How to properly store and protect your silver jewellery to prevent tarnishing
Each time a silver object tarnishes and is polished again, a tiny bit of the silver is lost. Knowing how to properly store your silver jewellery is crucial to keep the pieces beautiful and lengthen their life expectancy.
Whenever you’re not wearing a silver jewel, you need to protect it from the sulphur-containing gases in the air. There are a couple of ways to properly do this:
• Store your jewellery in an air tight bag. This can simply be a small zip lock bag. Store each piece separately to prevent scratching.
! Important: Do not store natural pearls and jewellery with natural pearls in an air tight container. Pearls need to “breathe” to prevent them from discolouring and becoming brittle.
• Store your jewellery in a (jewellery) box with anti-tarnishing cloths, anti-tarnishing paper strips or even silica gel packets. Since a jewellery box is not air tight, you’ll need the anti-tarnishing materials or silica gel packets to absorb the moisture out of the air. There are jewellery boxes pre-lined with anti-tarnishing materials, or you can use anti-tarnishing bags to store each piece separately in a regular box. It’s not enough to only store your jewellery in a dark place.
Tips on taking care of your silver jewellery while wearing it
• Do not wear your jewellery when working with chlorine or going swimming in chlorinated water. Chlorine will turn your silver jewellery black instantly. Don’t worry though, this is also a form of tarnish and can be polished off.
• Put on your jewellery last when you’re getting ready for your day (or evening). Put on jewellery after putting on make-up, perfume, lotions and other cosmetics. When you spray or rub cosmetics directly on your silver jewellery, the jewellery might tarnish or even get damaged from the ingredients in the cosmetics.
• Give your jewellery a quick clean before storing them. Even when you have a piece of jewellery that you never take off, it’s still a good idea to give it a quick clean now and then. Wipe with a polishing cloth or rinse with water and pat dry with a lint-free soft cloth. This gets rid of any sweat, cosmetics or other fluids that might have been gathered on the jewel’s surface while wearing.
• Keep your jewellery separate. Do not mix different metals together in your storage box. This not only prevents scratching, but also cross-contamination.
Read more about why silver tarnishes.