Sterling silver is a metal that is featured in today’s jewelry. This is partly because silver is extremely malleable as well as being very beautiful. Because of silver’s innate strength and durability, it has been used for centuries to make knives and other utensils as well as jewelry.
Silver, in its pure state, is very soft. It is really too soft to work with unless it is mixed with another metal to give just the right amount of strength. It is still considered sterling silver when it is combined with another metal that is no more than seven and a half percent of the total metal content. The metal that is mixed with silver to add this small percentage is copper or zinc.
The most important reason for using silver to manufacture jewelry is not its strength or flexibility, but its sheer beauty. Time only enhances the lustrous quality of silver. This means that silver jewelry gets prettier over the years.
The manufacture of sterling silver jewelry allows for lots of variety because silver lends itself to the use of many finishes. It can be fashioned into smooth, textured, shiny and antique finishes.
There are a few rules for caring for silver jewelry athough it is really is a mostly carefree metal.
The first rule is to wear it frequently. Just by doing this, it is usually rendered problem free. Natural skin oils that come in contact with silver tend to keep it shiny. Over time, a deeper luster develops that increases the beauty of silver jewelry.
You can choose to use silver polishes that are specifically made for this purpose. Polishing cloths are also available that have been infused with special chemicals that are anti-tarnish. These cloths provide a gentle cleaning process for silver jewelry.
Your silver jewelry will benefit from a periodic cleaning. Soap and water will do the job. Before adding the jewelery to the bath, it is best to line a container with a dish towel or other soft fabric. This will assure that pieces do not get scratched by coming in contact with each other. Be sure to dry each piece completely before storing.
Silver jewelry should be stored in a place that is cool and dry. A separate compartment in a jewelry box will work well. If you do not have that option, an air tight bag will do the job.