Don’t Let Your Silver Bracelet Become Discoloured
Silver is a beautiful, lustrous precious metal. Its elegant sheen is what has captured eyes and imaginations for millennia. Without due care taken, silver can become discoloured during storage and every day wear. Here are a few simple steps for you to take to prevent your silver bracelet becoming discoloured.
Storing Sterling Silver Jewellery
High quality sterling silver bracelets will tarnish over time due to a reaction to oxygen. Mild tarnishing looks as though a dull gold wash has been applied to the surface of the jewellery, extreme tarnishing is a total blackening of the silver. Tarnishing occurs slowly if you wear your bracelet every day, but it can occur far more rapidly if you store your jewellery without taking precautions against it.
• Clean your jewellery before storing it. Use a clean, soft cloth, such as cotton to gently clean the surface of your bracelet. Don’t clean your bracelet with circular movements as this can dull its sheen. Instead, clean along the lines of the bracelet for a uniform lustre. Avoid rough or coarse fabrics and fibres such as polyester or tissue, as these will scratch your jewellery. A silver cleaning cloth is a small investment well worth making for this purpose.
• Leave clasps, closures, and fasteners on your bracelet open and unfastened during storage.
• Don’t use elastic or rubber bands to secure your silver jewellery when storing it, the Sulphur in these will corrode the silver.
• Use a Ziploc bag to store your silver jewellery. Place a silica gel pack in the bag to minimise moisture which will cause tarnishing. A piece of chalk will help lessen the effect of moisture if a silica gel pack is unavailable. Carbon impregnated plastic bags are lined with a surface designed to eradicate moisture, and are ideal for silver jewellery storage.
• Store you silver bracelet in a cool dry place.
Potential Risks to Silver Jewellery
Silver can discolour or corrode if exposed to a number of substances. An awareness of what these are and when they are likely to affect your jewellery will help you avoid them and reduce the risk of it losing its intrinsic beauty.
• Remove silver jewellery when doing any cleaning or scouring involving the use of detergents, bleaches or solvents.
• Take your silver jewellery off when bathing or showering as chemicals in toiletries can react badly with it.
• Eggs, mustard, and onions contain Sulphur which can corrode or discolour your silver, so remove your jewellery in the kitchen when preparing any of these foodstuffs.
• Hair products such as setting gels, lotions, dyes, and sprays can contain agents corrosive to silver, so remove your jewellery when applying these at home, or when visiting the hairdresser.
• Sun creams, sun blocks, and tanning lotions are potential hazards to silver, so remove your silver jewellery before applying them and whilst sunbathing.
• Cleaning your silver bracelet regularly with a cloth will preserve its beauty. There are also silver cleaning solutions you can use. Follow the directions on these products carefully. Bracelets set with gems may require specialist cleaning, so it is advisable to consult a jeweller if you want silver jewellery inlaid with jewels cleaned.
These simple steps will preserve the surface of your silver bracelet from corrosion and discoloration and make it look brand new.