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. 

Abbott Lyon Sterling Silver Collage

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. 

Chemical exposure 

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. 

Storage conditions 

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. 

Sterling Silver Collage Abbott Lyon

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. 

Regular cleaning 

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. 

Gentle handling 

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. 

Whether it's a pair of elegant earrings or a statement necklace, you can make your sterling silver jewellery last long by maintaining it and taking care of it.  

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