Trade Secrets for Making
Silver Jewelry Last a Lifetime
by: JP Cambert
Silver is a soft metal that requires ongoing cleaning to maintain its
original luster, and proper storage to prevent scratches. Any jewelry or other
item made with silver will change color over time due to a natural oxidation
process with sulfides in the air. This can cause items to turn yellow, and then
eventually darken to black over time.
There are several easy tricks of the trade that professional jewelers have
developed to maintain the beauty of silver jewelry.
Proper Sterling Silver Storage
While itís tempting to wear a favorite piece all the time, you should always
remove your jewelry before using any type of product with chemicals or abrasives
such as chlorine, bleach, ammonia, alcohol, turpentine or acetone. That includes
finger nail polish, dish detergent, makeup, and even hair spray! Many of these
products can permanently damage the silver as well as gemstones.
Dampness, air, and light can cause a piece to tarnish so the optimal method for
storing sterling silver jewelry is in an airtight non-reactive container such as
a box lined with special non-tarnish material or Mylar or polyethylene bag. Each
piece of jewelry should be placed in its own bag so it does not rub up against
anything which could potentially cause scratches, kinks in chains, or the damage
of a gemstone.
Never place your sterling jewelry on wood surfaces as most wood contains acids
which can damage the finish. Card board and paper can also speed up the
Cleaning Your Silver Jewelry
The more often you clean each piece the easier it is, and the less wear and tear
on your jewelry, because the tarnish is minimal which allows for safer cleaning
Silver is a soft metal that can be scratched so be careful to rub gently when
cleaning. Never use anything but a clean nub free cotton or flannel cloth, a
special sterling silver cleaning cloth, or a very soft bristle brush like a
babyís toothbrush or a horsehair silver brush.
To remove light dirt, fingerprints or makeup just use a couple drops of mild
liquid detergent (such as baby shampoo or Woolite) in a cup of warm water and
rinse thoroughly with clean fresh water. Dry it completely and lightly buff with
a cotton cloth. Always use a lengthwise motion when washing or drying your
jewelry, as a circular motion often causes scratching.
The safest method for removing tarnish is to use a treated silver buffing cloth,
but there are a number of silver spray polish or pastes that can work well for
heavy cleanings if there is a large tarnish build up. To achieve the best
results apply the spray or paste on the cloth and work into lather with your
hand first. Tarnish in hard to reach areas can be left on to create an antique
look and add definition to the jewelry. If you prefer to clean the entire piece
you can have it professionally done, or use a soft bristle brush.
Sterling silver dips can be fast and easy but are not recommended by
professional silversmiths and jewelers. If using a silver dip it is better to
insert the item and remove it quickly, repeating after rinsing with water,
rather than leaving the item in the dip for long periods of time. Follow up by
buffing with a soft cotton cloth. If you leave the piece in too long, or don't
rinse it well enough with fresh water, a white residue will be left which can be
difficult to remove.
Should you purchase a cleaner or dip, ensure that the product is designed for
the type of jewelry item you want to clean. Dipping is not recommended for
liquid silver or silver items with gemstones, and even paste or spray cleaners
remove the natural luster of stones so be sure to remove any trace of cleaner
residue and rinse each item thoroughly with clean water.
Additional Jewelry Cleaning Tips
Baking soda is often mentioned a cleaner but some jewelers claim that this
method is to abrasive. If you wish to avoid using chemicals and want to try
baking soda you should always test a small part of your silver jewelry piece
first to see if leaves any noticeable marks. To use baking soda, lightly the
item with clean water, the pour baking soda over the jewelry and rub gently with
your fingers. Once the tarnish is removed, rinse with more clean water and dry
with an all cotton cloth.
If your jewelry has been coated with a lacquer shield (to slow the tarnishing
process) you should clean the item only after all of the lacquer has completely
worn off. Cleaning agents can reach underneath the lacquer causing residue
Professional jewelers recommend cleaning your sterling silver jewelry as often
as once per month, with a yearly professional cleaning for luxury and heirloom
pieces. Cleaning gives you the chance to also check for loose stones or parts.
Always have your jewelry repaired right away to prevent further damage.
Understanding the proper methods for storing and cleaning sterling silver
jewelry is essential to the life of each piece.
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.
Exquisite and classic are the middle name of silver that gives a different look
to a personís overall personality. Simple and plain silver jewelries can
actually give an everlasting effect to your dressing and gives you a
Sterling Silver Jewelry Exposed
Sterling silver jewelry is enjoying an unprecedented popularity with today's
fashion conscious public. You know how beautiful sterling silver jewelry is and
how brilliantly it shines. Now here is the rest of the story.
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JP Cambert is a specialist in the fashion and beauty industry and owns
several online shops including Discount Silver Jewelry store Silver Basement, as
well as the Discount Perfume shop Unlimited Perfumes. silverbasement.com