With careful handling and correct storage, your sterling silver jewellery will maintain its brilliance and will last for many years to come.
Water contaminants, sulphides in the air and body oils, particularly from perspiration during summer months and humidity, can dull and tarnish silver. So follow this guide to ensure your jewellery stays in good condition but, you do need to be diligent.
To avoid airborne contaminants, store your jewellery in jewellery boxes with lids, or individually in dry, plastic or cloth bags and not in open jewellery boxes, on a bedside table or uncovered in a drawer.
Unclasp chains and lie them flat to stop them tangling and kinking. Ensure your pieces are separated as sterling silver can scratch easily.
Stay away from chemicals
Un-purified water will dull and tarnish your jewellery so it’s best to keep your jewellery dry. Should you forget to remove your jewellery when swimming in a chlorinated swimming pool, hot tub or in a hot spring which is high in sulphur, don’t worry, use the cleaning method listed below to restore lustre.
Creams, cosmetics and perfumes can also cause your jewellery to dull and tarnish so put on your jewellery after your cosmetic regime and when your body is dry.
Remove your jewellery before gardening and cleaning - where contact with chemicals is likely.
Sterling silver jewellery can easily be cleaned by gently washing in warm water with a little dishwashing liquid and then rinsing in cold water and leaving it to dry.
To remove a thicker layer of tarnish, place your jewellery in a bowl lined with aluminium foil. Place a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda on top of your jewellery and cover with warm water. Wait a few minutes then rinse with cold water and leave to dry. Lastly, polish with a silver cleaning cloth.
Note: If the jewellery has an oxidised finish, it is best to clean the piece with warm water and dishwashing liquid as bicarbonate of soda may be too harsh and can remove the oxidisation.
Wash regularly and, periodically wipe your jewellery with a soft cloth - a silver polishing cloth is best.
The Good News
Most of Antika jewellery is covered with rhodium which protects the jewellery from tarnishing. A quick wipe and careful storage will mean you can enjoy your jewellery for many years.