Sterling Silver consists of 92.5% pure silver, alloyed with other metals mainly being Copper. As Silver is a very soft metal, the copper gives it strength, allowing it to be formed into beautiful pieces of jewellery. Sterling Silver will naturally tarnish over time, as the copper reacts to moisture and sulphur in the air. Other external factors like hairspray, lotions and deodorants can speed up the tarnishing process.
The care instructions below are advised when purchasing and wearing any of our products, whether it be plain sterling silver, gemstone or plated jewellery.
Plated products will wear over time and they are not designed for everyday wear, in particular rings. Full care needs to be taken to protect the layers of gold plating in order to produce an extended lifetime.
■ Jewellery should be stored in a soft lined box or pouch, and kept apart so that they don't rub together or tangle up.
■ Wipe gently with a Silver polishing cloth to keep clean (always read the manufacturer’s instructions, We recommend “Top of the Town “Silver Polishing Cloths).
■ Remove when washing hands or using hand sanitizer
■ Avoid all contact with water (both fresh, chlorine and salt)
■ Avoid contact with other jewellery being worn
■ Do not expose to soaps, detergents, lotions, perfume, hairspray
or any other chemicals
■ Do not expose to extreme heat or excessive light
■ Sterling silver will polish up by rubbing or buffing it with a soft cotton cloth or Sunshine Cloth
■Silver scores 2.5 on the Moh's scale of hardness, sand is 7 on the Mohs scale, which means your precious metal is softer than sand and can be easily scratched!
Silver is a fine, precious metal. Its colour is silver-white and it is often used in jewellery. Silver has to be alloyed (mixed) with other metals in order to use in jewellery production. This mixing of metals makes it more durable and rigid.
Jewellery and Silverware are traditionally made from Sterling Silver (standard silver), an alloy of 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper.
Under normal conditions, Silver will tarnish - it's the mixture of moisture and sulphur in the air we breathe that causes Silver to tarnish.
Tips to minimise Tarnishing:
- Wear cotton gloves as much as possible when handling your silver. This will prevent the oils and acids from your hands from ending up on the object.
- Do not store or display your silver with other objects which contain sulphur. This includes keratin-based objects, such as tortoiseshell. Keratin contains sulphur, which is released as the keratin ages, or begins to break down. Glues and sealers used in the construction of storage or display cabinets may also contain sulphur. If you have a new storage cabinet, let it air out for at least a month before putting your silver in it.
Gemstones vary in hardness and are susceptible to scratching and breaking. Gemstones need to be treated with the love and care they deserve.
Gemstone hardness is based on a standard called the Mohs scale. The higher the Mohs scale number, the harder the stone is. Quartz (the stone that makes up sand) is rated at 7 on the Mohs scale, and that is why any gemstone with a rating of less than 7 is easily scratched (such as coral, lapis lazuli, opal, pearl, and turquoise
The Mohs Scale (examples)
Ruby, Sapphire 9
Spinel, Topaz 8
Aquamarine, Emerald 7-8
Amethyst, Chalcedony, Quartz, 7
Steel (pocket knife) 7
Lapis lazuli 5-5.5
Bronze, Coral, Pearl 3
Silver, Gold 2-3
Amber, Fingernail, Ivory, Shell, Jet 2.5
Also, some stones can be quite porous (such as opal, pearl, turquoise), these kind of stones immersed in water for too long.
Some gemstones can be affected by exposure to sunlight. It is wise not to display or store stones susceptible to fading in direct sunlight.
Some popular stones that are affected include:
- Amethyst: becomes paler
- Ametrine: may change colour
- Aquamarine: becomes paler
- Aventurine: translucent types often lose colour
- Beryl: brown or orange types may change to pale pink
- Citrine: may change colour
- Kunzite: becomes pale or loses colour
- Laramar: becomes pale
- Rose Quartz: becomes paler
- Smoky Quartz: becomes paler