How to maintain your silver jewelry ?

Posted on January 16 2015


Vintage inspired set made with Tiger Eye, Agate, freshwater pearls, Swarovski pearls, Czech glass beads, silver tone charms with matching earrings with Sterling Silver ear wires. 

It's exciting to purchase a piece that jumps out of the rest and makes that connection with you while you wear it. Silver, gold, copper, brass and other artistic metals created in juicy designs with natural and even man-made gemstones.

Then comes the TLC that is required to keep them in pristine and sparkling condition. Sometimes the thought of maintaining silver jewelry may seem overwhelming, that's unless you keep a few simple and easy to follow rules in mind in taking care of them.

I've learned some simple steps along the way in handling sterling silver, plated, gold-filled and such, as well as in keeping them clean and in good condition.

Let's focus first on sterling silver and silver-plated, since that's what's common.

Vintage inspired set made with Tiger Eye, Agate, freshwater pearls, Swarovski pearls, Czech glass beads, silver tone charms with matching earrings with Sterling Silver ear wires.

There is difference between sterling silver and silver-plated. Sterling silver is pricier than just silver-plated and will have a marking that indicates that it is sterling silver. Silver-plated also tarnishes easier than sterling silver.

But, be not dismayed. With care, even silver-plated items can last, with just a few rules to follow in it's care:

  1. Washing the jewelry with mild soap and lightly warm water and soft brush for really small spaces in intricate designs is the best way to clean them when they need some thorough cleaning.
  2. For tarnished pieces, I would use a jeweler's cloth that is treated to remove the tarnish and would buff them until they shine.There are professional jewelry solutions for silver and metals which you can find in jewelry stores. But be sure to read the label to ensure you're getting the right one.
  3. Some of them, may be too harsh for pearls or other natural stones for example and may have other specifications. Just follow the solution's instructions to get optimum results for your jewelry.
  4. I find that keeping finished silver-plated and sterling silver jewelry in velveteen or flocked jewelry bags keeps them from getting tarnished the longest. The whole idea is to keep them away from air as this causes more of the undesirable tarnishing.
  5. Zip-locked bags also work just make sure that you don't mix the silver, with copper, brass and so on and so forth as each metal tarnish differently. Some more so than others and increase the tarnishing of the others.
  6. Keeping jewelry separate and not touching each other with the help of small pieces of white fabric also helps. (I just have a preference for the clean un-patterned fabric ones.) Recycle pieces of clean old t-shirts for this purpose. It also extends the life and use of the shirts while it protects your jewelry.
  7. Brown paper, since it's made from tree may still contain some of the tree acid and cause tarnishing. So you may want to avoid using brown paper.
  8. It's also a great idea NOT to spray your perfume with your silver jewelry on. Silver whether it's sterling or plated just don't like harsh chemicals, which can be found in perfumes (and other cosmetics included)_.
    It's better to put on perfume before putting on silver or other metal jewelry, and better still if you have a buffer of fabric between the jewelry and the perfumed skin area so there's no contact.
  9. Silver and silver-plated jewelry just don't enjoy harsh chemicals and should be kept away from them.
  10. Silver like gold is also a soft metal and is easily scratched so it's best not lay them on wood. Remember, the acid that's in wood? The acid causes tarnishing and the wood scratches the metal. It would be best to place your jewelry on a piece of cloth on top of the wood and not directly on it.
  11. Probably, the best way to protect your silver from tarnish, is by wearing it often. Your body oils will keep it from tarnishing and you'll also be enjoying a longer time wearing your jewelry.



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