Does Silver Jewellery Tarnish?

What to do with tarnished silver jewellery

Caring for your special jewellery: A guide to jewellery maintenance

Jewellery holds a special place in our hearts, often symbolising cherished memories and milestones. To ensure your precious pieces stand the test of time, it’s crucial to understand how to care for them properly. In this guide, we’ll address common questions about silver and gold-plated jewellery maintenance.

Is silver waterproof?

Lulu Silver Link Bracelet
How to look after silver jewellery so it keeps looking shiny

While silver is not entirely waterproof, it can withstand exposure to water in moderation. However, prolonged contact with water, especially in chlorinated pools or saltwater, may lead to tarnishing. It’s advisable to remove silver jewellry before swimming or engaging in activities that involve water to maintain its lustre.

Do silver rings tarnish?

Yes, silver rings can tarnish over time due to a natural chemical reaction with elements in the air, such as sulphur. Tarnishing appears as a dull or discoloured layer on the surface. Factors like air quality, humidity, and individual skin chemistry can influence the speed at which tarnishing occurs.

Will gold-plated jewellery tarnish?

Gold-plated jewellery, though resistant to tarnishing compared to pure silver, is not entirely immune. Over time, the thin layer of gold plating may wear off or tarnish, revealing the underlying base metal. To prolong the life of gold-plated jewellery, avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, lotions, and perfumes, and store it in a cool, dry place. Storing it in a cool, dry place can help mitigate the effects of tarnishing.

What is tarnishing?

Understanding the Tarnishing Process:

Tarnishing is a natural occurrence in silver jewellery due to the metal’s reaction with sulphur-containing compounds in the air. This reaction forms silver sulphide, the dark layer commonly seen on tarnished silver. While tarnish itself does not harm the silver, it can be unsightly and affect the jewellery’s overall appearance.  Silver jewellery looks so beautiful when it is bright and shiny, it’s a great idea to keep it looking that way! Proper storage is the key to minimising tarnishing.

Caring for silver jewellery:

  • Storage: Keep silver jewellery looking its best by storing it in a cool, dry place, ideally in an airtight container or a tarnish-resistant pouch to minimise exposure to air.  Every piece of Flutterby Jewellery comes with an anti-tarnish pouch.
  • Avoid exposure: Remove silver jewellery before swimming, showering, or engaging in activities that involve prolonged exposure to water. Chemicals in water can accelerate tarnishing, affecting the metal’s appearance.
  • Cleaning: Regularly clean silver jewellery with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove oils, dirt, and other residues. For more stubborn tarnish, consider using a silver polishing cloth or a gentle silver cleaner following the manufacturer’s instructions.

How can I prevent silver jewellery from tarnishing?

To stop silver jewellery tarnishing you could consider:

Keep your jewellery in an anti-tarnish bag to reduce tarnishing
Keep your jewellery in an anti-tarnish bag to reduce tarnishing
  • Anti-Tarnish Strips: Consider placing anti-tarnish strips in your jewellery storage to absorb airborne pollutants that contribute to tarnishing.
  • Silica Gel Packets: Including silica gel packets in your jewellery box can help control humidity, minimising the conditions conducive to tarnishing.

How to clean silver jewellery:

Cleaning silver jewellery is an essential aspect of its maintenance, helping to remove tarnish and restore its natural shine. We recommend regular gentle polishing with a silver polishing cloth.  It is a good idea to do this regularly to prevent any tarnishing becoming harder to remove. You can add a travel sized silver polishing cloth to your order or email us to buy one.

For more stubborn tarnishing you can clean sterling silver jewellery with a combination of bicarbonate of soda and hot water.  We have put together a handy guide of how to do this here.

We don’t recommend dipping your silver jewellery in silver cleaner.

How to look after gold-plated jewellery:

Gentle Cleaning: Clean gold-plated jewellery with a soft cloth to remove oils and dirt. Avoid abrasive materials that could scratch or remove the gold layer.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Refrain from exposing gold-plated jewellery to harsh chemicals, including household cleaners, as these can accelerate wear and tear on the gold plating.

When not in use, store them individually to prevent scratching. Use an anti-tarnish pouch, such as those in which we supply all our jewellery, to store your gold plated pieces.

In summary…

In the realm of jewellery care, knowledge is the key to preserving the beauty and longevity of your cherished pieces. Whether it’s the subtle glow of silver or the opulent allure of gold-plated treasures, a combination of preventative measures, regular cleaning, and good maintenance can ensure your jewellery remains a source of joy for generations to come.