Let’s admit it women- We LOVE collecting silver jewellery. All those little trinkets, delicate anklets, sleek bangles are our prized possessions. But as we know, the biggest issue with it is its maintenance and preservation. Silver has the tendency to get TARNISHED very easily and so it is very important that you take good care of it.
Here’s ALL you need to know about your favourite piece of jewellery:
Know Your Metal
To figure out how tarnish-able your jewellery is, it is important to know the purity of your metal:
- The higher the purity, greater is it’s malleability and more is its chances to get tarnished.
- Avoid buying something that has a purity of .950 instead go for something that has a purity of .925 or .900
- Sterling silver with a purity of .925 is considered to be the best silver for making jewellery.
Store ’em Well
It is mandatory to know how to store your jewellery if you want your grand daughter to wear it:
- Store your jewellery in air-tight pouches as exposure to moisture tarnishes silver.
- Don’t store multiple jewellery in the same bag as silver tends to leave scratch marks even on friction with itself.
- If you have to store them in a box or bag make sure you leave a piece of chalk or a packet of activated carbon to prevent them from getting tarnished.
TRIVIA : You can increase the life of your silver ornaments by wearing them often. The oils in your skin has a tendency to cleanse the metal and retain its shine.
Keep them Away
A number of things you use everyday can harm the silver. Know them:
- Chlorinated Water
- Substances containing Sulphur (Eg- Eggs, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Onions)
- Hair Spray and other Hair Products.
Take Note : If you are using a silver hair piece, make sure it is the last thing you place on your hair. Don’t use hair spray on or around it.
Learn the Art of Polishing
You can simply polish your silver to bring back the shine if the grime on it is not to severe. But polishing is not as simple as it sounds. Done wrongly, and you can end up tarnishing your jewellery even more. Here are a few pointers:
- You can use a silver-cloth to polish the surface. If you don’t get one then use a lint-free flannel or a microfiber cloth easily available in the market.
- Clean using back and forth motion
- Keep changing the section of the cloth being used to clean as there as chances you’ll only end up rubbing the tarnish more into the jewellery.
- In case of silver-plated jewellery, avoid polishing as excessive polishing can only ruin the platting.
Warning : Do not clean using circular motion as chances are you’ll only magnify any tiny scratch.
Home-made Silver Jewellery Cleaners
If polishing cloth fails to give the required results try using home-made cleaners. Also these cleaning solutions are environment friendly as opposed to commercial store bought cleaners.
Soap and Warm Water
Use a solution of warm water and an ammonia and phosphate free mild soap to clean your jewellery. It is necessary to carry out this step before using any other solution on your silver jewellery.
Baking Soda and Water
Make a fairly thick paste of baking soda and water and apply it on the suface. If the jewellery has crevices that are hard to reach then make the paste lighter and reach these areas with the help of a soft bristled brush. Leave the paste on the jewellery for sometime then clean by placing the piece under running warm water and dry with a cloth.
TIP : Immediate drying is very necessary otherwise there are chances of water stains forming on the jewellery.
Olive oil and Lemon Juice
Mix half a cup of lemon juice with 1 tea spoon of olive oil. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and soak as much of the solution as possible. Now use this cloth to polish the silver jewellery. Rinse with water and dry well.
White Vinegar and Baking Soda
Make a solution of half a cup of white vinegar and two table spoons of baking soda. Let the mixture fizz then dip the desired pieces into the solution. Let it stay for two to three hours then remove and rinse it with warm water. Don’t forget to pat dry.
Points to Remember about Cleaning
- If your jewellery is adorned with pearls or other opaque stones like turquoise, opal or onyx DO NOT use any of the above solutions on it. Just rinse them with water. Chemicals in these solutions may reduce the lustre of these stones.
- For silver embedded with clear gemstones like topaz, amethyst do not use these solutions as they might get lodged in the base and spoil the loosen the glue.
- Stick to polishing only for oxidized pieces.
Chances are, Silver Jewellery usually gets ignored amidst all the gold and diamond jewellery. But the truth is if cared for well even they have a chance of becoming family heirloom. So, give them a fresh start.