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Maria's Corner Blog

Preserving and Investing Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling Silver is an investment and what better way to safeguard that investment than to care for it. Those pieces well cared for will not only give you good return for your money but will be a legacy to leave to your children in the future. Keep those precious pieces of sterling silver in top shape. 

Sterling Silver can tarnish giving the effect of an antique piece of jewelry. Sterling silver jewelry that is worn continuously often develops a nice patina, a kind of glow combined with darkened areas which is the antique appearance. Sometimes is due to your body chemistry reacting to the silver metal. It is a matter of preference if you want to wear it like that or in its original state.

Not all pieces will look great with the patina effect. Either way sterling silver needs care. Sterling silver is not like any other jewelry metal that doesn't require special care for the preservation of the end product, it does need attention. Hope my guidance will help you to make a wise decision to care for your sterling silver jewelry. 

Cleaning Your Sterling Silver Jewelry

  1. When I am in a rush I like to clean mine with toothpaste that has no phosphate like sensodyne  or children toothpaste (they don't have phosphate) and a  soft toothbrush, a quick and easy way. Do not rub  and use a very soft toothbrush.  Just applied the toothpaste to the jewelry and brush very softly for few seconds only, rinse and dry well. This method is very fast but I don't suggest to use it with sensitive pieces that will scratch easily.

  2. A low abrasive cleaner, such as 3M Tarni-Shield Silver Polish, is a good choice for removing light tarnish.

  3. Also there are bottle with special liquids for silver such as  Connoisseurs Delicate & Silver Revitalizing Jewelry Cleaner Kits as seen in the photo above. I use this also for those hard to clean pieces.

  4. I will suggest that you invest on ultrasonic machine, they are powerful unit that gently cleans in minutes without damaging delicate jewelry and you can put multiple pieces in one cleaning cycle. They use special solutions such as ultrasonic solutions.Most of the time the machines come with their own solutions and you only have to purchase the refills.                               

I have an old one- photo above- that is very good. As you see I have my own equipment to keep all my jewelry gold, silver, sterling silver, stones ready to go.                                                                            
Photo  is of a  jewelry ultrasonic cleanser machine at Walmart  for $9.99. There are others more expensive in the market. This one is a good option.ultrasonic jewelry cleaner machine


Avoid Moisture:

Make  sure you thoroughly dry all of your jewelry adornments after cleaning! Keep moisture away from stored jewelry also, because dampness is a culprit that encourages verdigris (a bright bluish-green encrustation or patina formed on copper or brass by atmospheric oxidation, consisting of basic copper carbonate). rust, pitting of plated metals, and other damaging conditions. Set specific time to clean your jewelry, like every week or every month. I do mine at night, it is quiet and I am more relaxed.

 Products to avoid:

There are plenty of products specifically geared for cleaning  jewelry.

  1. You need to make sure that the cleaner doesn't contain ammonia, vinegar, or any other acids or alcohols.

  2. Read the label and make sure you are using a cleaner safe for whatever material your jewelry is made from (silver, gold, brass, bronze, copper, chrome, stainless steel, aluminum, pearls, opals, marble and any gems). 

  3. Don’t use soap and water, because most soaps will leave a residue on the metal and make the stones look dull. Windex can damage delicate stones and finishes. 

  4. For items that you pull out of the jewelry box to wear it only once, clean them before  and after each use.

  5. To avoid scratching your sterling silver jewelry with other jewelry items, keep it separated in a box, pouch, or cloth

  6. Stones should be with stones, silver with silver. sterling silver should be on  air tight plastic bags or anti-tarnish cloth drawers.

  7. Never place silver with gold. To simply get the dust and dirt off of your  sterling silver jewelry, use the softest toothbrush that you can fine  or use a very soft cloth to clean the surface.

  8. Keep an anti-tarnish tissue papers or anti tarnish strips inside the drawers or inside boxes were you store your jewelry.  This will keep your jewelry in top readiness specially silver.

  9. Each one of my drawers have anti tarnish strip underneath the jewelry or on top, no preference

  10. .You can also use anti-tarnish material, it is a little costly, to cover your drawers with it and then  place jewelry over it without boxing or bags. 

I like to buy my anti-tarnish tissue by the roll. It is expensive but I can have enough to last me a life time.

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