Why does sterling silver tarnish?
Why choose Sterling Silver?
Here at Desiderate, we have a stunning range of high quality Sterling Silver pieces to suit all styles and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a treasured forever piece, a casual fashion item or a stunning gift for a friend or loved one, we have something for everyone!
Sterling Silver jewellery has become a firm favourite over the years, with its classic and timeless look and ability to match with all skin tones and shades. It highlights a variety of stones and embellishments, and is a beautiful and elegant way to accessorise any outfit.
Did you know that pure Silver is too soft to make jewellery from? To use it alone would result in pieces that would dent and bend. For this reason, Sterling Silver was created – using a combination of 92.5% pure Silver and 7.5% of another metal, such as copper, or alloy.
Because of this, Sterling Silver products are strong, versatile, hypoallergenic, lightweight and have a lovely bright and shiny look to them. Sterling Silver is a popular metal that is used to make rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, and bangles, and we are proud to carry a large range of beautiful pieces on our website.
Why does Sterling Silver tarnish?
Before we talk about WHY Sterling Silver can tarnish, it’s important to understand what tarnishing entails.
Tarnish is a thin layer that forms on the top of the piece, which actually keeps the inner layers protected. The reactions that occur on the outer layer which is exposed to chemicals in the air and environmental elements, are what results in changes to your jewellery.
Tarnish can make Sterling Silver jewellery look discoloured, dull or black, and is what can turn your fingers green, or leave slight marks on the skin after wearing them.
How do I stop Sterling Silver from tarnishing?
All Sterling Silver will eventually tarnish, due to the chemical reactions caused by regular exposure to sulphur in the environment. Your pieces may tarnish more quickly in humid climates or if worn in areas with higher levels of air pollution.
Other external elements such as exposure to perfumes, hairspray, deodorant or moisturising products, can also contribute to further tarnishing. The amount of tarnish will often depend on your individual circumstances, such as the products and chemicals on your skin and the climate conditions where you live.
There are no proven ways to fully prevent Sterling Silver from tarnishing, however there are things that you can do to help reduce the build up, or to restore your jewellery after it occurs.
Caring for Sterling Silver Jewellery
We love seeing your Desiderate items getting lots of love, so would always recommend wearing your Sterling Silver pieces frequently. The more you wear your pieces, the more the oils on your skin will help to keep that outer layer from tarnishing.
If you’re showering or using household cleaning products, it’s always a good idea to remove your jewellery and place them in a safe location until you’re done – this will reduce the risks of exposure to chemicals that may speed up a reaction in your treasured piece.
One of the easiest ways to look after your Stirling Silver jewellery is to keep it in the pouches provided when not in use, or keep sealed in an airtight environment where possible.
We recommend storing your Sterling Silver pieces in one of our Desiderate Jewellery Boxes – this will not only protect your pretties by limiting their exposure to oxidation, but will also look amazing on your dresser or bedside table at the same time. Our Jewellery Boxes also make for a beautiful gift idea, especially with one of our unique treasures to go with them!
If your Sterling Silver jewellery is showing signs of tarnish, you can polish it with one of our Desiderate Silver Cleaning Cloths.
Cleverly impregnated with silver cleaner formula, our Sterling Silver Cleaning system makes caring for your Desiderate pieces as easy as can be. It is designed to both clean and polish Sterling Silver jewellery, removing any tarnish and helping to prevent further discolouration.
Use the cloth to remove dirt and tarnish – making use of our exclusive anti-tarnish cleaning formula and then once clean, buff and polish your Sterling Silver piece, leaving you with a beautiful shine!
For heavier build ups of tarnish, there are over the counter Silver Polishes available, such as Silvo. These products will remove the excess discolouration on your jewellery and bring back the original shine.
Our Favourite Sterling Silver Pieces
We have a huge range of high quality Sterling Silver pieces that will suit every budget and occasion. Here are some of our current favourites:
Let us help you!
Need some extra help on what to choose? Get in touch with us and have a chat to our friendly customer service team – we’d love to help you.
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