Silver Jewelry Options and Care
What's the difference? See our descriptions below!
What is 925 sterling silver and can it change color and tarnish??
Sterling silver, even real .925 sterling silver, will always tarnish. While pure 99.9% silver is less likely to tarnish, any sterling silver will tarnish as a result of the metal mixed in. Pure silver is too soft to be used in jewelry crafting. Therefore, jewelers will often add a small quantity of copper to strengthen the silver. The resulting product is .925 sterling silver, which contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. It is the primary material used for silver jewelry. Unfortunately, because of the metals added, sterling silver, even real .925 sterling silver, will always tarnish.
Tarnishing does not mean that the silver is low purity. That is why Blessed Be includes a cleaning cloth with every order. Using a cleaning cloth is one of the best and easiest ways to clean your tarnished or oxidized silver.
However, fortunately there are many ways to keep sterling silver from tarnishing.
- If you throw a few pieces of chalk in with your sterling silver jewelry, the chalk will absorb any moisture and help prevent tarnishing.
- Use silica packs: When you buy new clothing or shows, sometimes you'll find silica packs in with them. Hold onto them and toss them in your jewelry box.
- Corrosion in sterling silver takes place when silver gets into contact with salty solution or chemicals. Therefore it is very important to keep jewelry away from salt water or any house products or toiletries solution.
- Can you shower with sterling silver? It’s basically fine. But we do not encourage our customers to wear your sterling silver when showering. Water generally doesn’t harm sterling silver, but there is a good chance that it could lead to tarnishing. In short, do not wear silver in the shower or when doing dishes.
- Avoid wearing jewelry in activities that make you sweat, such as outdoor chores or sports.
- Last to put on, first to take off. Another important rule to prevent silver from tarnishing is that your jewelry should be the last thing you put on, after applying make-up and perfume and the first to be taken off, before your shower or activities. This is to preventing contact between any possible chemicals or salty sweat and your silver.
- Consider your home and work environment. Examine your job or environment to see if you deal with chemicals or other solutions on a regular basis. If that’s the case, remove your silver before working with chemicals. For example, people working at cosmetics or perfume sales job might find themselves having to clean their silver jewelry more regularly.
- If you are living in a rather polluted environment, your jewelry might tarnish faster due to high level of sulphur in the air. As a result, it will need more regular polishing as well.
- It might just be your body chemicals. In some rare cases, certain people’s sweat could react more with silver, resulting in faster tarnishing. This can become even more pronounced if the person is eating certain foods or using certain medication.
- Wear it regularly. After reading all these tips, you may want to store your sterling silver and never wear it. But that’s the last thing you should do. One of the best ways to keep sterling silver beautiful is to wear it. As soon as you wipe it off and take care of it, it should look new and last a long time.
- In short, wear your jewelry regularly but do take them off at night, and keep them away from light and moisture and preferably in a Ziploc bag. Otherwise, prepare to polish and clean them more regularly in order to maintain their perfect shine.
After reading all these tips, you might be inclined to throw your sterling silver jewelry into storage for life and never wear it. But that's the last thing you should do.
If you want to keep your sterling silver jewelry looking its best, the most effective way to do it is to take it out and wear it all the time. As long as you wipe it down when you're done wearing it, it should look like new at all times and last forever.
What about silver, gold and rose gold plated items?
Plated items, which have an industry standard of 0.15 to 0.25 mils thickness of gold, silver or nickel plated to the surface of the base metal, look very similar to precious metal findings. They are somewhat more brittle and tarnish easier, although are quite a bit less expensive than the precious-metal type. Blessed Be does not carry gold karat jewelry. We clearly mark our jewelry as Gold-Plated, Silver-Plated and Rose Gold-Plated. The majority of our pieces are fashion jewelry and semi-fine jewelry, not fine jewelry.
What about stainless steel?
We carry quite a few pieces that are stainless steel. Though it is not the same color as fine silver, it has an attractive muted grey color and can have a shiny (highly polished) or matte (brushed) finish. Stainless steel is much more tarnish resistant. An added bonus is that stainless steel jewelry is an excellent alternative for wearers with allergies and sensitivity to base metals such as copper or brass. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular types of metal used in jewelry making due to the fact of its long-lasting durability.
What is Rhodium Plating and why is it more expensive?
Rhodium belongs to the Platinum group of metals. It is a precious metal, like gold, silver or platinum, only more expensive, because it is very rare in nature. Rhodium makes an excellent plating material to help give a higher sheen to silver or white gold pieces. It is also harder than both silver and gold so it makes an excellent protective coat that shields jewelry from scratches. It does NOT tarnish and is a great recommendation for those who are allergic to silver. However only a thin layer of rhodium is used when plating. This layer can eventually starts to wear due to excessive friction or wear but should retain its look indefinitely.
The best way to ensure rhodium plated jewelry lasts as long as possible, keep it clean with a mixture of mild liquid shampoo and water. Do not use chemical cleaners on rhodium plated jewelry.
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