Types of Silver
Fine silver is pure silver, 99.9% silver. Fine silver does not tarnish, but it can attract tarnish from sterling silver it’s in contact with.
Sterling silver is a silver alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The copper makes the silver harder and more durable but also causes the silver to tarnish over time.
Argentium sterling silver is also a silver alloy like sterling silver. Argentium sterling silver is at least 92.5% silver and a combination of copper and germanium. Argentium sterling silver does not usually tarnish.
18 Karat gold
18 karat gold contains 75% gold, with the rest made up of other more durable metal alloys used to add colour and strength. White metals will be added to create white gold with copper added to create pink gold. 18ct yellow gold is appreciated for its radiance and is much warmer and brighter in tone than 14ct and 9ct gold
Fine Silver Jewellery Maintenance
Your fine silver pieces should require nothing more than a wash in mild soapy water and a gentle scrub with a soft toothbrush to bring them back to life. However if they are in contact with Sterling silver in the same place for a long period of time the tarnish from the Sterling silver can transfer onto the Fine silver. If this happens see the below options.
Sterling Silver and Gold Jewellery Maintenance
Sterling Silver naturally becomes tarnished because of oxygen and other elements, and often our body chemistry and hormones, making the jewellery look dirty and discoloured.
Like other precious metals, sterling silver can oxidize (tarnish) over time. Tarnish first appears as a golden hue which quickly turns to black. Fortunately, there are many ways to properly clean and care for your sterling silver jewellery.
Prevention is always better than the cure and that also applies to taking care of your sterling silver jewellery. When wearing, avoid getting sterling silver in contact with perfume (make sure it’s dry before putting on your necklace), lotions, detergents, bleach, household cleaners, and agents that contain sulfur such as hairspray. You should always remove them before taking a shower, going for a swim or washing the dishes. When storing, keep them in separate airtight polyethylene bags with Anti-Tarnish paper (that was included with your order) to minimize exposure to open air and humidity as well as friction against other objects. This should prevent a lot of tarnish developing when your jewellery is not in use.
Cleaning Silver Jewellery
1. The most simple way to maintain your sterling silver is to give it a gentle scrub with a soft toothbrush and mild soapy water, I recommend doing this on a regular basis such as fortnightly, or more often if your jewellery is in contact with perfume, sweat or if you naturally tarnish sterling faster than usual. I also recommend to do this after using any of the following methods if you allow your children to mouth on and play with your jewellery.
Sterling silver tarnishes when exposed to certain elements. When the tarnish is not too severe, simple polishing is typically the best way to clean your jewellery and keep the shine intact. Here are a few notes to remember about polishing:
Keep in mind to use a special polishing cloth or a lint-free microfiber cloth as sterling silver is a soft metal that can easily be scratched.
Frequently rotate to a new section of the cloth and never rub vigorously – instead, use soft back-and-forth motions that follow the grain of the silver.
3. Homemade Silver Cleaners
Natural products can be just as effective as commercially-prepared silver cleaners. You might find most of the ingredients listed below obtainable already from your kitchen.
-White vinegar + baking soda: Place ½ cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons baking soda in a clean container. Soak your tarnished sterling silver piece for 2 to 3 hours. Rinse and dry after. Voila! Instant shine. This recipe is good for stubborn tarnishes that prevent you from efficiently polishing your silver.
-Aluminum Foil Technique: The principle behind this is known as galvanic reduction in which the tarnish in your sterling silver piece (silver sulfide) is converted back to silver once it comes into contact with aluminum in a solution. You will need:
aluminum foil (or an aluminum plate);
a ceramic or other non-heat-sensitive bowl or pan;
sodium bicarbonate (baking soda);
Place the aluminum in the bottom of the bowl with baking soda distributed on the aluminum surface. Next, place your tarnished sterling silver jewellery and pour boiling water over until it is immersed. Remove the jewellery after 5 to 10 minutes. Then wash and dry with a soft cloth. You will find it good as new!
*Please note that I do not recommend using Chemical dips and commercial silver cleaners. They work by removing tarnish at an accelerated rate, and are prone to leaving a dull, lifeless appearance to sterling silver jewellery in the long run, possibly even causing weakness of any solder points. They can also have dangerous health and environmental concerns posed by the harsh solvents in most cleaners.
To use my infinity clasps, gently open each side only enough to fit over what you’re attaching them to, then gently squeeze shut.
If they are repeatedly bent out too far they could possibly break from work hardening of the silver. If cared for appropriately this should not be a problem and your clasp should have a long and happy life!
Wrap scrap fabric chains
To care for your wrap scrap chain clasps see Infinitys above.
To clean your chain please hand wash only in mild liquid detergent, and let dry flat in shade.