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How Does Silver Tarnish?

How Does Silver Tarnish

Silver is a budget-friendly and popular alternative to platinum or gold, and many people purchase silver jewelry as a luxury. Unfortunately, like any other metal, silver tarnishes, ruining the aesthetics of your ornaments and jewelry.

Most people believe that only low-quality silver gets tarnished. In reality, even real sterling silver can lose its appearance over time. The purest forms of silver get tarnished after being exposed to high temperatures and chemical levels. Consistent wear and tear will make your silver kitchen utensils and jewelry take on a yellowish tint. We have enlisted some reasons that cause silver to tarnish so you can prevent it from happening:

1. Corrosion

Silver tarnishes due to corrosion caused by moisture and humidity. Even the chemicals in our perspiration can corrode the silver jewelry we wear.

People who live in warm and airy regions will also find their silverware corroding much quicker than expected. If you’re wearing a sterling silver ring, the adequate presence of salt on your skin is likely to erode it. Therefore, ensure to remove your ring if you’re swimming at the beach, cooking, or eating salted nuts or chips. These tips will help maintain the appearance of your silver jewelry.

2. Metallic Abrasion

A woman applying makeup in front of a mirror.

When your jewelry comes in contact with chemicals like cosmetics, detergent, dishwashing soap, etc., it tends to rub off and display black spots. Certain chemicals like calamine and zinc oxide in your makeup are strong enough to cause abrasions on your jewelry. Therefore, avoid wearing any silver necklaces, rings, and bracelets when washing dishes, doing laundry, or applying makeup.

Other Compounds

 Compounds like sulfur, methane gas, hydrogen sulfide are common agents that can tarnish silverware. Besides these, smoke, oil, pollution also tend to destroy the aesthetic of your silver jewelry. Some of the other materials that can worsen tarnishing include:

  • Paints
  • Chlorine
  • Rubber bands
  • Latex
  • Wool           
  • Perfume    

The following agents easily tarnish kitchen utensils:

  • Oily food
  • Onions and eggs in food
  • Smoke
  • Methane gas

Cleaning silverware properly is essential to protect it from tarnishing. You can also consider buying silver coins online as an investment plan. At Orion Metals Exchange, we can help you invest in precious metals like gold, platinum, and silver. For more details, contact us today!    

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