One of the worst feelings is to see your favourite jewelry piece lose its silvery sheen and develop a brownish-black coating. But don’t be scared! This is normal and it’s very easy to fix.
Why does silver tarnish
Most jewelry that is Sterling or 925 silver, is actually 92.5% silver with the remaining quantity being 7.5% of another metal, like copper. This doesn’t mean that your jewelry isn’t silver but pure silver is very soft and we wouldn’t be able to create wearable jewelry with 100% silver.
Copper reacts with gases in the air to create a thin film on top of the silver known as Copper Sulphide. Funnily enough, this thin film actually protects the metals below it!
Why do some pieces tarnish faster than others?
Three factors contribute to how fast the jewelry will tarnish:
1) How much humidity is in the air;
2) Certain packaging products (for example, paper and cardboard);
3) Fingerprints and perspiration
Our experience has shown that Fingerprint and perspiration is especially important for how fast your jewelry will tarnish. People sweat differently, which will affect the rate at which the jewelry loses its shine.
Can I prevent the tarnish?
All silver will tarnish eventually but you can prevent how fast it will do so.
- Always keep your jewelry in a specialized box or in the packaging boxes we send them in. This will reduce its exposure to the gases in the air that makes the jewelry tarnish.
- If you wear a piece during a very hot day and you sweat a lot, make sure to wipe your jewelry down with a microfibre cloth to ensure any and all sweat is remove.
How do I remove tarnish?Tarnish is an inevitable reality of owning and wearing jewelry, especially if said pieces are in 925 silver. Here’s the process we use and recommend to clean your jewelry:
- Use a microfibre cloth to wipe of any excess dirt or dust off the piece;
- Buy and use a silver cleaning solution. We highly recommend Connoisseurs’ Liquid Dip Cleaners.
- Rinse thoroughly with water and wipe off any excess water with a microfibre cloth.
- Make sure to wear gloves to protect your fingers from the solution.