There's nothing more frustrating than going to slip on your favourite rings to find they're no longer the shiny silver you remember.
925 Sterling silver is one of the most popular metals taking over trends recently. Not only does it look good and within most budgets, you can wear it almost anywhere for any occasion - meaning investing in some 925 sterling silver rings a no brainer.
However, we know you didn't come here to read about us preaching how amazing 925 sterling silver. A biggest question on everyones lips before they buy sterling silver for the first time: "Does sterling silver tarnish?"
The short answer - Yes, it can.
925 Sterling silver is made up of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent of other metals. Some of those other metals can cause sterling silver to tarnish over time when they interact with moisture in the air.
Not to worry though, there are a variety of things you can do to tackle and even prevent your jewellery from tarnishing. Let's go through some.
What is tarnish and why does it happen?
Tarnishing is a thin layer of corrosion that occurs on metals. I can appear as a black coating. Its purpose is to protect the inner layers of the metal by only reacting with the outer layers.
When metals are exposed to moisture in the air, they begin a chemical process called oxidation. This oxidation can cause tarnishing.
How to avoid tarnishing?
Store Your 925 Sterling Silver Properly
It's important to be consistent so help prolong your sterling silvers life. Where it sleeps at night is a big one.
Usually people just chuck their jewellery on their dresser and call it a day. While this is convenient, it means your jewellery is in constant contact with sunlight, moisture, and heat.
You should storing your 925 sterling silver jewellery into a cool and dark part of your home when you aren't wearing it. Even better if it's kept safe in an air tight bag or box. This will prevent it from coming into contact with contaminants that could cause the item(s) to tarnish.
Dry and Polish After Wearing
Before popping your 925 sterling silver jewellery away in airtight storage you'll want to make sure all moisture, oils and chemicals have been wiped away so they don't fester on the metal.
This can be as simple as giving your jewellery a quick rub with your shirt if you're in a rush - or better a polish with the polishing cloth included free in every Billie Jo order.
Lingering moisture is one of sterling silver's biggest foes and you won't be asking "Does sterling silver tarnish?" for long if you don't take care of your jewellery. You'll be able to see the tarnish form for yourself in no time.
Keep Away From Harsh Chemicals
There are all kinds of Buzzfeed videos on Facebook, Youtube and Tiktok that show you how to clean your jewellery. However, baking soda and white vingar are definitely not your friend when it comes to cleaning your 925 sterling silver jewellery.
Using chemicals like bleach, acetone or vinegar (the list could go on forever) will only break down the surface of the sterling silver and dull its shine.
You can clean how you like, but we'd highly recommend sticking with just the simple polishing cloth.
Wear It Regularly
We haven't meant to scare you thus far! You're probably thinking if it reacts with the literal air, how on earth are you supposed to stop it from tarnishing?!
Honestly, the best thing you can do is wear your 925 sterling silver as regularly as possible. As long as you wipe it down when you're done wearing it, it should look like new and last.
What To Do When You Find Tarnish On Your 925 Sterling Silver Jewellery.
If you've noticed some tarnishing on your jewellery, don't fret.
If wiping it down with your polishing cloth hasn't made a dent, there are a few tricks we've got up our sleeve to help you out.
- Fill up a cup with warm water and add few drops of a mild dishwashing soap
- Pop your sterling silver jewellery in and gently wash to remove the tarnish
- If you need to get into any nooks and crannies use a cotton swab.
- If it's really stubborn try using a soft tooth brush to help move it.
- Once the tarnish is gone, make sure your 925 sterling silver jewellery is bone dry before popping it back into its airtight storage.
Voila - your sterling silver should be revived once again. Make sure you follow our steps above so you don't need to scroll all the way down again any time soon!