Does 925 Sterling Silver Tarnish?

Does 925 Sterling Silver Tarnish?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Typically, when you go to purchase jewelry, you go in with the intent of finding something cute and shiny. There’s really no point in buying a pair of earrings that no one will notice under your hair. The shinier the jewelry, the more it will stand out. 

Necklaces are another piece of jewelry that you purchase with the intent of compliments. You don’t really just put a necklace on for the sake of just wearing a necklace. 

Sterling silver is not just a shiny metal but is a shiny metal that is used in creating jewelry. If you were to consider purchasing sterling silver jewelry, do you have to worry about it tarnishing? 

You’ve watched your grandma polish her sterling silver silverware, do you constantly have to polish your jewelry if you purchase sterling silver earrings or necklaces? 

Pure sterling silver isn’t as likely to tarnish as lower graded sterling silver. 925 sterling silver means that 92.5% of the jewelry is sterling silver and the remaining 7.5% is made up of copper (normally) or other materials. That small percentage of copper in the jewelry is what can cause the tarnishing to happen. 

The copper that’s present in 925 sterling silver will tarnish when exposed to sunlight, moisture, and harsh chemicals over time. It may seem almost impossible to keep your sterling silver from tarnishing, but there are a few different methods to use if you find that your silver is becoming tarnished. 

Additionally, there are precautions that you can take to help prevent your 925 silver from tarnishing as well. We will cover some of these precautions as well as things you can do when your sterling silver begins to tarnish. 

To see the most popular sterling silver jewelry pieces just click here. 

Sterling Silver Bumblebee Pendant Necklace Made with Swarovski Crystal (18")

Can You Undo Tarnish On Sterling Silver?

Though you have tried to keep your sterling silver as perfect as possible, sometimes tarnishing still happens. Does this mean that you need to go out and purchase new silver pieces every time yours begin to tarnish? 

Is there a way to remove the tarnish, or do you just wear dingy jewelry? 

You do not need to get rid of your jewelry pieces just because they are tarnished. There are a few different methods that you can try when removing tarnish from sterling silver.

Soap And Water

Though one of the best ways to prevent sterling silver from tarnishing is by keeping it away from water, you can also remove tarnish once it’s present with both soap and water. 

Run the jewelry under warm water and rub with mild dish soap. Be sure to pat them dry right away. 

Since water accelerates the tarnishing process, it’s best to not let the pieces air dry. 

Anti-Tarnish Cloth

Many musicians will use these cloths to keep their instruments shiny. You can use these clothes to keep your jewelry shiny too. 

The cloths are designed to wipe away the tarnish without damaging the silver underneath. 

Water And Baking Soda

You can combine a few teaspoons of baking soda with warm water and gently brush off your sterling silver. Baking soda is a bit rough and can end up damaging the silver underneath if not careful. 

It is recommended to use a soft-bristled brush to avoid any scratches. Again, pat dry the silver instead of allowing it to air dry. 

Sterling Silver Multi Pressed Flower Teardrop Earrings

5 Tips To Make Your Sterling Silver Jewelry Last Longer

We’ve all had pieces of jewelry that we were excited to wear. They were bright, shiny, and beautiful but after a few weeks or even days, you start to notice that it is not as bright and is starting to look a little green. 

What happened?

The reason that your bright and shiny jewelry may not look as bright a few days later is due to oxidation. Oxidation happens when the sterling silver comes in contact with other particles in the air. Sterling silver will also begin to wear down when it is exposed to moisture and sulfur. If you live in an area with high humidity or air pollution, your sterling silver will tarnish much faster than in other areas.

Since it seems almost impossible to keep your sterling silver untarnished, is there a way to make it last longer than a few weeks? Is it possible to keep your silver from being tarnished at all? 

These tips and tricks will help you keep your sterling silver bright and shiny for just a little longer. 

Keep Your Sterling Silver Out Of Direct Sunlight

While you may not be in control of the weather, you can control how much sunlight your sterling silver is getting. Though the sunlight might improve how shiny your jewelry is at the moment, it will accelerate the tarnishing process. 

Sterling silver jewelry keeps its color better when it is in cool, dark areas. Make sure that where you store your jewelry also isn’t in direct sunlight. 

Put Your Jewelry On Last

When getting ready for the day, it is best to put on your jewelry last. If you plan on spraying perfume on yourself, do it before you put on your jewelry. 

The chemicals that are in perfume, lotions, makeup, and hair spray can end up accelerating the tarnishing process. 

Don’t Clean While Wearing Jewelry

Much like the chemicals in hair spray and perfume, there are chemicals present in cleaning products that don’t mix well with sterling silver. Whether you plan on washing the dishes or just wiping off the table after dinner, it is best to remove any sterling silver rings that you are wearing. 

Store Your Sterling Silver Jewelry With Chalk

You can wrap pieces of chalk in cheesecloth and store them with your sterling silver jewelry to prevent them from tarnishing. The chalk will help absorb any moisture in the air and prevent the tarnishing process from accelerating. 

There will always be humidity present no matter where you choose to store your jewelry. The best way to prevent escalating the tarnishing process is by removing as much moisture as you can. 

Avoid Water

Whether you’re cleaning, showering, or swimming, it is best to remove your jewelry before these activities. The water coming into contact with your jewelry will accelerate the tarnishing process. 

It’s also best to not leave your jewelry in the bathroom while you shower. The steam from the shower will also speed up the oxidation process. 

If you leave your rings on in the pool, the chlorine will not only accelerate the tarnishing process but will also do further damage to the silver. Keep the silver as far away from moisture and chemicals as possible. 

Amazon Collection Sterling Silver Diamond Twist Pendant Necklace (1/10 cttw), 18"

Final Thoughts

925 sterling silver will end up tarnishing over time. That small percentage of copper present in the 925 sterling silver will tarnish when exposed to the elements. 

You can help prevent tarnishing from happening with a few simple steps. Keep the jewelry away from moisture, sunlight, and chemicals.

When your sterling silver begins to tarnish, you don’t need to throw it out, you can use a few different methods to remove the tarnish and add the shine back to your jewelry. 

Recent Posts