What causes silver to tarnish?
All silver does tarnish naturally. There are many things that can cause silver to tarnish, but the most common causes are wool, food (eggs, onions, mayonnaise), rubber bands, latex gloves and certain paints. Oily salts from fingers can also tarnish silver.
Silver will tarnish much more quickly in humid environments. How can I slow down the rate of tarnishing?
- Silver should be kept dry
- Remove all silver jewellery before showering or cleaning.
- Soap can cause a film to form on silver jewellery, making it appear dull and dingy.
- A soft cloth is an effective and inexpensive way to keep your silver pieces lustrous and shining.
- Be particularly careful of chlorine. Chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can permanently damage or discolour your silver jewellery. Avoid wearing silver jewellery while using chlorine bleach or while in a pool or hot tub.
How do I look after my jewellery?
You can remove light tarnish by using a gentle washing up liquid and warm water. Carefully brush with a soft bristle brush, such as an old toothbrush. After brushing, simply rinse with lukewarm water and allow to dry.
Frequent light cleanings are preferable to waiting until the tarnish gets so stubborn that more abrasive polishes have to be employed. For heavier tarnishing, you can polish it with silver polish or a silver cloth. It should come up shiny as new.
Chains can be soaked in a silver dip (following the manufacturer's instructions).
How should I store my jewellery?
If you are not wearing your jewellery for a while or if you wish to keep it as a keepsake for when your child is older, simply keep it wrapped in some acid-free tissue.
Will my piece of jewellery scratch or dent?
Precious metal, because of its purity, is a relatively soft metal. If an item is worn every day or hung on a chain with lots of other items or on a key ring, it will gradually age.