Silver plating has been around since the nineteenth century. Its first use was creating more affordable jewellery for the general population. It is a cheap substitute of the real thing and with proper care it can be used for years without anyone noticing the difference. The look of the exterior is what the only thing that counts in jewellery, so there is no much sense in spending extra on something that will not improve the appearance at all.
Whinin this article are contained information on all the considerations a shopper has to make when purchasing silver plated necklaces. It offers an introduction to silver and silver plating and many advice on caring for the acquired jewellery. With the purchase of anything silver, comes the responsibility of keeping it in decent shape, so to make better sense on what to expect as a customer, being well informed on both subjects is required.
The Qualities of Silver and Plating
There is a lot to be known about silver and silver plated jewellery. Basically, the quality of the silver used dictates the quality of the necklace. A necklace made entirely out of silver and one that is only silver plated will not possess the same merits, but both will show greater or lesser overall quality depending on the silver used.
Silver is too soft to be used on its own when composing jewellery, so it is combined with other harder metals to create a usable alloy. Most commonly it is combined with copper. There are other metals used to create more tarnish resistant alloys. Among them are zinc, platinum, silicon and boron. All these metals are more expensive than the copper, making the alloys more expensive too. Still, the greatest percentage is silver, which is also pricey, so these metals that represent less than ten percent in the mix, rarely have a great impact.
Among the most popular silver alloys is the .925 silver known as sterling silver. This alloy is created by combining 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent from ono of the other previously mentioned metals. In recent years, a modified version of the sterling silver has appeared on the market, known as argentium sterling silver. This is a combination of silver and metalloid germanium that shows better stats in many fields, but is mostly cherished for its tarnish resistance.
One of the things that need to be known about silver plated necklaces is that they are less durable than the ones completely made out of silver. It is easier to wear through silver plated jewellery as the lair of silver is pretty thin. This is not only due to everyday friction, but the tarnishing process plays a big part in it too.
All types of precious gems can be combined with silver. Diamonds are among the best stones that can be combined with white metals in general. Still, no gems should be used with plated jewellery, as it does not last long.
Larger Silver Chains
When considering larger silver chains, going for a silver plated one is a very good idea. Massive chains made of silver can cost a lot even though the price can not be compared to gold or platinum. Still, a plated model will look exactly the same as a full silver one, so saving up money on the difference in material is a smart move.
Caring for the Silver Plated Jewellery
All silver and silver plated jewellery tarnishes over time. Silver is not that reactive in general but it does bind with the hydrogen sulfide found in the atmosphere. Some silver alloys are claimed to be more resistant to tarnishing, but none of them are tarnish proof. Proper care of the silver and silver plated jewellery involves many considerations regarding cleaning and storage.
How fast a silver necklace will tarnish is very dependent on whether or not it is being properly stored. Humidity accelerates the process, so after each use it is a good idea to wipe down the chain with a soft cloth. This will not dry it out completely, but making greater efforts can cause damage to the necklace. To limit the atmospheric exposure, keep all silver items within a sealed jewellery box on a dry location. This means that the bathroom should be avoided at all costs. Also, wooden boxes should not be used, as they can contain acids that speed up the tarnishing process. Even as an alloy, the silver plating is a soft material so avoid keeping this type of necklaces with other jewellery to prevent any scratches from occurring.
There are special bags made of tarnish resistant clothes that can significantly slow down the tarnishing process. If silver jewellery can be regarded as an investment, using this type of bags certainly protects it well. Sealing the silver necklaces in plastic bags is also a very good solution. Plastic bags that hermetically seal with a zipper can be found almost anywhere, and they also come in handy in keeping necklaces separate so none of them would become tangled.
Cleaning is the most tricky part when it comes to silver. When purchasing silver necklaces it is very practical to choose items that have greater flat surfaces. The more detailed a necklace is, the harder it is to clean. Also, smaller chains pose greater difficulties, as it is difficult to clean the space in between. The lair of silver is usually not that thick on silver plated jewellery, so techniques like polishing and buffing should be avoided. These types of cleaning are considered more rough and can inflict damage. The best way to clean silver is by doing it regularly. That way it takes less effort and safer methods can be employed.
Light cleaning is among the best ways to maintain a sliver necklace in a good shape. It works best when performed every other week. The whole process is very simple and does not take a lot of time. All that is needed is warm water, some dish soap and a small cloth. The cleaning is done by submerging the silver necklace under water and gently rubbing its surface with the cloth. Refer from using speed or force during the cleaning. If there are some areas with more texture, results might not be easily achieved. Just spend more time working those areas and after a while all tarnish will be dissolved. Never forget to remove parts that should not get wet like pictures within a locket.
If no cleaning has been done in a while, a different approach is needed. Thicker layers of tarnish need more than just soap and water to clean. Deeper cleaning is done by creating a chemical reaction to separate the tarnish from the silver. Dissolve a solution of water, salt, and baking soda in a bowl with warm water. When the solution is ready, place a piece of aluminium foil inside and put the necklace over it. After a while the tarnish will start breaking off in flakes from the silver. It should not take more than ten minutes for the whole process, but if it still looks dirty, leave it in longer. After all is done, wash it with water and dry it off.
Finding Silver Plated Necklaces on eBay
eBay offers a pretty nice selection on silver plated jewellery in general. Both men's and women's silver plated necklaces can be found in abundance. There is enough choice for anyone buyer to find one to his or hers liking.
Jewellery is pretty easy to find on eBay and there is more than one way to get to the desired results. Typing in 'silver plated necklaces' will provide all items available that fit the description. Within the results there will also be products that can be used for cleaning silver and other related items that are not pieces of jewellery. The results can be then managed by selecting the proper category and applying some of the filters. Among the most useful filters is the one regarding style. With it, the search can be specified to a pendant, chain or charm which will create a more manageable subset.
The silver plated necklaces can be reached from the category menu too. To get the desired results this way, once the desired necklace category is reached, the metal filter needs to be set to 'silver plated'. Both this one and the previously mentioned method will provide satisfactory results.
Silver plated jewellery might not be able to compare in quality to the jewellery made entirely out of silver, but it offers the exact same appearance. The appearance is what jewellery is designed for, so any silver plated peace can be deemed acceptable for its intended use. Silver plating can be worn through faster than full silver jewellery, so it is rarely combined with precious gems. All and all not a lot should be spent on plated jewellery as it is not that durable.
The durability of the silver plated necklace is very dependent on whether or not it is being properly taken care of. There are many considerations to be made regarding the care for a necklace of this type, but if all advice are followed well, it can maintain its original appearance for a long time. Making a small investment in storage for all silver jewellery can immensely affect the tarnish rate, and protect the value of all stored items.