Lapis Lazuli House provides high-quality pieces that are intended to last a lifetime. However, taking proper care of your sterling silver jewelry will keep it looking its best for as long as possible. By taking certain precautions you can minimize wear and keep your jewelry as brilliant as when you first received it!
Tarnishing occurs when oxygen or sulfur come into contact with sterling silver, giving it a duller coloring. If your piece is of a higher purity it is likely to tarnish more quickly! Because of how easy it is for sterling silver to tarnish, it is important to be conscious of how you wear, clean, and store your jewelry.
Wearing your jewelry
You should not be anxious about wearing your jewelry too much. In fact, the oils from your body have a cleansing effect on the sterling silver, meaning that wearing your piece as often as possible is actually a good thing! However, be mindful of when you wear it. Remove your jewelry if you are cleaning with strong detergents or cooking with foods that contain sulfur (onions, eggs, mustard). Do not wear your jewelry if you are going sunbathing or swimming. Chlorinated water can react with the metals found in your jewelry and might cause color change. Remember to put on your jewelry after you have already applied your lotion or makeup. Cosmetics, perfumes, and hair products contain harmful chemicals that can damage your sterling silver. Minimizing your jewelry’s exposure to sulfur and damaging chemicals is an important part of upkeep. Removing your jewelry before playing contact sports is a good idea as well as it might get damaged or lost. While you may want to wear your piece every day, remember that protecting it from chemicals and damage will mean that you get to wear it more in the long run.
Cleaning your jewelry
People often neglect to clean their jewelry, but this is an important step that will keep your sterling silver beautiful for longer and minimize the amount of repairs it might need in the future. Be sure to polish your sterling silver regularly with a non-abrasive cloth to avoid scratching the metal. Tissues and paper towels can scratch the jewelry. Apply pressure, but be sure not to rub too hard, particularly on engraved sections. Follow the grain of the silver by polishing the piece in a straight line rather than in circles. Never use soap, and never bathe with your jewelry on. Commercial soaps can cause a film to form on the sterling silver that makes it look dull and grimy. Warm water or rubbing alcohol is particularly useful for cleaning your jewelry, but you might want to invest in professional cleaning solutions.
Storing your jewelry
Finally, being wary of how you store your jewelry can make all the difference. Since oxygen can tarnish the sterling silver, minimizing exposure is key. Wrapping each piece in a cloth or jewelry bag and storing them separately is a necessary step for preventing damage. When jewelry pieces are stored together they are bound to scratch each other. Keep your jewelry at room temperature with low humidity. Placing a pack of silica or a piece of chalk with your jewelry is another way to keep your pieces dry and safe.
Sterling silver jewelry is beautiful and lustrous, but it needs proper care in order to stay that way. Being mindful of when you wear your jewelry, taking the time to polish and clean it before any serious damage occurs, and storing your pieces properly can ensure that your sterling silver jewelry will stay in mint condition for as long as possible.