Similar to other precious metals, sterling silver oxidizes with time. But properly maintained, silver jewelry will actually
improve with age, developing a lush patina. Well-treated, silver can last for generations.
Store silver in a cool, dry place. Because silver tarnishes more quickly than gold or platinum, store pieces in a
tarnish-preventing bag (zip-loc) or wrapped soft piece of cloth such as felt. This also helps prevent pieces from knocking
into and scratching each other.
Don't wear silver to bed or when getting wet. Because silver oxidizes, it should not be worn 24 hours a day. It is a good
idea to take your jewelry off before bed and store it properly so it will maintain its luster. Wearing silver while showering
or swimming will likely tarnish it quickly and can ruin it for good.
As with gold, don't expose silver to chlorine, sulfur or strong household cleaning supplies since the harsh chemicals can
erode the quality and sheen of the silver.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF STERLING SILVER SHOULD BE CLEANED DIFFERENTLY:
Traditional sterling. Traditional sterling has no additional treatment or plating. Care and cleaning of traditional sterling
can be with a polishing cloth or sterling cleaner. NEVER use liquid silver cleaner on jewelry with natural stones or
Oxidized sterling. The process of oxidation has been added to enhance details or create the "antiqued" look. Oxidized
sterling should only be cleaned with a polishing cloth. Never use liquid silver cleaner on oxidized sterling, as this will
remove the oxidation.
Plated sterling. Sterling is sometimes plated with gold or to obtain a bright sterling finish. Another finish commonly used
is "rhodium" plating, which gives the look of platinum. Plated sterling is considered "anti-tarnish" and should not require
the use of a polishing cloth or liquid cleaner.
When cleaning any silver, always pat dry with felt or a special silver polishing cloth. Do not use tissue or paper towels as
the abrasiveness of their fibers can cause scratches. For heavily tarnished pieces or those with more stubborn dirt, use
the gentlest possible silver-specific cleaner.