Sterling silver is a beautiful, modern metal loved by jewellers and clients alike.
The biggest issue you may experience whilst enjoying your new sterling silver jewellery is tarnishing. Suddenly your beautiful bright silver piece may look darker in places, with brownish spots, or in the worse cases it may be completely black.
Why has this happened?
No, it doesn't mean that your jewellery is faulty, or that it's not real silver, it has simply oxidised and needs cleaning. Oxidisation can happen in all sterling silver jewellery and is natural as the metals that make up sterling silver react with body chemistry or external factors.
Things that can cause oxidisation range from chemicals such as body lotions and hand cream, chlorine, bleach and even some perfumes. It can also occur when your piece comes into contact with moisture from sweat or bathing, or even in heavily polluted areas when handling some food items such as onions or eggs. Swimming whilst wearing your jewellery is a major culprit as is cleaning using bleach or chlorine based chemicals, or using multiple chemicals without removing your jewellery first.
Wearing your piece regularly will help as your body's natural oils prevent tarnish and storing in an air tight environment is essential when you're not wearing it.
No jewellery is indestructible, if you love it, look after it!!
Is it ruined?
No, not at all.
The joy of silver is that it can be easily cleaned and polished.
Use a polishing cloth for light tarnishing. Simply place the cloth on a firm surface and rub your piece briskly but gently over the cloth, like magic your piece will be bright and clean again.
Heavier tarnishing? Use some cheap white non-gel toothpaste and an old toothbrush, electric is quicker but a manual brush will work as well, brush for a couple of minutes and the tarnish will disappear! Rinse under some warm water and wash again with some dish soap and your piece will be as good as new. Avoid your glass or resin inclusion stones when you clean your piece.
Did you know you can even remove light scratches at home too?
Use a nail buffer block!! Don't use the really rough grades, but the last two or three grades will remove light scratches and polish your silver!! Never use this on glass or resin inclusion stones though, and don't overdo it!! You could wear your piece a bit thin if you overdo it.
If none on these tips work you can always book our refresh and repair service and we will be happy to help.