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Why Isn't My Sterling Silver Shiny Anymore?

Have you wondered why your supposed Sterling Silver jewelry seems to lose its shiny, silver color?

Well, there are a few reasons why this could be happening.  The first reason is that your Sterling Silver jewelry could be dirty.  The jewelry rubbing up against your skin, clothing and coming in contact with any number of other variables can cause it to get dirty.  A good cleaning is all that you need to get your Sterling Silver jewelry nice and shiny again.  Follow these steps to clean your Sterling Silver jewelry:

Items needed to clean jewelry:

    • Dawn Dish Soap
    • Warm Water
    • Soft Cloth's 
    • Polishing Cloth (optional)

Step 1: Wash Sterling Silver jewelry with Dawn Dish Soap and warm water, gently using your fingers to clean or a soft cloth.

Step 2: Rinse Sterling Silver jewelry with warm water.

Step 3: Pat dry with dry soft cloth.

Step 4: Let air dry until completely dry.

Step 5: Gently rub with Polishing Cloth (available here). (optional)

Step 6: Store in air tight container (ziploc bag) in your jewelry box if not wearing daily.

The second reason your Sterling Silver jewelry may no longer be shiny is due to tarnish.  When Sterling Silver comes into contact with air and the moisture in the air, it will begin to tarnish the silver giving it light to dark gray color.  This is easily taken care of with a polishing cloth, which you can find here.  Gently rub the piece with both sides of the cloth touching your piece of jewelry. This will remove the tarnish and bring back the shine on your Sterling Silver Jewelry.  Also recommend to wash your piece as well.

The third reason your Sterling Silver jewelry may no longer look shiny is that you were wearing the item and it came in contact with some sort of chemical. The chemicals you use to clean your house, the products you use in the shower, and chlorine from a pool are harmful to your jewelry.  Unfortunately, chemical damage is extremely hard to reverse, especially if your Sterling Silver jewelry is not solid Sterling Silver.  

There are three grades of Sterling Silver - solid, filled & plated. 

Silver plated means there is an extremely thin layer of silver bonded to a base metal like brass.  Silver plated jewelry can lose its shine very quickly with repeated wear and tear and very quickly the base layer will start to show through on wear spots.

Silver filled means there is still a thin layer of silver bonded to a base metal like brass, but it is thicker than plated and tends to be either a ratio of 1/10 or 1/20.  Silver filled can lose its shine quickly as well with wear and tear but will take a little longer to get there versus silver plated, but eventually the base metal will start to show through on wear spots as well.

Solid Sterling Silver is an alloy that has been made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper.  You will typically find it hallmarked with .925, 92.5, or sterling.  You will not have to worry about a base metal showing through with this type of Sterling Silver, even with wear and tear.

Who want's to lose the shine on their Sterling Silver jewelry?  As someone who has metal allergies and can only wear certain metals for jewelry, it is very important to me and anyone else who wears the jewelry created by Quay Ann Designs that it is made with solid Sterling Silver.  Rest assured, if you too have metal allergies and can only wear a metal like Sterling Silver, please know that you are in good hands.  Quay Ann Designs strives to only use solid Sterling Silver in all silver jewelry designs that has been purchased from reputable Sterling Silver manufacturers.

Please note, some silver will have been given a patina to make it look antiqued or aged.  This is done on purpose and will always be noted in the description for those individual pieces of jewelry.  

Check out our Sterling Silver designs here!


Quay Flom, CVO Quay Ann Designs

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