Sterling silver pieces of jewelry must be used with care and polished in the hands of an expert of the matter since it is possible to cause unintentional damage while attempting to clean them so they can shine as they used to. So how do experts polish sterling silver?
Dangerous Chemicals Come Into Play
Some water and cyanide is mixed in a container. At the right temperature and for a certain period of time, the sterling silver jewelry is left to relax in this container. When it’s taken out of the container, the sterling piece of jewelry is gently cleaned to have it regain its former shine and brightness. This process should definitely be performed by a professional since cyanide is one of the most toxic substances one can find, the misuse of which can lead to severe health hazards or even death.
The polishing processes of sterling jewelry are also performed using other chemicals. Our beloved pieces of sterling jewelry are made of this special material that ranks the second most-preferred across the world. They are almost immortal and will last for decades. But for sure, there are several best practices which play an important role in their life cycle, as well. For this, it is recommended that you bring your sterling silver jewelry to a professional from time to time and have it cared for, then you can wear it safely and fondly for years.
Why Do Sterling Jewelry Tarnish Anyway?
There are many reasons for this to occur especially when your sterling silver jewelry:
- Comes into contact with chemical products,
- Is in the same container and therefore reacting with jewelry that have other metallic properties,
- Has been in contact with open air for a long period of time. The air we breathe contains oxygen and long-term exposure to oxygen, for its namesake, oxidizes and therefore causes tarnish.
- Was exposed to critical levels and periods of humidity,
- Contacts everyday chemicals, specifically those containing acid and salt,
- Is plated in low quality material.
Would Gold-Plated Jewelry Tarnish?
It is known that high-carat gold plated jewelry does not tarnish easily. But if you perform regular maintenance and use it well, you have a chance to further reduce the possibility of tarnishing. When it does get re-plated, though, gold vermeil will return to its original shine after a process of dipping it in liquid gold in the hands of a professional.