JEWELS AND GIFTS WHICH TELL A STORY
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The first thing to understand is sterling silver tarnishes typically by things that we do or not do and/or wear. Perfume, colognes, lotions, sweaty skin and hair products can all be contributing factors to tarnishing your shiny jewelry. When the jewelry is removed and the residue isn’t wiped off, the chemicals will contribute to the tarnishing process. Harsh chemicals from dishwater detergents, chlorine and the like will tarnish sterling silver. If sterling silver is exposed to the air and left unprotected when not being worn, tarnish becomes inevitable.
A few easy steps will ensure your sterling to be as brilliant as the day it was purchased. Before you put any jewelry on, be sure any lotions and/or perfumes are absorbed into your skin. Apply all hair products, especially hair spray, before you put on the jewelry. Remove your jewelry before swimming, an invigorating workout or prior to bedtime. When you remove your jewelry at the end of your day, take a couple of minutes to wipe it off with a jewelry cloth or an old t-shirt. The jewelry cloth is preferable because it’s two sided: The inside rouge is for cleaning off the dull residue and the outside cloth is for buffing. Never use tissues or paper towels for cleaning silver. These products will scratch the jewelry, which will detract from the beauty of the pieces.
After the jewelry is wiped clean, store it in an airtight container, such as a zip lock baggie, a cloth bag and/ or an airtight jewelry box. Please be aware that many display units and boxes may contain sulfur, which interacts and tarnishes sterling silver. The less air and light your silver is exposed to when you aren’t wearing it, the less tarnish will occur, making it easy to have shiny jewelry each and every time you’re ready to wear it. Taking the time to keep your jewelry clean after wearing it and storing it away from light and air is all that’s needed to cut down on tarnish significantly.
Gold Plated (Dipped)
Gold Plating is a method of depositing a layer of gold onto the surface of sterling silver through an electrochemical process. Nickel is used as a layer between sterling silver and gold to strengthen the bond. Care should be taken when cleaning gold-filled and gold plated jewelry to protect the layer of gold from being worn away or nicked. Do not use abrasive compounds to clean the jewelry. Although Gold Plated jewelry will not tarnish, it will get dirty. The oils from your skin transfer to the metal and need to be washed off periodically.
Another cause is actual corrosion of the metals. Gold itself does not corrode, but its primary alloys of silver or copper will do so (forming very dark chemical compounds) under moist or wet conditions. When we perspire, it can cause corrosion of the gold, especially when exposed to warmth and air. This problem can be worse in seacoast and semitropical areas, where chlorides combine with perspiration to form a corrosive element that discolors skin. Smog fumes gradually attack jewelry and are evident as a tarnish that rubs off on the skin. We suggest that you remove jewelry often and use an absorbent powder, free of abrasives, on skin that comes into contact with your jewelry.
Care of the jewelry: