Pure silver is slightly different from the silver you see in silver jewelry. That is because pure silver is too ‘soft’ to mould into shapes for jewelry. In order to make it suitably malleable, other metals (primarily copper, but also nickel or zinc) is used to make an alloy with silver. This alloy is referred to as Sterling Silver and it has less than 93% of pure silver, the rest being the other metals we mentioned. Although the metals added in Sterling Silver make it more durable, but the luster also reduces faster, which requires the jewelry to be polished in order to remove the tarnish. Since Sterling Silver does not have plates or layers which can come off, there is no limit to how often is too often for polishing.
This is just one of the ways Sterling Silver can be taken care of. There are three more things you can do in order to take good care of Sterling Silver jewelry :
Check The Rating First : Any jewelry made of Sterling Silver is given a rating. Pure Silver is allocated a rating of 999, which means it has 99.9% purity. As we said above, Sterling Silver has a 92.5% purity, which is why it is rated 925. You need to maintain a consistent polishing schedule if your jewelry has a rating of 950 or above.
Avoid Water : If you keep your Sterling Silver jewelry immersed in a jar of pure water, nothing will happen. But the water that you come in contact with in the shower or in swimming pools is not pure water by far. And those contaminants of water could be harmful for your silver. That is why it is important for you to try keeping your jewelry as dry as possible.
Air Can Be Bad : Exposure to air over an extended period can tarnish silver quickly but just putting your Sterling Silver jewelry inside a drawer might not be protection enough. It is best to have small pouches or jewelry boxes for individual pieces of your Sterling Silver collection.
If you take the above steps, and to it add a regular habit of polishing your Sterling Silver jewelry, you can assure a long and bright life for them.