Like any precious metal, sterling silver isn’t immune to the effects of time and wear. Let’s take a look at how long sterling silver lasts, what affects how long it lasts and the essential tips to take care of it.
The lifespan of sterling silver
When properly cared for, sterling silver jewellery can last a lifetime. The key to making sure that your sterling silver lasts lies in understanding what can impact its lifespan.
Factors affecting sterling silver longevity
What affects how long your sterling silver lasts for? There are a few different things to consider when it comes to keeping sterling silver looking good for longer. The good news? They’re all things you can (usually) do something about.
Tarnish – the natural fading and darkening that happens to silver over time - does not affect the structural integrity of the metal but can change how it looks, and how much you like it.
Contact with harsh chemicals, such as perfumes, lotions and cleaning agents (yep, they’re all considered harsh chemicals when it comes to sterling silver), can accelerate tarnishing and potentially cause damage to the metal.
Scratching and abrasion
While sterling silver is durable, it isn’t scratch-proof. Avoid wearing silver jewellery during activities that may subject it to excessive abrasion, such as sports or heavy manual work.
Improper storage in humid or sunlit environments can contribute to tarnishing. Store your sterling silver pieces in a cool, dry place, preferably in anti-tarnish pouches or airtight containers.
Tips for prolonging your sterling silver
You can keep your sterling silver looking good for longer by taking proper care of it too. Here’s some tips for keeping your sterling silver at its best.
Clean your sterling silver jewellery regularly using a soft cloth or a specialised silver polishing cloth to remove the tarnish and restore its shine.
Avoid chemical exposure
Remove silver jewellery before applying lotions, perfumes, or exposing your sterling silver to other chemicals that might react with it.
Handle your sterling silver pieces with care to minimise scratches. Store them separately to prevent contact with other jewellery – don't just leave them loose in your bag or drawer.
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