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Does Sterling Silver Tarnish? What You Can Expect

by Auriann Admin on December 11, 2023
Does Sterling Silver Tarnish? What You Can Expect

925 Sterling Silver has a pretty pale sheen that makes it a trendy favourite in the jewellery world. It also tends to tarnish over time. Here's what you should know about silver tarnish, along with some tips to help you keep your jewellery looking beautiful for years to come.

What is Tarnish?

To understand why tarnish forms, you need to learn the science behind it. Tarnish on pure silver is the compound silver sulphide, which develops when the precious metal reacts with oxygen and sulphur-containing gases present in the air.

The tarnish that develops on 925 sterling silver, on the other hand, will also contain copper sulphide. The most common sulphur-rich gas is hydrogen sulphide, the type expelled by a hard-boiled egg. 925 sterling silver begins to tarnish over time when exposed to moisture and several common chemicals, including sulphur found in the air around cities, chlorine present in swimming pools or spas, and the natural acids on your skin.

How to Prevent Tarnish?

To help resist tarnish, some 925 sterling silver jewellery is coated with rhodium plating that adds a protective layer that combats tarnishing and corrosion. While this won't completely prevent silver jewellery from tarnishing, it will significantly slow the process. Whether your 925 sterling silver jewellery is coated or not, there are other ways to slow the progression of tarnish and keep your jewellery looking the best. Some of our favourite strategies:

1. Use a polishing cloth

As we mentioned earlier, regular wear can help prevent silver tarnish. At the same time, you can ward off tarnish by using a silver polishing cloth, which Auriann provides with each piece of 925 sterling silver jewellery. In almost every instance, these soft clothes work better on silver than a jewellery cleaner. 

2. Store your jewellery in ziplock bags

Reduce air exposure by storing 925 sterling silver pieces in an air-tight plastic bag. Be sure to close it halfway and squeeze all the air out before sealing. It would be best if you also made sure the plastic bags don't contain any abrasive materials.

3. Keep your silver pieces dry

Never shower while wearing 925 sterling silver because the humidity will speed up the oxidation process. You should also avoid wearing your jewellery in the pool or hot tub, which will expose the metal to moisture and chlorine. To delay the progression of tarnish, prevent moisture and store your silver jewellery immediately after wearing it.

4. Use silica packets

Often included in new shoes and clothing, small silica packets absorb moisture and dry the air. You can use them to keep the air drier around your jewellery box or shelves and help slow the tarnishing process. You can also place absorbent chalk in your jewellery box or storage bags.

5. Avoid treated wood

You should always keep your 925 sterling silver jewellery away from chemically treated surfaces. One of the biggest culprits is that stained and varnished wood contains chemicals that can speed up the tarnishing process.

6. Prevent needles scratches

Since minor abrasions can promote tarnishing, it's essential to store your silver jewellery away from other pieces carefully. Be especially wary of diamonds and other hard gemstones, which can easily scratch your silver pieces and leave them susceptible to quick tarnishing.

How to Remove Tarnish?

If your 925 sterling silver jewellery has begun to tarnish, there are some ways you can restore its glossy shine. It's essential, however, to use care so you won't accidentally damage the jewellery. Many people attempt to remove, and clean silver tarnishes by soaking their jewellery pieces in a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda. While this may prove effective, it exposes the jewellery to potential abrasions, especially since baking soda is relatively coarse.

Auriann provides you with a gentle jewellery cleaner that is specially formulated for delicate jewellery pieces. They also offer complimentary in-store cleaning over the lifetime of your Auriann 925 sterling silver jewellery pieces.

In addition to these services, Auriann offers expert inspections and complimentary professional re-rhodium plating. In-store cleanings are available on a walk-in basis, so there's no need to take appointments.

The Value Of Sterling Silver

Finally, don't assume that sterling silver isn't valuable just because it's a blend rather than the pure stuff. Any gold that is less than 24 karats, for instance, is also an alloy 925 Sterling silver is still a valuable metal to be treasured, and it's what most people are referring to when they talk about 925 sterling silver jewellery or the "good silver" passed down from generation to generation.

Caring for 925 Sterling Silver Jewellery

Auriann designs every jewellery piece to be a wearable work of art. But their dedication to quality doesn’t end after your purchase. To help you keep your 925 sterling silver jewellery looking incredible for decades, Auriann offers comprehensive after-purchase care from an attentive staff of courteous professionals. 

Browse some of Auriann's most popular 925 sterling silver jewellery pieces, or visit our website and find a stunning jewellery piece that fits your one-of-a-kind style.