Many people avoid buying silver jewelry because it tarnishes quickly, especially when you don’t wear it for a long time. But we know that silver is relatively non-reactive, so why does sterling silver pedants tarnish? Technically, 100 percent silver doesn’t tarnish. However, pure silver is too soft to be used to make jewelry. So, manufacturers usually add small quantities of other metals known as allows to strengthen silver. That’s why sterling silver contains 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent metal alloys, usually copper. The metal alloy is responsible for the tarnishing of the sterling silver used to make pendants.
Tarnishing of the sterling silver pendant doesn’t mean it is low-quality. The good thing is that sterling silver has a high percentage of silver, so it tarnishes much slower than the typical silver jewelry. Besides, sterling silver is easy to maintain, especially if you store it correctly. With regular care, your sterling silver pendants can last a lifetime.
What Accelerates Tarnishing of Sterling Silver Pendants
We can’t exactly tell how it takes a piece of sterling silver jewelry to tarnish. But there are a couple of factors that affect the rate of tarnish on sterling silver. For instance, exposing your sterling silver jewelry to detergents, perfumes, lotions, and other chemicals increases the tarnish rate. Also, if you are fond of going to the pool with your silver jewelry, you can be sure that it won’t last long. So, how do you keep your sterling silver pendants from tarnishing?
Keep Away from Chemicals
Tarnishing of the sterling silver pedants takes place at a faster rate when it comes into contact with chemicals or salt solution. Therefore, you must keep your silver jewelry away from salt solutions and household chemicals, including detergents. Also, avoid wearing your silver jewelry when doing dishes, or doing chores that will make you sweat.
Also, if your job involves handling chemicals or other corrosive materials, it is essential to remove the pedants before commencing your work. For instance, individuals working in cosmetic shops should consider removing their jewelry while at work.
Keep Away from Makeup, Lotions, Perfumes and bathing soap
An important rule to protect the integrity of your sterling silver pedant states that it should be the last thing to put on and the first to take off. That means that you should put on your silver jewelry after applying makeup, lotions, and perfumes. Also, it should be the first thing to take off at the end of the day before showering or engaging in other activities. It helps to minimize contact between the jewelry and chemicals.
Wear Your Sterling Silver Pendants Regularly
After going through the tips highlighted above, you may want to return your sterling silver pendant in its box and never to wear it again. But on the contrary, experts recommend that you should wear your silver jewelry often. Here’s the catch. The human body produces oils, and these oils prevent your silver jewelry from tarnishing. So, you should wear our silver pendant regularly to prevent it from tarnishing. When you take it off, wipe it with a soft cloth and store it in a jewelry box.
Keep Your Sterling Silver Pendants Clean and Dry
As you probably know, moisture is the biggest cause of corrosion, not only to silver but also other metals. So, always ensure your pendants are clean and dry before storing them. To clean your silver jewelry, mix ten parts of lukewarm water with mild dish detergent. Then soak the pedant for at least three hours. Use a soft brush to buff away dust, oils, makeup, and perfumes. When it’s clean, dry the pedant with a lint-free cloth. If you see any signs of tarnish, you can remove it using a silver polishing cloth.
Silver jewelry should always be stored in a dark and dry place. You can use a jewelry box lined with felt to store your silver jewelry. If you don’t have a jewelry box, you can fold your silver jewelry with a soft cloth and then keep them in a dry place.