Five Ways To Prevent Sterling Silver Jewellery From Tarnishing

Have you ever wondered why your gorgeous sterling silver jewellery does not look quite as shiny as when you first acquired it?

The change in appearance will be a gradual process and you may not notice it at first but over time if care is not taken with your jewellery the silver will become a little dull and lose its luster and will not be the bright shiny colour you remember.

Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. It is the copper in the silver that may react to pollutants in the air and cause the silver to tarnish. Also perspiration from hands contain salts, oils and moisture that transfer to the metal surface and can lead to tarnishing, as well as chemicals found in cleaning products, deodorants, shower gels and perfume.

Some packaging can also cause tarnishing – paper, foam, cardboard and adhesives can commonly speed up tarnishing. So be careful of the gift box the jewellery came in!

To keep your sterling silver jewellery looking like new here are five tips to reduce the tarnishing process:

  1. Store your silver in an air tight plastic bag when not in use

The less exposure your silver has to the air the less it will tarnish. Therefore when not wearing it store in a small zip lock bag checking you have squeezed out all the air before sealing. It does mean you will not be able to have your pretty jewellery on display but the upside is it will stay beautiful! Just make sure the bags you use do not contain abrasive materials such as mylar or polyethylene. Ensure you put away your jewellery as soon as you take it off.

Sterling Silver Spiral Pendant

  1. When storing your silver use an anti-tarnishing strip

An anti-tarnish strip put inside the zip lock bag will help slow down any oxidization and therefore the tarnishing process. They are designed to absorb the pollutants in the air and are treated to prevent tarnishing. Ensure your bag is air-tight as the more air-tight the bag is the longer the strip will last. The strips are non-toxic and emit no fumes or residue.

     3Keep your jewellery away from solutions such as perfume, shower gel and cleaning products

Although you may love to wear your silver jewellery all the time, you need to be aware that there are times when it is best to remove it. Avoid wearing silver when cleaning the house, showering, swimming or exercising. Also as a side note silver can also react to strong heat and light.

     4. When wearing jewellery put it on last and take it off first

So put your jewellery on last after your makeup, deodorant, body lotions and perfume. And then take off the jewellery first when undressing so there is no contact with makeup removers etc. These two steps also prevent any snagging of your beautiful jewellery on your gorgeous clothes!

     5. Wear your silver regularly – it will lengthen the time is stays looking lovely

Despite all the tips above one of the easiest ways to prevent your lovely silver jewellery from tarnishing is to wear it!

How does this work? Well the natural oils on your skin will ‘clean’ the metal and polish it as it moves against your skin. These natural oils protect the silver from the things that increase the rate of the tarnishing process. It is perfectly fine to wear your silver in the open air, everyday, but it should not be stored out in the open where dust can be allowed to settle on it.

Sterling Silver Twisted Bangle

So if you want to prolong the shiny finish on your sterling silver jewellery follow the tips above and you will be able to enjoy wearing your sparkling jewellery for a long time to come. If your silver has already become tarnished please drop me a note and I will pass on some tips for restoring the lovely silver colour.

Deborah x

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