James & Lisa, Owners, Founders & CEO @ Fraysfield Collections

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Jewelry Maintenance

Sterling Silver, Silver Plated and Stainless Steel Tarnishing

Does .925 sterling silver tarnish?

While pure 99.9% silver is less likely to tarnish,.925 sterling silver will tarnish over time as a result of the metal mixed in. Tarnish happens because 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 copper added, sterling silver, even real .925 sterling silver, will tarnish over time.

Tarnishing does not mean that the silver is low purity. If tarnishing occurs to your silver it can be gently cleaned with SILVER jewelry cleaner and a cleaning cloth to restore it's shine and beauty to your tarnished or oxidized silver. Silver jewelry cleaner can be easily purchased online from Amazon or in most stores.

Alternatively, there are many ways to keep your sterling silver from tarnishing.

  • Can you shower with sterling silver? Yes. Although we do not encourage our customers to wear your sterling silver jewelry when showering. Water generally doesn’t harm sterling silver, but there is a good chance that it could lead to tarnishing. 
  • Avoid wearing jewelry in activities that make you sweat, such as, while exercising or other sports related activities.
  • Corrosion in sterling silver takes place when silver gets into contact with chemicals or salty solutions. Keep jewelry away from salt water or any house cleaning solutions.
  • Avoid perfumes and hair sprays from getting onto your sterling silver jewelry. To do this, put your jewelry on last. This is to prevent contact between any possible chemicals or sweat and your silver. 
  • If you are exposed to chemicals or work around them at your home or work environment on a regular basis you should remove your silver before working with them.
  • There is a lot of sulphur in the air around busy industrial, commercial areas. You may need to clean your silver because of a result of this.
  • Your own sweat or body chemicals in rare cases, can react more with silver, resulting in faster tarnishing. Certain medications in your body can also cause this. Just clean your jewelry and wipe it down to restore the shine.
  • One of the best ways to keep sterling silver beautiful is to wear it regularly. As soon as you polish it, it will shine again, look new and vibrant and last a long time.
  • Wear your jewelry regularly, take it off at night, and keep it away from light and moisture and store it in an organza bag or box.

The most effective way to keep your sterling silver jewelry renewed and shining is to wipe it down with a cloth and silver cleaner after wearing it, it will shine like new! 

Out of silver jewelry cleaner? A known home remedy that is used to clean sterling silver jewelry:

Baking Soda, Salt and Dish Detergent
  1. Line a bowl with aluminum foil and add in the ingredients that are baking soda, salt and dish detergent.
  2. Add hot water and place your jewelry in the bowl. 
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Gently scrub your piece with an old toothbrush.
  5. Rinse and pat dry with paper towel.

Silver and Gold plated items.

Plated items 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. But they are somewhat more brittle and tarnish easier. Usually these items are less expensive than the precious-metal type. Fraysfield Collections states that our jewelry is either gold plated, silver plated and rose gold plated. The majority of our jewelry pieces are fashion jewelry and semi-fine jewelry.

Stainless steel.

Though it is not the same color as fine silver, it has an attractive muted grey color and can have a shiny or matte finish. Stainless steel is more tarnish resistant. A huge bonus is that stainless steel jewelry is an excellent alternative for those with allergies and sensitivity to base metals such as copper or brass.