Well cared for silver can make a stunning statement, unfortunately silver is extremely prone to tarnishing; this trait is sometimes enough to deter people from investing in a silver piece in the first place. Although you should be aware that silver takes a certain level of maintenance to keep it in a nice condition, don’t be afraid to buy a piece just because of the extra work involved in taking care of it. There are plenty of tactics that can be used to make your job easier.
If you are concerned about keeping silver from tarnishing there are generally two separate types of silver you would be interesting in protecting. There are pieces that are used on a semi-regular basis, such as silver jewelry, as well as the more specialty pieces, such as flatware or tableware, that are typically store for a long period of time before use. Even though both types are made of silver, they require different techniques to keep from tarnishing. This article will address the best ways to take care of your silver jewelry pieces.
Silver pieces tarnish after reacting with outside elements. This is why it is always important to wipe down your silver after its been used. Polishing rags can be purchased at jewelry or department stores, as well as online, and should be used to wipe off silver quickly before wearing and more thoroughly at the end of the day when you are taking it off before storing for the night. Some polishing cloths also come with anti-tarnishing chemicals on the products themselves that coat the silver piece with an anti tarnish agent to keep your jewelry shiny and tarnish free.
A way to ensure that there is less of a chance of your silver reacting with outside elements would be to try to limit the amount of reactants it comes into contact with. Before handling your silver pieces you should make sure your hands are free from lotions or other skin products. Silver also reacts with something as common as air. To make your polishing job easier, try to store your jewelry in an airtight space. You can either purchase airtight jewelry boxes or simply place your silver pieces in a Ziploc bag and squeeze all the air out. Another option would be to purchase anti-tarnish storage bags for your jewelry pieces. These bags combine the techniques of keeping air away from your pieces while using anti-tarnish agents to protect them.
Pieces that are already tarnished can be treated with liquid silver cleaners. I would suggest asking a professional jeweler for a treatment product that not only does a good job cleaning but also will not potentially damage the piece during the cleaning process. There are so many different kits out there that can be used to clean silver pieces; be sure to closely follow all the instructions for the particular cleaner you select. After cleaning, remember the tips mentioned above to keep your jewelry from getting that tarnished in the future.