Sterling silver requires special care to preserve its appearance and longevity. The American standard for sterling silver, is a mixture of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper to enhance luster, strength and durability.
Sterling silver tarnishes when exposed to salty air, chlorine, sulfur, humidity, perspiration, cosmetics, household bleach and other strong chemicals. To prevent tarnish as much as possible, we recommend that you store your fine jewelry in a safe, dry place when engaging in the following activities:
- Household and outdoor chores
- Showering, bathing or swimming in pools, hot tubs, hot springs and the ocean
- Using lotion, hair products, fragrances and other cosmetics
- Exercising at the gym or during contact sports
- Preparing meals
How to Clean Sterling Silver
- Apply a small amount of silver jewelry cleaner to a soft cloth.
- Gently rub the silver with the cloth several times.
- Rinse the silver thoroughly in warm water.
- Blot dry and shine your silver with a polishing cloth or mitts. This will remove the tarnish and restore shine.
How to handle sterling silver products that have an oxidized finish?
Oxidized silver is deliberately tarnished, which creates a black sheen for an antique or discolored appearance. Due to its tarnished nature, caring instructions for oxidized silver differs from traditional, non-oxidized silver materials.
You should avoid using a silver polish as this will strip the oxidized finish from the silver. Instead, we recommend cleaning your oxidized silver by using a dry, clean cloth to avoid scratching. Only clean oxidized silver when necessary.
Polishing silver is done to remove tarnish and shine silver pieces and should only be done a few times in the lifetime of a piece. This is because every time silver is polished, metal is removed from the piece.
How to store sterling silver?
Keep silver absolutely dry when storing. If your silver is used frequently, keep it away from excessive exposure to air and store it in a tarnish-proof cloth, such as a flannel pouch. Good storage boxes are lined with tarnish-proof fabric and have a separate space for each individual piece. If your climate is humid, place a small packet of desiccant crystals inside your storage area, whether it is a closed box or a flannel roll. Avoid contact with rubber bands or other rubber products. The sulfur in rubber causes tarnishing and corrosion.