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Tips on How to Prevent Tarnish on Sterling Silver Jewelry

By: Lee Shyu

A little known fact is that Sterling Silver Jewelry pieces that are not worn for extended periods of time can corrode and tarnish as well. Thus, silver jewelry storage is a critical component for preventing corrosion and tarnish. By following a few simple rules, you can save yourself hours of cleaning and keep your sterling silver jewelry bright and beautiful for years.


Understanding Why Sterling Silver Jewelry Tarnishes
The tarnish on sterling silver jewelry is the result of oxidative reactions with sulfur, such as Hydrogen Sulfide, in the air and environment (the nickel or copper alloy in most sterling silver also undergoes its own oxidative reactions). The corrosion of silver combined with sulfur creates the darkening referred to as tarnish. Therefore, you must insure your jewelry is clean and dry before storage; since any moisture, dirt, oils or other residual chemicals will accelerate the tarnishing.

Containers for Silver Storage
A container that locks out air is preferable, since reducing contact with air will slow corrosion. The most common household items with this function are zip lock bags, or any other air tight bag with non-abrasive surfaces, such as those made of polyethylene or Mylar. Avoid polyvinyl plastic bags however, as they have chemical compounds that promote tarnishing. If you're willing to spend extra, jewelry stores carry specialized bags and boxes that help prevent tarnishing. When storing, it's best to keep jewelry in separate bags, away from other hard items that may scratch your jewelry's surface.

Places to Store Sterling Silver Jewelry
Avoid excessively humid areas, areas with direct sunlight, and other places where jewelry could rub up against other items. Do not store jewelry directly on chemically treated surfaces, such as wooden counter tops, since they contain chemicals that may promote tarnishing of your sterling silver.

Other Tools that Help Prevent Tarnish on Sterling Silver Jewelry
1) Chalk - An old remedy for preventing tarnish, just store chalk in your jewelry box or container and it will naturally absorb chemical residues in the air.

2) Anti-Tarnish Strips - Sold in many places, these strips are usually made from non-toxic materials that absorb tarnish causing agents in the air.

3) Anti-Tarnish cloths - Similar to the strips, these cloths are either chemically treated or saturated with traces of silver; both absorb sulfur and other corrosive chemicals in the air.

4) Silica Packs - Those little packs you find in medicine bottles and shoe boxes among other places. Highly useful in absorbing moisture in the air, toss them in your jewelry containers instead of the trash; you'll be preventing tarnish and recycling as well.

Learn more about Sterling Silver Jewelry by visiting the import and wholesale jewelry knowledge center of Wholesale of Asia at http://wholesaleofasia.com/, where you'll find a diverse and unique selection of Wholesale Jewelry such as Sterling Silver, Precious Stone, Pearl, Jade, and much more, all at a low cost and imported directly from manufacturers worldwide. By working with manufacturers and retailers to produce fresh and trendy new designs, Wholesale of Asia helps businesses get an edge over competition and increase their bottom lines.

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About The Author, Lee Shyu


Since 2006, Lee Shyu has helped businesses connect with Manufacturers, Importers, Wholesalers, and Retailers worldwide. His business is based in the United States and sources a wide selection of products for small to mid-sized businesses looking to expand their product lines and increase their competitiveness in today's global marketplace.To view his wholesale jewelry and gift business, visit Wholesale of Asia at http://fefaglobal.com/.
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