WHAT IS STERLING SILVER?
Sterling silver is a metal containing at least 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. This is the legal standard of purity set by the assay offices in Britain and used for most silver jewellery throughout the world. It means that the metal used is of a specific quality. Pure silver is never used, as it is too soft to be practical.
It is the 7.5% other metals, usually copper, that oxidise in the air resulting in the build-up of a tarnished layer on sterling silver jewellery.
CARING FOR SILVER JEWELLERY
Over time, sterling silver will inevitably tarnish when exposed to air.
To slow down the tarnishing process store jewellery in a cool, dry place, preferably wrapped in acid free tissue paper or in a soft lined box; keep individual pieces separate to prevent them rubbing against each other, which could result in damage.
Avoid contact with cosmetics, perfume, hair products, body lotion, deodorant, nail polish remover and strong chemicals such as chlorine and those found in household cleaning products. Perspiration and acids in the skin can also accelerate the tarnishing process.
Remove jewellery when performing manual work, cleaning, gardening, swimming and bathing.
HOW TO CLEAN SILVER JEWELLERY
Silver jewellery will naturally age and tarnish with time and wear. If possible, wash it by hand in warm soapy water (using a mild detergent) as soon as possible after wearing. Rinse it in clear warm water and dry thoroughly with a soft towel or cloth.
To remove any tarnish that has built up and keep silver jewellery in good condition, polish it regularly using a soft dry cloth, preferably a silver polishing cloth which will restore shine.
Avoid using silver dip which can be very harsh and can damage pearls and gemstones.To restore sparkle to faceted gemstone jewellery use warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. Soak the jewellery briefly then gently brush inside the back of the setting before rinsing and drying thoroughly as before.