Gemstones and precious metals are gifts of nature, but they need special care.
Pure sterling silver, a precious and malleable metal, is usually alloyed with copper to enhance its durability and prevent damage to the metal. Sterling silver consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Over time oxidation reactions will occur, especially with sulfur and oxygen, causing silver to become tarnished. Care should be taken to prevent this tarnishing, and many commercial products are available that will easily remove tarnish buildup that silver naturally acquires. We offer jewelry polishing cloths listed below and in our Accessories category.
When cared for properly, your silver will last a lifetime. Simply wearing your jewelry helps prevent, or at least slow, the oxidation process keeping your jewelry looking new. To prevent scratches, silver jewelry can be stored in cloth pouches, small ziplock bags, or in separate compartments in your jewelry box.
Sterling silver jewelry is often finished with rhodium giving it the appearance of platinum and is generally regarded as tarnish resistant. It is also acceptable to clean silver with mild dish detergent in warm water, using a soft toothbrush to clean stones. The same method should be used for silver jewelry with marcasite stones. Silver that has not been treated with rhodium is cleaned in the same way, but will require more frequent polishing to maintain its luster.
To keep your jewelry clean and ready to wear use a smooth soft 100% cotton cloth to gently wipe each piece of jewelry clean of make-up and skin oils after each wearing. Always use 100% cotton since paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics often contain wood fibers or synthetics, which impart fine scratches. To help retard tarnish on sterling silver, wrap in soft cotton cloth or special non-tarnish tissue and place in a plastic zip locked bag and seal. To remove fingerprints, oils or dirt, add a small amount of mild liquid soap to a half cup of warm water, soak for 2-3 minutes, rinse thoughly with clean water and dry completely before storing in an air tight plastic bag. To remove excessive tarnish on silver, polish with a 100% cotton cloth and a non-abrasive metal cleaner. Be sure to remove any cleaner from the gemstones and rinse carefully with clean water. Be very careful with patiniaed or darkened areas on silver, Silver polish can remove the color.
Our jewelry polishing cloths work especially well when cleaning and protecting your silver jewelry. Try them and you will not be disappointed!
Here Are Some Do's and Don'ts about jewelry:
Don't wear jewelry when doing housework or gardening.
Do not heap your jewelry into one drawer. Remember a diamond ring can scratch that pearl necklace. Keep them separate and, ideally, wrapped in velvet, paper, or silk.
Do not use toothpaste. The abrasives can damage softer gems and metals.
Do not use silver dip as this will damage the rhodium finish and is known to remove color and polish from certain gemstones, including turquoise and pearls. Although it may be acceptable to use silver dip on pieces that are not set with gemstones or finished with rhodium, the chemicals are extremely harsh and should be reserved for instances in which the item is completely tarnished, such as antique sterling silver items.
Do check for loose stones frequently by gently tapping the piece with your finger near your ear. Do get pearls restrung every two years or annually with frequent use.
Do clean jewelry often to maintain its sparkle and beauty. All jewelry can be safely cleaned by soaking for 10 minutes in warm soapy water (using a non-detergent soap).
We recommend using a special jewelry polishing cloth to polish and protect your silver jewelry.
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