How To Protect Silver Jewelry

Silver is hard and durable. It’s therefore an ideal metal to be used for jewelry. Whether you have solid silver jewelry or silver-plated items, you will need to protect this jewelry from the various environmental and other factors that can cause it to stain, tarnish or even rust.

Store each piece separately. Jewelry made of silver is resilient. It’s harder than silver. However, silver can get fine scratches when stored alongside other jewelry. It’s usually a good practice to store each piece of jewelry separately. If your silver jewelry came with a box, then use it. If not, you can buy a jewelery box from the jeweler’s store or the department store. Some fancy silver jewelry will be sold with a velvet pouch. Whichever storage method you use, make sure that the silver surfaces don’t touch each other during storage, to prevent scratches.

Wipe the jewelry after use. The skin can produce so much oils and other liquids that can prove to be damaging and corrosive. If you have acidic sweat, this will seep into the metal and might cause stains. If you have oily skin, the oils can sometimes result in stains. Use a 100% cotton cloth to wipe your jewelry after use. This will clean it of sweat, oils and other residue. Be sure to use cotton, though, as other materials like polyester might scratch the silver’s surface.

Use non-abrasive polish. Jewelry looks best when it is shiny and sparkling. You can polish it with metal polish, but make sure you get the non-abrasive kind. Some metal polish products contain abrasive materials, and these can scratch the surface of your silver jewelry. Use polish specifically made for silver, and apply this with a soft cotton cloth. If you have stones set in your silver jewelry, don’t rub the silver polish on these, as the liquid might cause staining. Prior to storage, make sure you’ve wiped or rinsed off all residue from your silver polish.

Don’t scrub silver-plated pieces. Silver plating might wear off if you scrub it or polish too vigorously. When plating wears off, the jewelry will reveal its base metal, which can quickly react to sweat and humidity. Base metal easily corrodes and can cause staining on your skin and even cuts from corroded edges.  Be sure to wipe off sweat from plated jewelry before storage. Once the plating starts to come off, it might be time to have the piece re-plated. Or, you can refrain from wearing it altogether.

Make sure makeup or perfume has dried before wearing jewelry. Some makeup contains potentially corrosive or acidic substances. Make sure that your makeup has completely dried and set before wearing jewelry. Also, spray or dab on perfume before you wear your silver pieces. These might contain oils or alcohols that can tarnish silver.

Keep jewelry safe while traveling. It’s not advisable to bring along jewelry when traveling. However, if you do need to take your silver jewelry while on trips, don’t store these in checked-in luggage, as these might get lost. Leave it with the hotel safe, to prevent loss. If you must wear it en route to your destination, make sure you keep a close watch on your jewelry as you pass security inspections. You might be asked to remove all metallic implements from your body, and your jewelry might get lost, misplaced, or stolen.


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