Will My Sterling Silver Jewellery Tarnish?

Silver jewellery is a top choice, right up there with gold. There are several reasons why people go for this metal. Some of the reasons why it is popular is because of the variety in which it can get crafted. This metal can be shaped quite intricately into necklaces, bracelets, and even mini charms. This jewellery offers a nice contrast to gold, and looks very contemporary when you mix the two metals in your outfit. As opposed to gold, it is also affordable, allowing you to build a collection that suits your closet. As it's a precious metal, one must always consider its costs and benefits when buying 925 pure sterling silver jewellery.

What’s the Difference between Common Silver and Sterling?

Sterling Silver vs Common SIlver

Silver in its purest form is quite malleable, but soft. When crafted into a piece of jewellery, it may not be able to hold its shape for quite long. This is where its sterling counterpart comes in; it is 92.5% pure and hence why it is often hallmarked as ‘925 silver’. This is an alloy, and usually comprises 7.5% copper. Copper makes the mixture harder and easier to shape into precious jewellery. This alloy is more resilient to damage and is suitable in most metal works. 

Will my silver ‘Tarnish’ or turn black ?

When (or any metal) exposed to the air around us, it reacts in a process called ‘oxidation’. In scientific terms, oxidation is a chemical process that occurs when there is an electron transfer— more specifically a loss of electrons from the metal. In terms of tarnished silver, this occurs when it loses electrons to the surrounding air; hence, it oxidises. It reacts with the sulphur in the atmospheric air. This results in the formation of silver sulphide, and this substance collects on the outer surface of the precious item. Hence, items made out of sterling may oxidise and form a thin red-brown, blue or black film (depending on the advancement of the tarnish). Having innumerable benefits, like most metals, it is not immune to this process. But it is not difficult to keep this discolouration at bay, and keep your anklets or ring sparkly and shiny. At ornate jewels we do e coating of rhodium polishing to our jewels which in turn protects it from turning black or tarnish 

Silver jewellery in box

Maintaining Your Precious Trinkets

As you keep wearing your ornaments, continued exposure to the air, body oils and dirt will cause some tarnish. Your earring collection, or other jewellery can be preserved quite easily with the right and effective techniques. With some simple steps, you can keep your favourite pieces of 925 silver jewelry clean and sparkling. An easy way is to clean your jewellery is while you shower, and immediately dry it afterwards. Make sure to use mild soap, like baby shampoo or low pH cleanser. Alternatively, you can also wipe it gently with a cloth, with circular scrubbing motions to preserve the shine. To ensure a more thorough wash, make a mixture of a few drops of mild soap with lukewarm water, and soak in the solution. Then, scrub your jewels lightly with a toothbrush. 

An important note— for your rhodium polished jewellery, you will need to be extra careful. For this, you must ensure that you do not use any chemicals on your baubles, only non-abrasive soap at best. For your semi precious treasures, like a pendant with a chain, make sure to use special cleaning cloth made to polish semi-precious metals,  including gold. To keep your jewellery tarnish-free for longer, make sure to store it in an airtight or vacuum sealed box. 

Getting Rid of Tarnish

Okay, so you wore your favourite rings for women for a long time, and they’ve now tarnished. What can you do to restore their original shine? Start by assessing the level of oxidation; for a light tarnish, giving it a scrub with a specially made cloth will do the trick. You will also find that light tarnish can be removed by scrubbing with a mix of baking soda and water, and letting the jewellery dry. For a deeper tarnish, you may have to use a specialised cleaning solution recommended by your jeweller. 

Ring cleaning

When you choose beautiful bijoux that you’ll love, always ensure that you take the right steps to keep it glistening at its best.