Sterling silver jewelry is one of the hottest jewelry trends for the past few years, and I don't see it going anywhere in the near (or far) future. This is primarily because of the gorgeous appearance that makes it a preferred metal to make jewelry. Another reason is the cost-effectiveness, which attracts the jewelry wearers and encourages the jewelry retailers to play on the price point. You can also increase the profit margins if you wish to utilize the potential that way.
But dealing in sterling silver jewelry is not as easy as it may seem. The most significant obstruction that may occur is the property of sterling silver to tarnish. If you're a jewelry retailer or have dealt with sterling silver jewelry at any point in time, you know what I am talking about. YES! It's about that blackish greenish stain that steals the limelight of the beauty of your jewelry item.
You really want to get rid of it and keep your jewelry shining to attract all the jewelry lovers and sell your jewelry to them. Obviously, this is why you are there - to make the best and the beautiful jewelry available to the people. You can be a little extra by flaunting your knowledge about the tarnishing of sterling silver and the ways to prevent it. Don't worry if you don't know much. You'll be well equipped with the required knowledge by the end of this blog.
It is said that the problem is half solved if it is known. So I'll tell you the possible causes, prevention, and cures of sterling silver tarnish. Speaking metaphorically, tarnish to silver is what rust to iron.
It damages the metal while making it look horrible. In some cases, it will also harm the wearer's skin if she continues to wear it.
What causes 925 sterling silver jewelry tarnish?
Several reasons cause sterling silver to tarnish. Still, the most common amongst those are coming in direct contact with the following. I've also mentioned the most common sources of these from everyday life. (No intention of scaring you!)
- Oxygen - Water
- Sulfur - Detergents
- Chlorine - Paint
- Air pollution - Atmosphere
- Household chemicals - Cleaners
- Bodily chemicals - Sweat
Already thinking of keeping all the silver jewelry in boxes and never bringing it out. Because, you know, OXYGEN!!! Well, you don't really have to do it. You can still put it on display and let your customers choose from your extensive collection. It will take time for these elements to cause your 925 sterling silver to tarnish. It doesn't happen like magic...!!!
But honestly, these elements cannot be avoided. Still, proper measures can be taken to make your jewelry last for what looks like a lifetime.
After knowing about the "WHAT?" let's talk about the "WHY?" of sterling silver tarnish.
Assuming that you know sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, I'm moving further to explaining the reason for sterling silver tarnish.
Copper has a significant share in the 7.5% part and there are certain other metals in almost negligible quantities. The sterling silver tarnishes because of that copper that slyly sits in the depths of your sterling silver jewelry. Don't be surprised when I tell you that the copper reacts with the elements mentioned above that damage the jewelry. Also, don't assume that pure silver cannot tarnish. It has its own ways...! *SIGH*
It cannot be obviated, but the silver lining here is that it can be prevented for a very long time. So let's just delve into those preventive measures.
The most effective preventive measures are mentioned here.
- Keeping the jewelry in airtight containers
- Keeping the jewelry in low humidity places
- Cleaning the jewelry with warm water and a soft cloth
Oxygen and sulfur are present in the atmosphere and in many everyday items in various forms, which obviously cannot be avoided. But their contact with the jewelry can be minimized by keeping the jewelry in airtight containers whenever it's not on display.
Apart from that, humidity works as a catalyst in the process of tarnishing and damaging the jewelry. So if the humidity level is high in your area, never miss the jewelry care routine even for a single day. And never ever leave it on display when you're done for the day.
At regular intervals, make sure to clean the jewelry with warm running water and soap. But after that, wipe it dry with a microfibre or any soft cloth. If this will not be adequately done, it will ruin it instead of making the jewelry better. Remember water, the common source of oxygen in the list above that causes tarnish in the first place...!
Feeling better after knowing these preventive measures!? Imagine, even after taking utmost care, the sterling silver jewelry still tarnishes. Why would you want to imagine that! Right! But let's not leave any possibility unconsidered. But let me comfort you with some easy tips to cure the tarnish.
Some of the most used ways to restore the beauty of your sterling silver jewelry are given here.
Being a jeweler having professional resources, they are also very convenient for you.
- Jewelry cleaners
When your sterling silver jewelry tarnishes, then the best thing to do is not get rid of it but get it polished again. This will add a bright new layer of silver on the jewelry's outer surface, thus giving it a brand new look. There are various ways of doing it, and you can choose what works best for you.
Another way of restoring your most selling jewelry item's brilliant appearance is to use jewelry cleaners that you must be aware of. This removes the jewelry's dirty outer layer, thus bringing out the shining interior layer to the surface.
Both the things will ultimately make the sterling silver jewelry look fabulous again.
Now you have all the knowledge to flaunt. You know everything necessary (and a little extra) about '925 sterling silver jewelry tarnish.' You know what causes the tarnish, how to prevent and cure it once the damage has been done.
And just FYI, all these things are tested by us, and they really do work...!
Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any concerns regarding your sterling silver jewelry collections. You just need to land on our website, go to the customer service section, and share your problem with us. Also, there is a high probability that you may find your dream gemstone jewelry here...!
All the best!