Apr 06

Well, there are many reasons why your sterling silver jewelry has turned to a yellowish color. You may be thinking that what you’re wearing is fake since it is no longer as shiny as when you first purchased it, but feel at ease because all sterling silver will eventually tarnish (when silver appears yellow in color). When sterling silver is exposed to the oxygen in the air, it becomes oxidized. In chemistry, oxidation is the process of metals losing electrons, which is also what you witness when metal starts to rust from the oxygen in water. The tarnishing of your silver may also be due to your skin acidity and how much you sweat through your pores. Human sweat also creates a chemical reaction to the silver jewelry it comes into contact with, so it is only natural that your silver will tarnish to a varying degree, unless it is plated with another shiny metal such as rhodium (we will discuss what type of metal that is in the following blog entries).

What should you do to prevent all of your silver jewelry from tarnishing? The easiest way to keep your silver jewelry from tarnishing is to place it in a sealed or zip-lock type, plastic bag so that your precious jewelry is not exposed to air when it is not in use. Also, avoid showering/bathing while wearing your jewelry or leaving them in wet areas. A better method is to polish the silver metal with a jewelry polishing cloth made especially for cleaning sterling silver since it already contains chemicals that would remove oxidation from your sterling silver jewelry and reverse the tarnishing effect. The jewelry polishing cloth is the best bargain because it can make your silver jewelry last for years to come and is the greatest cleaning agent you’ll ever own.

If you need a quick solution to reverse the tarnishing of silver, we recommend using Windex® (yes, Windex®) an easy-to-find household cleaning liquid usually used to shine windows and mirrors. Windex® seems to work part of the time, but do not use this method if your silver jewelry contains any type of stones since the chemicals in Windex may damage them. Simply pour some of the blue liquid into a small bowl, then dip your jewelry in it, agitate the chemical effect by stirring the jewelry with a plastic utensil for about two minutes, then let the silver sit for about a minute before transferring it to another bowl of water to rinse off the chemicals. Later, use a cloth or paper towel to dry. Seems like an experiment done in a mini laboratory, huh? Well, chemistry is always at work when we deal with jewelry! These simple steps will keep your jewelry looking brand new, shiny and ready to bedazzle anyone who sees it!

edited by CP

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