Silver is the most common precious metal and has long been a versatile and beautiful addition to the nation’s jewellery collections. However, many silver pendants, rings and other pieces are extremely fragile and require great care and attention to maintain the soft lustre that this metal is known and loved for. Cleaning your silver jewellery is a vital part of its upkeep but owners of silver amethyst jewellery and the fashionable silver snake chains are still unsure about how to care for their pieces.
Silver can become quickly tarnished, stained and scratched so cleaning your silver pieces can be a little tricky and extremely daunting, especially if it is your favourite bracelet or pendant! But it is important to realise that you can ‘do it yourself’ and avoid the costs of cleaning from a professional silversmith.
To keep your silver shining, cleaning must be completed on a regular basis and rather unexpectedly silver jewellery that is used daily rarely tarnishes. However, if you use jewellery periodically it is important to wash it after use in warm water. A gentle detergent can be added to wash your silver amethyst jewellery and other pieces back to perfection.
When maintaining multiple pieces of jewellery, you should always wash these separately to avoid each piece scratching and tarnishing each other. Never wash your jewellery with other dishes, especially stainless steel cutlery as this could damage the finish of your more precious silver jewellery. Also, avoid wearing rubber gloves when washing silver, rubber actually corrodes silver leaving a nasty and often irreversible finish.
After cleaning the silver, the next stage is buffing. Simply use a soft, clean cotton cloth to buff silver with a dullish shade to a pristine finish and after this use a soft towel to dry the pieces so that they are ready to wear next time you pay a visit to your jewellery box.
Silver should also be spot cleaned as well as cleaned regularly, especially if it becomes exposed to salty or acidic food. Table salt, fruit juice, onions, mayonnaise, eggs and vinegar are all common saboteurs of silver jewellery and can cause considerable damage and tarnishing if these food stuffs aren’t removed straight away.
If tarnishing has already developed then regular polishing will be needed to remove this, there are a number of products that have been specially formulated to remove tarnish marks and keep silver jewellery shining, however, take care when polishing etched or antique silver jewellery as harsher polishes may cause more harm than good.