Welcome to my blog! In this space, I hope to keep you up on what's happening at KDD and also to give you information that might be helpful to you -- in caring for your own jewelry, vintage jewelry, maybe even making your own jewelry. If you'd like to see specific topics, let me know in comments, and I'll do my best to follow through.
Today, I wanted to talk a little about a question I am often asked: how do I keep my silver jewelry from tarnishing?
So, sterling jewelry is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper (that's why there is that little tiny .925 stamped on your jewelry.) It's the copper that causes the tarnish and it is simply a chemical reaction to the air and to moisture. You can't stop it altogether, but you can do a lot to protect your jewelry just the same.
Think of your silver jewelry in much the same way we are told to treat pearls: avoid moisture, chemicals from perfumes, body lotions and hairsprays. Make your silver jewelry the last thing you put on, after using all of these, and the first thing you take off.
When you take the jewelry off, wipe it with a soft cloth before putting it away. Store it in a sealed bag with an anti-tarnish strip or tab from 3M -- you can get these from your jeweler. You can also use chalk in the drawer or box where you keep your jewelry, or even those little "do not eat" silica gel pouches you find in your shoeboxes or vitamin bottles! The idea is, use something that will absorb the humidity before it gets to the surface of your silver.
Feeling fancy? You can buy jewelry boxes or pouches made with anti-tarnish fabric, also great storage options to avoid tarnishing silver.
Also, don't leave your jewelry lying around in humid places, like on the edge of the bathroom sink. Don't wear it in the shower, and try to avoid chlorine which will instantly blacken silver, so hot tubs and swimming pools are out, too. If your home has sulphur water, your challenge is that much more intense.
Of course, the very best way to keep your jewelry from tarnishing? Wear it!
If all your efforts fail, how to clean? That's for next time.