Caring For Your Sterling Silver Jewellery
Most of our silver pieces are made with sterling silver--an alloy of 92.5% silver to 7.5% copper for strength--and sterling silver can tarnish over time. 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.
With the right care and attention, though, your handmade sterling silver jewellery will continue to look as lustrous and shiny as the day we made it.
Here are a few tips to help you care for your sterling silver jewellery:
- Don't wear sterling silver when swimming, or when using household chemicals such as bleach and ammonia.
- Put your jewellery on AFTER you've applied any hand lotions, hair products, or perfumes.
- When not wearing your jewellery, we suggest storing it in a ziplock bag to slow down the rate of tarnish.
- Use a polishing cloth instead of paper towels when polishing your silver. We include a complimentary polishing cloth with all our shiny sterling silver jewellery.
- When cleaning silver, we suggest a very gentle soap and water combination before patting the jewellery dry with a soft cloth. Be careful if you're cleaning gemstone jewellery, though--some stones don't react well to water or jewellery cleaner.
- The copper component of sterling silver can cause skin discolouration if you're sensitive to metals. In this case we 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. It will need to be reapplied every so often.
What about oxidized silver?
When we oxidize silver we're treating it with liver of sulfur to achieve a dark charcoal grey to black finish. It's a dramatic, smoky finish that adds depth to patterned silver and gives plain silver a cool minimalist effect.
But oxidization isn't permanent. It fades to a weathered silver look over time, depending on how much wear and friction it receives. Some people like this antiqued patina, whereas others prefer to keep their oxidized ring as dark and dramatic as possible and will want to reapply the finish every so often.
The good news is that you don't need liver of sulfur to reapply the oxidized finish when it fades - you can do it with hard boiled eggs! It's easy to do, we just recommend you don't let the gemstone or silver touch the egg directly.
WikiHow - Oxidize Silver with Egg Yolks