fifth heaven designs - wedding & bridal jewellery handmade in australia
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Sterling Silver Ring Care Tips

silver care

Your jewellery is brand new - handmade for you by us in our Brisbane studio. And you want to keep it looking brand new. Here's how to best care for your sterling silver pieces.

A lot of commercial sterling silver jewellery has been rhodium plated to prevent tarnish. We don't rhodium plate our jewellery, because we aren't fond of the chemicals involved in the plating process and we think sterling silver looks beautiful as it is. Rhodium plating also wears off, so would need to be reapplied every few years.  With the right care and information, though, you don't need plated jewellery. You can keep your sterling silver ring as bright and shiny as it was the day we made it.

 

Information about Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver to 7.5% copper for strength. It's mostly the copper component that causes tarnishing & skin reactions. How quickly sterling tarnishes depends on multiple factors, including air quality, body chemistry and whether or not it has been exposed to chemicals in soaps, cosmetics and cleaning products. Water can also accelerate tarnish, sometimes contributing to skin irritation. We'd recommend taking your jewellery off when showering, swimming, or applying skin products. 

If your silver tarnishes, or acquires a patina, this can be removed through polishing. We supply a little polishing cloth & care card with each purchase (as pictured above). When not in use, store your jewellery in a ziplock bag to slow down the rate of tarnish. We package your unoxidized silver jewellery in a ziplock bag with an anti-tarnish tab included.

As the sterling alloy includes copper, this can sometimes lead to skin discolouration. The greenish colour is caused by a reaction between the metal & acids in your skin - sometimes hand lotions can react with the metal as well, which is why we advise taking jewellery off during application. If you're sensitive to sterling silver or copper, we'd suggest applying a coating of Jewelry Shield to the inside of the ring band. It comes in a little bottle similar to nail polish and includes an applicator brush. This does have to be reapplied every so often, but it provides a barrier layer which prevents the metal/skin interaction and thus the discolouration. 

How to Clean Sterling Silver Jewellery

Heirloom quality jewellery lasts for years - but grime can build up over time. You don't have to invest in silver polish to brighten up your silver, you can clean it with basic household items like mild dish soap or baking soda. Just add a few drops to warm water, dip a cloth or sponge into the mixture, and gently rub the metal. Rinse in cool water, and pat with a soft cloth until it is dry.

Some gemstones aren't best suited to this treatment, though. Certain types of opals in particular need to be kept away from water. It's best to use a polishing cloth to clean a gemstone ring. Remember to check under the setting to make sure grime hasn't built up there.



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