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Overcoming Problems with Silver Jewellery Tarnishing

Sterling silver is a popular choice for jewellery, but it can lose its shine over time. According to Tiffany & Co., sterling silver jewellery should be stored in a cool, dry place and kept away from household cleaning products, bleach, and other strong chemicals to preserve its polish.  To clean your sterling silver jewellery, you can use a small amount of silver jewellery cleaner on a soft cloth and gently rub the silver several times. Then rinse the silver thoroughly with warm water and gently dry with a polishing cloth or mitts.

To keep your sterling silver jewellery from tarnish, you can also store each item individually in small bags or in a jewellery box with anti-tarnish tabs.  

Do remember that if your skin reacts to silver, it may turn black due to the acidic nature of your skin, which is particularly noticed with earrings.

If you have this problem then an alternative to sterling silver may be surgical steel or titanium. Both are are options as they don’t tarnish and require very little maintenance, though neither are considered to be fine metals like sterling silver, gold or platinum.

How do I know if my jewellery is made of sterling silver?

To identify if your jewellery is made of sterling silver, you can look for a hallmark or stamp on the piece. The hallmark for sterling silver varies from country to country, but in the UK, it is usually a lion passant.  You can also use a magnet to test if your jewellery is made of sterling silver. Sterling silver is not magnetic, so if the magnet sticks to your jewellery then you know that its not made of sterling silver.

If you are still unsure, you can take it to a professional appraiser or jeweller who can help you identify the metal content of your piece.