Even the highest-quality silver tarnishes.
This guide will teach you how to care for your silver jewelry, prevent and reverse tarnish, and keep your jewelry shining bright.
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So your silver necklace changed color...
The sun is shining, you’re thrilled about that upcoming beach vacation or outdoor concert, and you’re ready to rock your favorite sterling silver jewelry that goes perfectly with that new sundress. Only there’s one problem: your favorite necklace has visibly tarnished since you wore it last.
Even the purest silver (including sterling, fine, and silver-plated jewelry) tarnishes when it comes into contact with elements and certain pollutants like salty air, humidity, perspiration, cosmetics, and household products, causing jewelry to undergo an oxidation reaction where it turns color and loses its luster. But not everyone is opposed to the tarnished look – in fact, some jewelers oxidize metals on purpose to give an antiquated look to their designs!
For most of us, though, it is a nuisance. Unlike rust which spreads like cancer and permanently damages precious metal, it can be convenient and totally affordable to reverse the tarnish on your favorite boho chic earrings just in time to stand out in the crowd at your favorite concert this summer.
Keep scrolling for a video tutorial on how to polish your necklace chains & links to essential jewelry care products!
4 Ways to Prevent Tarnish on Silver Jewelry
The internet has a lot to say about how to clean silver jewelry, including using ketchup and toothpaste as home remedies for your tarnished pieces. My take? Leave the toothpaste for your mouth and the ketchup on your hotdogs because many home remedies for tarnished jewelry can actually cause more damage.
So, as someone who has tried it all, consider keeping your jewelry clean and shiny using just these four simple steps!
- Wear your jewelry frequently. One of the easiest ways to prevent tarnishing is to wear your jewelry every day or as often as you can. As long as you wipe it down gently when you’re finished wearing it, it will retain its shine and last forever. You bought that raw birthstone necklace to show it off, after all.
- Store your sterling silver jewelry properly. Never store your silver (or brass or copper) jewelry in the bathroom or wear it in a spa or hot tub – humidity accelerates the tarnishing process. While you likely won’t notice a groundbreaking difference leaving your sterling silver jewelry out on your dresser overnight, the best place for long-term storage is in a small, air-tight bag like a mini-ziplock.
- Don’t forget to polish (see video below)! Believe it or not, you only need one product to help you maintain the quality and longevity of your Topaz & Pearl jewelry: this Sunshine polishing cloth. Keep this bad boy on hand to keep your sterling silver looking its best. Using gentle-to-medium pressure, simply rub/buff the surface that needs polished. For chains, simply fold the cloth over the necklace chain, pinch between your thumb and forefinger, and with your other hand, pull the chain through the cloth. Repeat until your piece shines like it did the day you bought it and you’re golden (or, er, silver – but that brings me to my next point).
- Go for the gold. Sterling silver is beautiful, durable, lightweight, and loves showing off by being worn daily but does tarnish more quickly and more often than gold. So if you aren’t deterred by the color and want a more low-maintenance piece, opting for a 14K gold fill is a perfect and affordable alternative.
How to polish your silver necklace chains:
Our favorite silver jewelry care products:
Shine Bright (You and Your Jewelry)
Your jewelry makes a statement. It is a beautiful, creative form of self-expression that tells your unique story. It represents your strengths, triumphs, and the amazing people you share them with. It should be fun, not cumbersome, having, donning, and caring for the jewelry you love that sets you apart.
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