Pure silver is a soft metal and it is not used in making jewellery. Because it is so soft, it wouldn’t tolerate everyday wear and tear. In order to strengthen it up and make it usable for jewellery, it is combined with other metals in which it is hardened and becomes more durable.
Sterling silver jewellery is made up of a combination of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper.
It is also impossible to identify sterling silver naked eyes. The only way of telling is by having it tested scientifically in a lab.
Here is some information and tips about sterling silver jewellery, how to take care of it and how to prevent it from tarnishing. Over time, any sterling silver jewellery exposed to air will tarnish.
The copper reacts to moisture and sulphur in the air, causing the tarnishing reaction. Silver tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution. Chemicals like body lotion, hairspray, deodorant, bleach, etc. Be also careful to keep silver away from olives, rubber and fruit juice.
Here are some tips on how to help prevent tarnishing on your silver jewellery and pieces from happening in the first place:
Store your sterling silver jewellery in a cool, dark place away from sources of sunlight, heat and moisture.
To reduce scratching and tarnishing, store your pieces individually in small zip-lock plastic bags, removing as much air as possible.
Don’t leave silver jewellery in the bathroom unprotected, and do not wear it the shower, swimming pool or hot tub. Humidity and moisture can make tarnish appear faster!
After taking off your silver jewellery, clean it with a dry soft cloth, or polishing cloth, before putting it back into an airtight container.
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