All Silver will tarnish over time, therefore it is important to polish regularly to avoid excessive tarnishing.
Silver Jewellery should be cleaned using a high quality cloth. Don't use a Silver Dip product or any heavy scouring agent. You may get a beautifully bright polished effect to begin with, but dips can damage the metal and may end up actually removing the finish!
Silver itself, is mostly resistant to corrosion, water and oxygen will not cause a reaction at normal temperatures and pressures but it will tarnish with exposure to air. The tarnish substance itself is called 'Black Silver Sulfide', most high quality jewellery cleaning cloths act by removing this sulfur element whilst leaving the metal surface undamaged.
The most commonly used alloy grade for jewellery is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or other materials which creates its strength. Copper reacts with oxygen and this is why silver also develops a tarnish.
~ Tips for looking after your jewellery ~
* Salt - this will corrode most metals so avoid wearing your jewellery in the sea.
* Chlorine - remove your jewellery before swimming, Chlorine is not at all kind to Silver.
* Sunlight - exposure will increase the rate at which tarnishing occurs.
* Sweat/perfume/cosmetics - after wearing an item, wipe it with a moist cloth as a build up will react with the metal.
* Avoid storing your jewellery crammed all together - the best place to store your jewellery is in the box that it came in.
As some gemstones are more precious than others it pays to take the correct care when cleaning.
:: Transparent Crystalline Gemstone
Simply soak in water with a touch of gentle soap. If necessary use a soft toothbrush to scrub behind the stone.
:: Ultrasonic Cleaner
Diamonds, Rubies and Sapphires will be fine but many other gems may not be....if in doubt don't risk it.
Diamonds, Rubies and Sapphires can be cleaned with a touch of ammonia and water to add extra sparkle.
:: Opaque Gemstones
Like Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, Malachite, these require special care. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner and never use ammonia or any chemical solution. These gems should be wiped clean with a moist cloth gently. Most of these gemstones can be porous and may absorb chemicals, even soap, which then may results in a build up inside the stone and discolour it.
:: Organic Gems
Due to their organic nature, these gems are both soft and porous. Pearls, Coral and Amber should only ever be wiped clean with a moist cloth. Be careful about everyday chemicals too, for example hairspray, cosmetics and perfume over time can damage Pearls in particular.
Following these simple tips will keep your jewellery looking perfect for years to come!
For handcrafted designer jewellery and accessories, that you can be sure no one else will be wearing.....
~ Silver Street Studio ~