JEWELRY 101: Sterling Silver

Solstice Chain Silver

.925 Sterling Silver is an alloy made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper (the copper is added to strengthen the metal so it is more durable than pure silver). Some of our Sterling Silver pieces may also be plated with rhodium, to give it extra shine and durability. Rhodium is one of the costliest precious metals due to its rarity. This is done because with pure Sterling Silver, oxidation is a naturally occurring reaction of the metal alloy and common elements in the air and water that surround us. All Sterling Silver will need to be cleaned periodically to remove this discoloring. The best prevention of oxidation, believe it or not, is to wear your Sterling Silver jewels! The natural oils from your skin can transfer to your jewels during wear and help to coat & protect the metal from discoloring. At J. Sterling Jewelry we prefer to use .925 Sterling Silver for our silver items.

Victoria Stack

Wipe down your Sterling Silver jewels regularly with a soft, dry cloth. Sterling Silver can be sensitive to water, however the natural oils in your skin help to coat the silver and slow down the oxidation process, so it’s a great excuse to wear your jewels often! To best care for your Sterling Silver, clean your jewelry after each time you wear it to keep the tarnish, dirt, and oil buildup to a minimum. If it’s necessary for a deeper clean, polish your Sterling Silver with a paste of baking soda and water and a soft toothbrush in the palm of your hand. Rinse well and pat dry with a clean cloth. If your Sterling Silver is extremely tarnished, it can be covered in this baking soda paste and left overnight. The next morning, rinse well, use a soft toothbrush to get all the paste off, pat dry with a clean cloth, and let air dry. Make sure your jewelry is completely dry before storing. To prevent tarnishing between wearing, be sure to store your jewelry in a closed bag/box to slow the oxidation process & limit its exposure to air.