on March 11, 2016 S. Chandiramani
Silver jewellery is a fabulous accessory choice that instantly updates your look and enhances your outfit and personal style. The shiny precious metal can look glamorous, elegant and chic and can elevate a casual daytime look and make evening attire shine.
Silver is a reactive metal that is affected by other materials. This means that your silver jewellery will tarnish over time. There are, however, simple ways to help you maintain the beautiful sheen of your jewellery collection. Choosing sterling silver pieces that have a black or white rhodium finish means that your jewellery will not tarnish in the same way. Taking proper care of your silver jewellery also ensures your rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets and bangles always look mirror polished and gleaming.
Why Does Silver Tarnish?
Silver jewellery, and all items made of silver, develop a black surface coating over time. This unattractive tarnish is a chemical reaction caused by contact with the elements and other materials, and affects metals like silver, copper and aluminium. Although the tarnish is a form of corrosion it does not destroy the metal. Rhodium belongs to the platinum group of precious metals and is resistant to tarnishing and corrosion.
Perfumes, hair spray, tap water and a host of other substances cause metal reaction that makes silver produce a dull, black finish. Although you cannot completely protect your silver jewellery from tarnishing you can take measures to avoid accelerating the natural tarnishing process.
Why Choose Rhodium?
Whilst it may not be possible to completely eliminate tarnish from sterling silver it is possible to choose jewellery pieces that look good for longer. Sterling silver jewellery with a white or black rhodium finish does not require the same level of tarnish care as ordinary silver pieces.
Rhodium plating provides silver with an extremely hard wearing, durable and highly reflective finish which requires less maintenance and cleaning. It looks like silver, but it does not tarnish.
How to Clean Silver
Always clean your silver and rhodium finish sterling silver jewellery after wearing it. Chemicals in products such as perfume, hair spray and other cosmetics can encourage the tarnishing process of silver so always remove your jewellery when putting on your make-up and getting dressed. Jewellery should be the last accessory you add to complete your look.
Wash your rhodium finish sterling silver and silver pieces in warm soapy water and dry with a soft cloth. A regular buff with a non abrasive, lint-free cloth will remove any preliminary traces of dirt or tarnish and will give your beautiful silver bangles and bracelets their usual sparkle. Delicate jewellery pieces like rings, earrings and necklaces should be cleaned with extra care. Storing your silver and rhodium finish sterling silver jewellery correctly is also recommended.