry into a silver polish paste, scrubbing it with a rag, and then rinseing it with warm water. This can help remove any remaining paste from the decorative areas of the piece and bring your sterling silver back to a bright, white sheen.