Silver that is called 'sterling' is a metallic compound comprising a minimum of 92.5 per cent silver and 7.5 per cent copper. It contains no nickel or other allergy sensitive metal. 92.5 per cent meets the legal requirements of the Uk hallmarking Acts. A lot of silver jewellery use it because 100% silver is by itself too soft.
We would recommend that silver jewellery is stored in a self seal bag. This isolates the piece from air conditions that may contain sulphides. Also try and store it a dry and cool environment. The hotter the environment the greater the chance of more sulphides which cause tarnish.
The best way to clean jewellery is with good old sweat and tears. Nothing beats hand polishing.
Once you have cleaned silver earrings we recommend you wash them before insertion into the ear. Washing them will remove the cleaning agents from their earring hook or stud post.
For cleaning silver chains the easiest method is to grip one end of the chain and then repeatedly pull the chain up and down the yellow side of the cloth. Try not to pull the chain too hard particularly with delicate or trace chains.
£2.50 - The Silverstall cloth is specially formulated to provide a clean shine to the surface of the silver. The yellow side of the cloth is impregnated with special anti-tarnishing agents. You can polish silver effortlessly with the yellow side of the cloth whilst holding the black side so as to avoid mess to your hands.
Over time Sterling silver may tarnish. To preserve your silver and maintain a healthy lustre use the silverstall polish cloth at regular intervals. How often depends on the size of the jewellery and the conditions it is stored in. i.e. larger items or jewellery stored in hot temperatures may need polishing at greater intervals. It is not recommended to use a silver dip or some other similar solution. These chemicals can cause long term damage to the silver.
To clean some gemstones, use clean water with a small quantity of soap and a very soft toothbrush. Lightly brush the stone and rinse with clean water. Avoid scrubbing the rear of the stone as this may loosen its setting.
Try to keep jewellery away from chemicals, in particular strong detergents as this can sometimes break down the cement used to set the stone. To keep your silver jewellery in good condition, its best to remove it when swimming as Chlorine in water does not react favourably with silver.
These cleaners operate by immersing the jewellery into either water or a cleaning solution and then bombarding the liquid with ultra sonic sound waves. The energy from those waves create millions of minute bubbles which scrub the surface of the silver dunked in the liquid. This is known as cavitation. The drawback with ultrasonic cleaners is that often items of jewellery are cast, such as silver crosses, which means they have microscopic imperfections on their surface. Leaving these items in the tank for too long allows the ultrasonic waves to seek out those imperfections which can create streaking or "etch marks". This can however be easily avoided by ensuring you remove the items within the guidelines. Most tanks have a preset time limit of 3 minutes per clean. When using them it improves performance to use warm water with a few droplets of a washing-up liquid, which helps to remove the heavily built-up tarnish on older items of silver jewellery.
Ultra sonic tanks are useful for large commercial amounts but really not suitable for individual items particularly as the time spent drying the article could have been used with a polish cloth anyway. On the other hand for cleaning say more than ten items of jewellery then such a device is particularly useful. They are also useful for cleaning delicate or ornate pieces such as silver rings that are sometimes difficult to clean by cloth. Be careful with some of the cheaper models as we have found from bitter experience they tend to have a short life expectancy. Also they are only really useful for precious metals as the majority of costume jewellery will be damaged by its reaction with water.