Sterling Silver Jewelry Care
Q: How should I take care of my sterling silver jewelry on a day-to-day basis?
- Make your jewelry the last thing you put on in the morning, and the first thing you take off at night.
- Remove when cleaning, swimming and taking a shower. The chemicals used during these activities could cause immediate tarnishing.
- Remove when sleeping. Movement during sleep can cause stress.
- Store your jewelry in a cool, dry place. The bag provided will slow tarnishing and prevent scratching by other pieces in your jewelry box.
- Wipe your jewelry clean with a soft cloth before returning it to storage to remove any body oils and dirt.
- With normal daily wear, even when adhering to the above recommendations, the wire will eventually need replacing. You may want to have your jewelry periodically restrung to prevent breakage or loss.
Q: How do I clean my sterling silver jewelry?
- To keep your jewelry looking its best, periodically clean it in a mild soapy water mixture and a SOFT toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly with water and dry completely with a soft cloth.
- Never use paper towels or tissues to dry your jewelry as they contain fibers that can scratch.
- I used to say you should never use a silver polishing (or treated) cloth on Swarovski crystals, as the chemicals on the cloth could scratch the surface and dull the shine. However, I have since discovered a polishing cloth (called the Sunshine Polishing Cloth) which does not scratch crystals and is perfect to care for your new jewelry. The only caveat is that the Sunshine Polishing Cloth will remove the oxidation from Bali beads, so if you are not careful, you could change the appearance of your jewelry by using this cloth enthusiastically.
- Never let your jewelry soak in water, as it could corrode the wire the jewelry is strung on. If it does get wet, make sure you dry it completely.
- Never use any type of jewelry cleaners or dips. The letter beads and Bali beads have an "antiqued" appearance. They have been oxidized to enhance their detailed appearance. These solutions could remove the oxidation (or "antiquing").
Q: Will my sterling silver jewelry tarnish?
Yes, all sterling silver jewelry will tarnish. The exposed layer of silver reacts with chemicals and even the elements in the air to form something called "patina". It appears as a faint golden glow that you may notice after wearing your jewelry a number of times. Certain things like rubber, latex, chlorine and sulfur can actually burn your silver, so keep them as far apart from each other as possible.
Q: Why should I pay more for sterling silver jewelry if it is going to tarnish anyway?
- The difference is the amount of silver. Silver-plated jewelry only has a very thin layer of silver over base metal. When the available silver has tarnished and been rubbed away by cleaning and/or polishing, you are left with the dingy base metal components that will never shine again. Very cheap silver-plated jewelry is actually made with plastic and it will look even worse!
- Sterling silver has unlimited layers to work with. If your jewelry has lost its brilliant shine, follow the instructions above to remove the layer of patina and reveal the next layer of shiny silver!
- Proper sterling silver jewelry care ensures you will enjoy your jewelry for years to come.
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