Silver-plated jewelry pieces come in a wide variety of attractive designs and are more durable and affordable than those made entirely from sterling silver. When not properly maintained, however, they can lose their shine. In this blog, we give you everything you need to know about properly caring for silver-plated jewelry.
WHAT IS SILVER-PLATED JEWELRY?
Silver plating is the process of coating a base metal — usually copper or nickel — with a layer of silver. This layer is very thin and is measured in microns (a micron is equivalent to 0.001 millimeter). In jewelry, coatings can have a thickness ranging from 1 to 10 microns, with the average being 2. Different types of silver may be used for plating, but high-quality silver-plated jewelry pieces often feature a coating made from sterling silver.
The biggest advantage of silver-plated pieces has to do with their price tag. Because they use very little precious metal, they tend to be cheaper than items made completely of sterling silver. On the downside, they tarnish quickly and their plating eventually wears off over time. The thinner their coating, the faster they will lose their shine.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN AND MAINTAIN SILVER-PLATED JEWELRY?
Exposure to dirt, the elements, and the chemicals in one’s body, clothes, and cosmetics can result in silver-plated jewelry losing its valued sheen. If the issue is dirt, all you have to do is combine water and mild liquid soap in a container, and stir until the mixture becomes foamy. Leave the jewelry submerged in this mixture for 10 minutes or so.
Afterward, take the jewelry out of the liquid and gently rub off dirt using a piece of soft fabric. For jewelry with intricate details, you can use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse the items in warm water and wipe them using lint-free cloth. Let them dry completely before storing them.
To remove tarnishing, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water in an aluminum container. Alternatively, you can rub off the tarnish using jewelry polishing cloth. This special cloth cleans and polishes your jewelry to a pleasing shine. Some even contain tarnish retardants that slow down oxidation so your jewelry stays shiny longer. Just make sure to clean and dry your silver items before using the polishing cloth on them.
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR YOUR SILVER-PLATED JEWELRY?
To make your silver-plated pieces last longer, follow these tips:
Keep them dry
Exposure to moisture expedites oxidation, so avoid wearing silver-plated jewelry pieces while you’re doing activities that will get them wet. These include swimming, bathing, cooking, and working out.
Treat them with care
Keep in mind that silver is a soft metal, so exposing silver-plated pieces to impact, friction, abrasives, and sharp objects can irreparably damage their plating. If you’re engaging in hard manual labor, contact sports, or other highly strenuous activities, make sure to remove your jewelry before getting started.
Minimize exposure to cosmetic products
As previously mentioned, some of the chemicals found in lotions, perfumes, creams, and makeup can make silver plating wear off faster. Therefore, put on your jewelry only after you have applied cosmetics or sprayed perfume.
Don’t wear them all the time
There are some jewelry you can wear day in and day out, but silver-plated pieces are not among them. Extended use exposes silver-plated pieces to factors that can damage their coating or cause them to tarnish.
When not being worn, silver-plated jewelry should be stored in a jewelry box or a soft bag, away from direct sunlight.
If you really want silver-plated jewelry that lasts, then you can’t go wrong with buying from a reliable jeweler. At KS925 Jewelry, our plated jewelry pieces are of the highest quality and are coated with nothing less than authentic sterling silver. Learn more about our products by visiting our website or contacting us today.contacting us today.