Silver jewelry is beautiful. It has an excellent luster and also comes in elegant, customizable designs. Silver is lightweight, and that makes it an excellent choice if the ornament is to be worn on a regular basis.
Silver is also much more abundant than gold or platinum. So if you want to buy jewelry that is ethnic yet it does not burn a hole in your pocket, statement jewelry pieces made up of silver are your best option.
Silver jewelry may be beautiful, but it is equally likely to get tarnished if not maintained well, so here are a few tricks and tips you need to keep in mind while using silver jewelry. Silver ornaments require care at all stages of usage, that is, while wearing them and storing them.
So are a few things to keep in mind to make your statement silver ornament last for generations to come.
One of your worst nightmares can come true when the exquisite silver piece that your
A noble metal is not very reactive to compounds like water vapor that are naturally present in the air. However, silver can get tarnished if it is exposed to compounds like hydrogen sulfide, which is present in the air. So the best way to protect your fine silver jewelry piece from acquiring a blackish tinge is to protect it against tarnishing.
In order to protect an ornament against tarnishing, you can either keep it carefully inside a zip lock pack. A zip lock pack usually creates a moisture deficiency condition, and this, in turn, prevents the tarnishing of the metal.
Alternatively, you can cover the ornament in an anti-tarnish cloth. Anti-tarnish cloths are treated with chemicals such that they are made free of acid, and these prevent the tarnishing of silver. Nowadays, you also get an anti-tarnishing strip. These strips are chemically treated to absorb substances that cause tarnishing.
However, if you cannot get hold of a zip lock or an anti-tarnish strip, then you can store your ornament along with some chalk. Chalk pieces absorb moisture, so they can reduce the tarnishing of your precious metal.
An anti-tarnishing strip or a zip lock pack will remove moisture and hydrogen sulfite to a great extent. But it is still advisable to avoid storing the ornament with droplets of water. So you can clean your jewelry with a dry piece of cloth, or you must dry out the water completely before going for long-term storage.
Silver is lightweight and elegant; customized designs are great for everyday wear, but if you want them to last, remove them while doing the dishes. While washing or cleaning, your hands and fingers come in contact with the municipal water supply.
Most of the time, the municipal water supply is rich in bleaching agents like chlorine. Bleaching agents are added to the municipal supply of water to disinfect the water and make it potable. However, strong bleaching agents like chlorine may not be suitable for your silver jewelry.
Also, you might inadvertently chip off parts of your precious jewelry while scrubbing and rinsing. So it may be slightly inconvenient, but removing the silver jewelry pieces like rings, bracelets, and bangles is worthwhile before you start cleaning for the day.
Sunlight may not directly affect silver or gold, but if the jewelry piece has been plated with metals like rhodium, it might be a cause of concern. Visible light has been shown to break down and cause deterioration in elements that coat silver jewelry. So the next time you step into the pool or go sunbathing, remember to remove your silver piece.
You can use a ziplock bag, remove your jewelry while performing household chores like cleaning, or remove it while sunbathing to keep your jewelry safe. But if you have a piece that is already tarnished. Here are the steps to repair and recover an already damaged piece of silver ornament.
- Use a mild soap or detergent along with water. The easiest way to clean anything is to use a soap solution. Soaps are great at removing oily substances and regular dust and grime that gets deposited on rings and bracelets. Soaps and detergents bind to the oily dirt via their hydrophobic tails and pull the oily substance away from the metal.
However, a harsh soap or detergent is best avoided as it will do more harm than good in the long run.
- Use baking soda with a mild acid like acetic acid. The chemical reaction between baking soda which is chemically a bicarbonate, and a mild acid produces carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is excellent at removing grime and dirt. So if a simple soap solution does not work, use baking soda instead.
- Take it to a jeweler for polishing. If you think that you are unable to get rid of all the dirt on your signature jewelry piece, you can visit a jeweler. A jeweler will thoroughly clean the ornament and coat the piece with a new layer of metallic silver. A fresh coating will restore the shine and luster of your old ornament in no time.
Protecting your jewelry against moisture and removing all the oily dirt that accumulates with time goes a long way in keeping your ornaments clean. However, if you wish to wear something on a regular basis, it is bound to lose its luster and appeal with time. So you must visit the jeweler once every six months or once a year to get a thorough professional cleaning done along with applying a new layer of silver.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.