Sterling Silver Jewelry has an unrivaled elegance and beauty in the jewelry world. It sparkles like few others, has been worn by kings, queens, movie stars, and supermodels, and is always at the pinnacle of high fashion. Although everyone’s reasons for liking sterling silver jewelry differ, almost everyone agrees on the following five advantages:
1. It is less expensive than gold jewelry. With so much talk about budgets and possible recessions, sterling silver jewelry is the ideal way to demonstrate your thriftiness without sacrificing any of your styles. With gold prices on the rise, it only makes sense to consider sterling silver for your next jewelry purchase.
2. It is extremely versatile, as it can be worn with a wide range of outfits and combinations. Sterling Silver Jewelry can achieve results that other types of jewelry cannot. It looks great with everything from the most elegant evening gowns to everyday t-shirts and blue jeans. Its versatility stems from its beautiful color and wide range of styles.
3. Maintain a high level of fashion. For a long time, the fashion world has recognized the benefits of Sterling Silver. Rarely will you find a fashion catalog or celebrity photo on the red carpet where the Hollywood and fashion elite aren’t wearing some of the finest Sterling Silver Jewelry available? Take their lead and add this fine jewelry to your collection of accessories.
4. Put on a regal look. The kings and queens of old preferred sterling silver and gold. They recognized its beauty back then, and you can now as well. Put on your sterling silver jewelry and feel the same majesty.
5. There are a plethora of styling options. Whether your tastes in jewelry are eclectic or more conservative, you will find plenty of options to satisfy your sense of style. When you buy sterling silver jewelry, you are entering a well-established market that caters to a wide range of fashion audiences. This is a significant benefit to you as a consumer because you can find a wide range of sterling silver items to accessorize you from head to toe.
With this list of advantages, it is easy to see why so many people prefer Sterling Silver Jewelry for themselves and as gifts for others. They are ideal for weddings, evening parties, and general use. They can be worn to work, on the town, or even at home. Sterling Silver Jewelry, with its versatility and beauty, should be a welcome addition to everyone’s jewelry box.
Antique Sterling Silver Cleaning, Storage, and Display
Whether you are storing or displaying your antique sterling silver, it must first be cleaned and polished. A flannel cloth, a 100 percent cotton cloth, a special sterling silver cleaning cloth, or a soft bristle brush, such as a horsehair brush or a baby’s toothbrush, are required for this. Silver is a very soft metal that can easily be scratched or pitted, so it should be lightly rubbed or polished. Make certain that any cleaning tools you use are completely clean, as leftover dirt from previous cleanings can cause pitting or abrasions on your antique sterling silver.
For a light cleaning of things like dust, dirt, or fingerprints, you can simply use a small amount of laundry detergent mixed with one-half cup of warm water as your cleaning agent. Then, using a soft polishing cloth, polish your antique sterling silver piece. After completely air-drying your cleaning tool, store it in a zip lock bag.
If there is a lot of tarnish, use a silver paste cleaner or a silver polish spray. You should never clean or polish in a circular motion because it can cause scratching; instead, use a lengthwise rubbing motion. You can use a very soft brush to remove creviced tarnish from antique sterling silver, but some people prefer to leave the tarnish in the crevices of a piece to give it “character.”
When handling your antique sterling silver, always wear gloves. Your skin contains salts, fats, and oils that can tarnish. Fingerprints can, in fact, become permanently etched into sterling silver. After cleaning your antique sterling silver with a cleaner, use a clean cloth to remove any cleaner residue. It is now ready to be stored or displayed.
Wrap your newly cleaned antique sterling silver in buffered and acid-free tissue paper, well-washed cotton, linen, or silver cloths before storing it. As a wrapper medium, do not use felt, newspaper, wool, or chamois leather. These substances can cause significant tarnishing to your antique sterling silver.
Consider a wood cabinet with a glass-enclosed display space for displaying your valuable antique sterling silver collection. Unvarnished shelves in a wooden case allow harmful gaseous vapors to escape, so make sure the wooden shelves are well varnished. Glass shelves are fine, but make certain that they can support the total weight of your antique sterling silver.
To prevent tarnishing, place camphor blocks inside the cabinet, but do not allow them to come into contact with the antique sterling silver pieces. There are also specially designed papers and cloths that use silver salts or activated carbon to prevent or reduce tarnish buildup.
Never wear clothes made of cotton, felt, wool, or velvet when displaying your antique sterling silver pieces. These materials’ sulfides will eat away at the metal. While sunlight does not cause tarnishing, it can speed up the chemical processes that cause that film, so keep your display case out of direct sunlight.
When cleaning your sterling silver, especially your displayed sterling silver, you should not only use soft cloths like flannel or all-cotton cloths or very soft brushes like horsehair brushes, but you should also wear white gloves. What is the point of wearing these gloves? Because your skin contains salts, fats, and oils that can tarnish sterling silver pieces. Fingerprints can, in fact, become permanently etched into sterling silver. Wearing gloves when handling will help to prevent this.
Care of Sterling Silver Jewelry
Keep your sterling silver rings, charms, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings in good condition, and they will give you years of aesthetic and ornamental pleasure. Many sterling silver treasures are passed down through the generations.
To clean your silver, use a cotton cloth or a similar soft and non-abrasive material. Despite its durability, sterling silver is a relatively soft metal that can be easily scratched if mistreated. Commercially available cloths for this purpose are available.
For light soilings, such as fingerprints and daily grime, a gentle, non-abrasive soap or detergent is recommended. A drop or two mixed into a 12 cup of warm water is sufficient. Dab your non-abrasive cloth into the mixture and clean as if polishing, being careful not to scratch any stone encasements. After washing, continue cleaning and polishing with a dry, non-abrasive cloth. Make sure the item is completely dry before storing it.
It is recommended that you use one of the commercially available silver cleaning pastes for a more thorough cleaning. (Note: When using such pastes on silver jewelry with gemstones, use extreme caution not to damage the gemstones — polish dull stone finishes over time.) Before using the paste, carefully read the instructions.)
You should clean your sterling silver pieces in a lengthwise motion rather than a circular motion to reduce scratching (light scratching is inevitable but can be minimized). You can use a small, soft-bristled brush to reach those hard-to-reach areas that your cloth cannot reach (similar to a toothbrush). Try to find one made specifically for this purpose. Nonetheless, be gentle.
Some people recommend toothpaste and baking soda for cleaning sterling silver, but these are often too abrasive and should be avoided if possible.
- Keeping Things Safe
The first rule of storing sterling silver jewelry (after cleaning or otherwise) is to never store it in a moist or wet environment (whether from perspiration or cleaning). Because humidity and open air contribute to the corrosion of sterling silver jewelry, you should avoid exposing it as much as possible when it isn’t being worn.
If you do not intend to wear your sterling silver jewelry for an extended period of time, it is strongly advised that you store it in a special jewelry bag designed to prevent turning (commercially available as well). (Ziplock bags also work well if the air is sufficiently removed.)
If you follow the above tips for sterling silver jewelry care and storage, your pieces will look as good as new for many years to come. Take good care of your sterling silver, and it will make you look even better.
Related article: How Sterling Silver Jewelry Makes an Excellent Gift?
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