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How to Care for Silver and Platinum

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Purchasing silver and platinum jewelry can be a worthwhile choice due to the longevity of both metals. But as many sterling silver and platinum owners know, tarnishing can be a real problem if the jewelry is not maintained correctly. Sterling silver tarnishes when exposed to oxygen or sulfur, turning the once bright finish dull and dark. Platinum jewelry doesn't tarnish like silver, but it does take on a signature patina over time. Luckily the tarnish and patina can be easily removed, so don't fret! Follow these simple tips to make sure your silver and platinum stay bright and shiny!

How to care for silver: 

The easiest step in keeping your silver tarnish free? Wear it! With regular wear, the oils from your skin keep sterling silver looking bright and polished. 

Be mindful while wearing your silver jewelry. To avoid tarnishing, avoid coming in direct contact with anything containing sulfur, like wool or latex, and steer clear of abrasive cleaning materials, chlorine, or excessive perspiration. Lotions, perfumes, and hairsprays are the enemy of silver and accelerate the tarnishing process, so like any jewelry, make sure you put it on last! 

Store silver in airtight containers or bags with anti-tarnish strips. If you don't have anti-tarnish strips, activated charcoal, packs of silica gel, or chalk can also work to fight tarnishing. Prevention is key when storing your silver, but don't worry if you see a bit of tarnish over time – it can be wiped away easily!

How to clean your silver jewelry: 

  1. There are many combinations of household products that will clean your silver, the most useful? Soap and water. A mixture of warm water and mild dish washing soap should be your first choice when cleaning your silver at home. If soap and water won't remove that hard-to-reach tarnish, try creating a paste out of baking soda and water. Use a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush to get into any nooks and crannies. You can thin or thicken the paste to the desired consistency by varying the amount of water.

  2. Once you've got everything cleaned up, be sure to rinse your silver well under warm water and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

  3. For extremely tarnished pieces, feel free to bring them by the store and have one of our expert associates take care of it! We have a number of professional systems that can make your silver shine like new again! 

How to care for platinum jewelry: 

Remove platinum jewelry before cleaning. Like most metals, platinum can become damaged by common household cleaning products like bleach or abrasives. 

Store platinum separate from other jewelry. Like silver, platinum can become scratched if stored incorrectly. It is a strong metal, but accidents happen and it's good to avoid damaging your jewelry at all costs! 

Rhodium plate as necessary! If your platinum is beginning to look aged or patinaed, it's a good idea to bring it by a shop to be rhodium plated. This will give your ring a bright white finish and make it look brand new again. Rhodium plating naturally wears off over time, so prepare to have the process repeated around every six months. 

How to clean platinum jewelry: 

Other than rhodium plating to make your jewelry look new again, platinum can be cleaned with a simple soap and water mixture! Combine warm water with mild dish washing soap and allow your platinum to soak for a bit. Rinse under warm water and dry with a soft cloth and you're good to go! 

If you want your sterling silver or platinum shined up like new, feel free to stop by Sayer's Jewelers or give us a call at (302) 653-9456 and speak to one of our expert associates.

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