The A to Z of Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver jewelry can serve you for generations and generations, all you need to do is to take proper care of it. The lustrous sheen that can come from this metal is not comparable to any other; the right polishing will get you this lustrous shine. Apart from being beautiful and strong, sterling silver is also fashionable, hypoallergenic and affordable.
Sterling silver is actually an alloy. It is made up of 92.5% silver while the other 7.55 is other metals; normally copper. Pure silver is normally too fine to withstand constant wear and this is the reason as to why manufacturers opt to mix it with other metals. This serves to at least enhance its durability. Normally silver does not react with water and oxygen but the other metals that are included in the jewelry pieces might and this might result in the finishing being tarnished. The tarnishing begins with the formation of a yellow tinge and after a while you will notice a black residue on the silver piece’s surface. A higher content of silver usually makes it hard for the piece of jewelry to tarnish. A large number of the manufacturers will opt to use rhodium to plate their pieces of silver jewelry. The plating of rhodium usually works to develop a durable and shiny finish that is resistant to corrosion, scratching and tarnishing.
The most effective way of ensuring that your sterling silver jewelry does not lose its lustrous shine is to wash it in warm water using detergent that is free of phosphate after each time you put it on. After washing it, use a soft piece of cloth to thoroughly dry it. It would be best for you to use eye glass cloths to do the drying. After the drying, store the jewelry in an anti-tarnish bag or cloth or a zip-lock bag. You could also choose to work with jewelry boxes that have anti-tarnish linings. Never ever put your jewelry pieces in non-archival cardboard boxes, plastic cling wrap or newspapers; this will only enhance the tarnishing process.
Ensure that you never use any product that contains turpentine, acetone, ammonia or bleach while still putting on your jewelry. You should also avoid swimming in chlorinated water with the jewelry pieces still on. This sis imply because these chemicals will result in the breaking down of the alloys that make the metal and this will result in the surface having a dull finish or pits. Ensure that the pieces also do not come into direct contact with lotions and perfumes.