Have you ever found a beautiful sterling silver accessory in a second hand vintage shop, that just needs a little TLC to restore it back to its former glory?
Or, do you have silver jewellery that you wear day in day out that could perhaps use a bit of love?
To keep your jewellery lasting a lifetime, it requires regular maintenance. Follow these simple suggestions and get your treasures looking spick and span in no time!
Before we dive in, it helps to understand why silver tarnishes. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% a mix of other metals. The elements in the other metals, such as copper, are the main causes for tarnishing. The copper reacts to moisture and sulphur in the air thus making it turn a duller colour.
1.Keep your jewels away from chemicals
Whilst we know it’s a pain to have to take your rings or earrings off before jumping in the local swimming pool, the chlorine can react with the metal so you may find the silver will tarnish. Not only that, if the swimming pool is hot the chemical reaction will speed up, meaning more time polishing.. This goes for hot tubs too! Certainly avoid wearing your jewellery in hot springs, the sulphur and the heat is sure to oxidise the metal meaning you will end up with some black jewellery.
2. Keep your storage savvy
There are many ways to protect your jewellery from the moisture in the air. High humidity and air pollution will cause sterling silver to discolour, so finding an appropriate container can help prevent the task of polishing your jewellery. Zip lock plastic bags are a great way to keep the air and moisture out, leaving your jewels looking nice and shiny. Or putting a piece of chalk in your jewellery box will naturally absorb the moisture and chemicals, keeping your jewellery looking fabulous for longer!
3. Polish it off!
Finally, invest in some silver polish or a polishing cloth (or both). It’s really not that expensive to buy and lasts forever, especially if you have been following our top tips! At Firkins we tend to use ‘Silvo’ which is a wadding that can then be buffed up with old t-shirt material or a rag.
Other tricks and hacks can be used to clean silver such soaking in lemon juice and salt overnight or using a rag with toothpaste to bring out the shine.
So whether your toe ring needs a buff or your earrings could do with a clean, it’s good to know that your sterling silver jewellery will live on!