Cleaning and Caring for your Sterling Silver Jewellery

Cleaning and Caring for your Sterling Silver Jewellery

by Hennie Steyl

Silver is an excellent metal choice for necklaces, rings, bracelets or other accessories to enhance your wardrobe. This metal is versatile and adds a funky look to casual outfits or a quiet elegance to dressier ensembles.

Cleaning Silver Jewellery

Silver polishing cloths are quite inexpensive and last a long time. The cloth is appropriate for cleaning and polishing silver jewellery that is mild to moderately dirty. Soiled silver jewellery looks dull and tarnishes over time.

Rubbing the jewellery gently with the silver polishing cloth allows you to clean it without scratching the metal.

If your silver jewellery is heavily soiled or tarnished, you can use aluminium foil and to rid it of the dark spots. Simply place a square of aluminium foil in the bottom of a heavy bowl. Put the silver jewellery on top of the foil and pour moderately hot, not boiling water over the jewellery. Add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the water and swish it around to dissolve it. Let the silver jewellery soak for about 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse the jewellery well and dry it with a soft towel. This method makes the tarnish disappear and restores the shine of the jewellery.

Cleaning Silver Jewellery with Other Gems in the Setting

Some gems set in silver jewellery are fragile, such as opals or pearls.

If your jewellery contains these stones, clean the jewellery according to the care method recommended for the particular stone.

Storing Your Silver Jewellery

Humidity, oils from your skin, perfumes, lotions, hair products and other substances cause silver jewellery to corrode and tarnish.

Protect your silver jewellery by wiping it off thoroughly with a polishing cloth or other soft material, like a cloth diaper, before storing it.

Place the silver in an area that is dark and dry, such as a jewellery box or drawer. Allow plenty of room for each piece of jewellery.

It is best to store the jewellery so that other pieces are not on top of it and are not touching each other. Storing your silver jewellery in this manner ensures that it will stay looking attractive for many years.

What Kind of Silver Is Used in Jewellery?

Look for the “925” (or “92.5”) stamp when shopping for silver jewellery. This indicates that it is sterling silver – the highest grade of silver metal for jewellery.

The stamp proves that the metal is 92.5 percent pure silver alloy. It also tells you that 7.5 percent of copper (or other metals) has been added to the metal to increase its strength.

Silver on its own is soft, flexible and malleable. This makes it prone to scratches without the addition of other metals.

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