Silver Jewelry- Your Soulmate
Silver is one of the most versatile metals, especially for jewelry, and has been in use since 4000 BC. While fashion fads come and go, silver is here to stay, for its sheer flexibility to fit various styles makes it a crowd favorite. Nevertheless, there are common questions that are always posed to us about how to buy and maintain silver jewelry and so we have answers to all things silver.
1. What type of silver should I buy?
There are many varieties of silver on the market. Of these, sterling silver is the most commonly known and used. The majority of silver used today is sterling silver, which is made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal (usually copper). This is to make the jewelry more durable and elegant, as 100% pure silver is very soft and prone to damage. Rhodium is also applied to silver to give it a slightly darker finish.
2. Is sterling silver valuable?
Sterling silver is much more affordable than its precious metal counterparts, gold, palladium and platinum. Regardless, it is one of the most beautiful metals with an exceptional color and sheen. Because it is a very small fraction of the cost of gold or platinum, sterling silver is perfect for every budget jewelry lover.
3. Why does silver tarnish?
If you have ever owned any sterling silver jewelry, you will know that over time it loses its luster and turns black due to exposure to air. All sterling silver will tarnish over time, regardless of quality or price, so don't worry.
Maintenance of silver jewelry is a key factor in determining how soon it will tarnish.
Storage: One main way to slow down tarnishing of silver jewelry is to store it properly such that it is not exposed to air. You can store silver in airtight bags. A good idea is to add anti-tarnish strips into the bags. This prevents tarnishing. You can also store the silver in an air-restricted jewelry box or other low humidity storage method.
Chemicals and exposure: After wearing your jewelry, make sure you clean it before you store it away. Body oils and other elements can build up on the surface of the silver and speeds up tarnishing. It’s a good idea to remove all silver jewelry prior to contact with water such as swimming and showering. Keep away from household chemicals, body fluids or any sulfur containing item such as latex, wool and onions. Don’t get it in contact with makeup, lotions or cosmetics either. Always add your silver jewelry last.
Maintenance: When washing your silver, use warm water and soap to wash the items gently. Dry with a soft cloth to remove dry water spots and store carefully.
4. If my silver jewelry is tarnished what do I do?
For tarnished silver, the best way to remove the unsightly black coating is to polish the silver jewelry. There are a few different ways to go about polishing:
Use a silver jewelry cleaner. Use a small amount on a soft cloth and gently buff the silver a few times. Afterwards, wash the silver in warm water, rinsing off the cleaner.
Use a silver polishing cloth. When polishing your silver with a cloth, avoid rubbing in circles as this can accentuate any scratches. Instead, rub the silver back and forth.
Have your silver professionally cleaned by taking it to a jeweler.
A safer alternative is to make your own silver cleaning dip at home. Here is one way to do it using baking soda and water. Make a paste of baking soda and water and use a clean cloth to apply a pea-sized amount to the silver and polish. For etched, stamped or detailed items, thin the paste with more water and use a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush to get the cracks and crevices. Run the silver piece or pieces under running warm water, and dry with a clean cloth.
There are numerous other ways to make your own silver cleaning solutions at home. You can find an alternative recipe here.
Silver jewelry comes in a wide variety of styles and textures and is relatively easy to maintain. Silver is also ideal for gifting whether in coin form or fashion jewelry. The adaptability of silver to all trends and fashion eras makes silver an ideal addition to your jewelry basket at home. We’ve heard about diamonds being a girl’s best friend but silver jewelry is her true soulmate. So go ahead and pick up that silver piece you’ve wanted for a while!