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What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is an alloy that is composed by weight of 92.5% pure silver (hence the 925 stamp that is placed on silver jewellery) and 7.5% other alloys such as copper. Copper is mixed with fine silver because it gives strength and durability to the metal.

Fine silver is not typically used in high wear jewellery as silver of 99.9% purity is extremely soft and would be very prone to damage. As sterling silver contains copper, you will experience tarnishing on your silver jewellery. But do not fear! This is a natural occurrence, it’s science!

Copper reacts primarily to sulphur in the atmosphere, but will also react to elements such as high pollution, high humidity and coming into contact with everyday products such as cosmetics, cleaners, moisturises etc. Please don’t worry as tarnishing can be easily removed.

How do I care for my Sterling Silver?

Naturally hypoallergenic & free from nickel and other harsh materials, our pieces are perfect for all skin types, including sensitivities. For this reason you will not get the discoloured skin that much cheaper costume type jewellery will give you. So it is really important to take care of your sterling silver jewellery to extend the life span. How do you protect and care for your silver jewellery? These following tips will point you in the right direction:

  • This may surprise you but pure water will not tarnish silver, but as water quality differs not only from house to house but to state to state and between countries. Chemicals within this water can cause tarnishing and/ or dulling, so we suggest avoiding excessive wear in the shower. If you are able to, remove jewellery before showering or bathing as this will alleviate the issue of water quality or cleaning products having an effect on your jewellery. Simply dry your items after to avoid lasting moisture.
  • In the cases where you are swimming in salt water or chlorinated water, we recommend always taking your jewellery off to avoid chemicals and salt interacting with the metal. Don’t fret if you just happen to forget to take your items off, simply rinse and dry afterward.
  • If you are lucky enough to get to venture out to some hot springs, please take your pieces off and contain them in an airtight container. As we spoke about earlier sulphur will react with your silver giving it a dark oxidised look. If that’s not what you’re going for then avoid this for sure.
  • Outdoor activities are great for the soul, however, when it comes to activities that involve heavy sweating we recommend taking your pieces off. The reasoning behind this as well as salt water is that salt causes the silver to tarnish.
  • Lotions, moisturises, perfumes and cosmetics can contain chemicals that can react with your silver jewellery, for this reason we recommend taking your jewellery off your when applying these products. On the flip side, we recommend waiting until these items have dried before putting your jewellery back on.
  • Whilst friction while wearing your items is a good thing as it can prevent build up, too harsh contact such as lifting weights, gardening, cleaning etc. can damage your jewellery. It’s best to remove them to avoid the potential of scratching, misforming or damaging the metal.
  • Household cleaning and cleaning in general with chemicals can damage and tarnish your silver, it’s best to remove any jewellery before partaking in any of these activities.
  • Lucky last is to maintain correct storage for your gorgeous pieces. Exposure to the atmosphere can tarnish your delicate silver so try not to leave items lying next to your bathroom sink. It’s best practice to store silver in air-tight bags or containers. This will limit exposure and keep the high polish finish squeaky clean.

How do I clean my Sterling Silver?

It’s much easier to perform preventative care to ensure you don’t get to the point of cleaning your jewellery regularly. However, it’s not a hard task if you are at this point! The most basic and effective way to clean your pieces is to utilise a polishing pad and firmly rub your items until all tarnish is removed. Our polish pad (included in sterling silver orders) is the perfect way to do this. A simple microfiber cloth, much like the one you get with your sunglasses, will also get the job done.

Removing tarnishing contaminants is key. This can be done multiple ways and with varying items. We will provide you with different types of methods to suit your lifestyle.

  • Warm soapy water using a mild dish detergent and a soft bristle brush is the most common method. Simply scrub your items gently and when you’re done, rinse off soapy remnants and thoroughly dry your jewellery.
  • The ‘foil method’ uses electrolytic action rather than chemicals. Either wrap your item in aluminium foil or ensure the silver piece is touching the foil. Place both in a bowl and add hot water and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. The time it takes to remove the tarnish depends on how tarnished the item is, but most likely a couple of minutes will do. Thoroughly dry items and give a quick polish afterwards.
  • A more natural cleaning method is the ‘water and baking soda method’. However, please DO NOT use this method if your jewellery has gemstones or pearls in the setting. For this you will need 2 parts water to 1 part baking soda (use a bit more water if the jewellery has delicate features). Combine the two and mix into a paste that is easily malleable. Use a soft bristle brush to apply this mixture onto your piece and clean with mild movements. Ensure you rinse your piece well after tarnish is removed and dry thoroughly.
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