Cleaning & Care
Fine silver (99.9% pure) is generally too soft for ordinary use. This type of silver usually can’t be used to produce functional objects. In order to produce items such as silverware, jewelry and musical instruments, silver is typically alloyed with other metals such as copper. This process increases the hardness and durability of the metal. Sterling Silver contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or other metal alloy. When you see the numbers 925 stamped on sterling silver, it’s simply a designation of the silver content or purity.
Tarnish is a thin layer that forms over silver causing a dull, discolored look. Air is one of the main elements causing tarnish on silver via the process of oxidation. Body lotions, perfume, hair spray, perspiration, salt water and the chemicals in pools and hot tubs are also leading causes of tarnish. It is recommended to remove sterling silver jewelry before swimming, bathing or coming into contact with any of these other elements.
Prevention of tarnish is a key step in caring for your sterling silver jewelry. When not wearing your jewelry, it is best to store it in an air tight container or plastic zip lock bag. This helps to protect the finish from oxidation and tarnish. Stored properly, your jewelry can be worn often with minimal cleaning required.
Rhodium Plated Jewelry
A rhodium coating is often added to silver jewelry to help prevent tarnishing and increase durability. Rhodium, a member of the platinum family, is a precious metal often used to coat white gold. Rhodium plating provides a surface that resists scratches and tarnish while giving a white reflective appearance. Rhodium is hypoallergenic, so your skin won’t turn green when wearing rhodium plated jewelry. Over time, the plating will wear away. The good news is that rhodium plated jewelry can be re-plated. A ring that is worn every day will probably need to be re-plated much sooner that a pendant that’s worn less frequently.
Enameled Plated Jewelry
When not wearing your enamel jewelry, wrap each piece in a separate piece of tissue paper. The tissue paper will prevent the enamel from getting scratched. It is recommended to remove your enamel jewelry when applying lotions or using household cleaning products.
How to Clean Rhodium-Coated / Plated Jewelry
To clean your jewelry, use a small amount of mild liquid detergent and warm water in a non-metal bowl. Rub your jewelry gently with the soft cloth to clean. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly to remove any excess detergent. Soaking is discouraged. For harder to reach areas, we recommend using cotton buds or Q-tips using light even strokes.After rinsing, dry promptly with a cotton towel. Keep in mind, silver is a relatively soft metal and can be scratched if using a coarse cloth for cleaning.
We DO NOT recommend cleaning with a liquid silver cleaner, tissues, using abrasive clothes or brushes, or polishing with a silver polishing cloth intended for silver items with no coating. These cleaners can break down and shorten the life of the Rhodium Plating.