Sterling silver is known for its versatility and beauty. But over time, the metal can tarnish or corrode. This is a natural process that can easily be avoided with a few care tips. Proper care includes being conscious of how you store, wear, and clean your jewelry.
What causes tarnishing?
While Silver Cartel pieces are designed to last a lifetime, it is normal for sterling silver to tarnish, also known as oxidation, when it comes into contact with oxygen and sulfur. This gives it a darker color. Silver Cartel products are on the higher end of silver purity (92.5%) which means they are susceptible to tarnishing.
But my jewelry is already dark silver (oxidized)?
Sometimes, sterling silver is intentionally oxidized to create depth and enhance details. Some of our items like these earrings and this toe ring come already oxidized to enhance the style. This type of silver jewelry should still be cared for with the following tips.
Storing your Silver Cartel pieces
Oxygen in the air will tarnish silver. So we recommend that you store individual pieces separately in air tight plastic bags, like the bags your jewelry comes in. It's best to store jewelry in an area with low humidity and to keep clasps/closures unhooked when stored. For extra care, place a packet of silica or piece of chalk in the storage bag.
Wearing your Silver Cartel pieces
Wearing your silver jewelry regularly can actually help prevent tarnishing since the oils from your body have a natural cleaning effect. However, some activities can accelerate tarnishing or even cause corrosion. You should remove your Sterling Silver jewelry before doing any of the following:
- Use household cleaning supplies.
- Cook with mustard, onions, eggs, or any other foods that contain sulfer.
- Spray hairspray
- Put on lotion and makeup
Cleaning your sterling silver pieces
Polishing is typically the best way to clean your silver jewelry. Be sure to do the following:
- Use a non-abrasive cloth like microfiber to avoid scratching. Don't use paper towels or tissues.
- Frequently rotate to a new section of the cloth.
- Avoid areas that are intentionally oxidized.
- Do not rub in a circular pattern,… follow the grain of the silver.
- Avoid rubbing too hard on engraved sections.
Please beware of commercial cleaning solutions, as they many present a health hazard if inhaled or even damage your jewelry. There are lots of homemade ways to clean your silver jewelry.
We hope that helps you care for your Silver Cartel jewelry. Just a little extra thought and time and your jewelry will look gorgeous for years to come!