Cleaning Silver Jewelry
Jewelry care for Silver Jewelry starts with protecting your pieces from things that will harm.
You should protect your jewelry from scratching, chemicals, extreme temperatures, swimming pools and intense sunlight.
Sounds sensible, right?
You can clean silver jewelry regularly with warm soapy water. Rinse the piece well, pat dry with a soft cloth and polish gently with a jewelry polishing cloth. Making sure your piece is dry, you can store your pieces in zip-lock bags. There are even some zip-lock bags now with tarnish resistant properties and some jewelry boxes with tarnish resistant inserts. Just make sure the specific piece will not be harmed by water. (Leather, for example.)
Silver Jewelry presents special problems at times. Weather, especially high humidity, can make pieces tarnish quicker.
The atmosphere in beauty salons will quickly tarnish silver. Best to leave good silver pieces at home when going to a beauty salon.
In most all of my silver pieces, I use Argentium Sterling Silver. Argentium Silver tarnishes very, very slowly. All Sterling Silver must contain 92.5% silver. Refined 99.99% silver or Fine Silver, is very soft and not used in pieces that get a lot of wear. (Fine Silver does not tarnish) Regular sterling silver has copper added to make it harder, which is the reason for the tarnishing. Germanium to replaces some of the copper in Argentium Sterling Silver. This addition slows down the tarnishing.
In addition to using Argentium Sterling Silver, all my silver pieces are tumbled for several hours to make each piece shine brilliantly.
Then washing with soapy water if the piece gets sticky or with just general wearing usually will keep your piece shining nicely for a long time. Remember to store properly.
You can read more about Argentium Silver on my website.
If your pieces get tarnished such that washing will not work any more, I'll be happy to tumble them for you. The difference is really amazing.
There are many "dips" available, also, to remove tarnish. I have a jar and use it occasionally. The thing to remember about dips is that they remove the tarnish chemically and thus take away some of the silver. Other methods should be tried first. Sometimes just polishing with a silver cleaning cloth will be sufficient after soap and water. Never use dips on silver plate jewelry. There is not enough silver to withstand the removal of any silver. I do dip my thin silver chains as they can get tangled when being tumbled. Running silver chain through a polishing cloth should be the first thing to try.
Also, on mixed pieces - silver with pearls for example shouldn't be dipped. Crystals are usually OK. Soft gemstones - no.
I hope this information was helpful. If you have any questions about cleaning jewelry be sure to ask.
Time to start shopping for graduation gifts? Check out the silver jewelry on Ring by Ring Designs website. (I have many more silver pieces that are not on the website so contact me if you want to see more.)
Be sure to check out my YouTube video of Chain Maille designs.