Caring for sterling silver jewelry

Posted by Donna Cook on

Tarnish on silver 

Unlike gold or platinum, sterling silver tarnishes and requires a bit of care to keep it bright and shiny.  Tarnish begins with a slight yellowing color and progresses to a dark greenish black, completely covering the once gleaming shine that makes silver so dazzling.  

What causes tarnish?

Both air and light are elements that cause silver to tarnish.  Keeping your silver in a plastic bag or densely woven fabric and putting it in a dark place such as a drawer or a jewelry box go a long ways toward keeping silver bright looking.  Also, wearing sterling silver is an easy way to keep jewelry from tarnishing.  Oils from your body actually protect the silver and wear away the unwanted tarnish.  Given enough time, however, silver will darken.  This is a natural characteristic of silver, however, the good news is that if it is sterling silver and not a silver plate, it can always be cleaned to look brand new again. 

How to clean silverWhile wearing your sterling silver jewelry often helps prevent tarnishing, the brilliant shine it had when it was new will not last unless you polish your silver with a special polishing cloth made especially for this purpose.  Silver polishing cloths can be purchased online or from a reputable jewelry store and are safer than dipping your jewelry into chemical solutions, which can potentially harm certain stones.  One of our favorite ways to polish sterling silver jewelry is using a product called, CONNOISSEURS JEWELRY WIPES.  We provide a complimentary Connoisseurs wipe with each piece of chakra jewelry, and a quick touch up with it will restore the shine to your Chakra Jewel in a matter of moments!  Moreover, this little wipe is non toxic, can be used on both sides and will last for many cleanings.

Caring for your sterling silver jewelry (or any jewelry for that matter), would include brushing it with a soft toothbrush in warm soapy water.  You'd be amazed at how much dirt and debris collect on jewelry that is worn with any regularity.  Mild hand or dish washing soap is fine, but stay away from harsh soaps and chemicals that may harm soft or porous stones such as turquoise, or have a delicate finish such as pearls.  Keep in mind that washing your jewelry will help the stone show off it's natural beauty, but the sterling silver will still need an occasional touch up with a polishing cloth or wipe. 



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