How to Care For Silver
by: Alice Stacy
Silver jewelry has a lovely patina, but the sad fact is that the patina
darkens with age, turning from the original brilliant silver, to a light gold,
and if left long enough it will become bronzed and then a black/blue.
This is due to the chemical reaction of the silver, with sulfides present in the
environment. This is usually due to airborne pollutants, but can also be
transferred to the jewelry on your hands.
One of the first rules of keeping your silver jewelry shining, is to store it
properly in acid-free paper, or cloth especially for that purpose. Put them in a
drawer or other safe place, that is away from exposure to wood or other types of
It is best to keep jewelry polished, instead of trying to play "catch up" when
it has become heavily tarnished. But there are a number of ways to deal with the
There are many home solutions, such as using white toothpaste and a soft brush.
However, some jewelers point out that silver is not tooth enamel, and can't
withstand the abrasive content. Although on things like chains, it's unlikely
you would see any resulting scratches.
Commercial solutions do work, but depending on the nature of your jewelry (e.g.
whether it contains gemstones or pearls), you may not be able to submerge it
completely, and the cleaning will be uneven.
One basis of both commercial and home cleaning solutions, is the creation of an
electrochemical cell, where there is a metal ingredient that is anodic to
silver. This means that it will help turn the silver in the sulphide tarnish,
back to silver.
A favorite home treatment is to line a pot with aluminum foil, one of the metals
anodic to silver, put your jewelry in, and cover it with water, then add several
tablespoons of baking soda. Boil gently until you see that the discoloration is
gone. Your jewelry may be completely clean, or may have a white powder on its
surface from the oxidization. This can be removed easily with a baking soda
paste. Remember to exercise caution in cleaning silver jewelry. If it is not
purely silver, like a chain or bracelet, the treatment you use can damage soft
stone or pearls.
Gemstone Care & Cleaning Tips
Gemstones are quite literally hard as rock, buy they can be damaged from
careless handling and negligence. Here are some tips for keeping your gems and
jewelry looking fabulous for years to come.
Twelve Tips for
Greater Enjoyment of your Gold and Silver Jewelry
Jewelry can be beautiful to look at, fun to buy, and can make bold and revealing
statements about you. Hear are some tips for greater enjoyment of your favorite
gold and silver jewelry.
for Making Silver Jewelry Last a Lifetime
Silver is a soft metal that requires ongoing cleaning to maintain its original
luster, and proper storage to prevent scratches. There are several easy tricks
of the trade that professional jewelers have developed to maintain the beauty of
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