What are Silverplus products made from?
All Silverplus jewellery is made from hallmarked 925 Sterling Silver.
What does 925 Sterling Silver mean?
By definition and International Agreement, 925 Sterling Silver is an exact mix of 92.5% pure silver alongside another material, usually copper.
How do I know that Silverplus products are Genuine 925 Sterling Silver?
Look for the 925 hallmark embossed on each piece. Silver plated or non silver jewellery will not bear this mark. Silverplus guarantees that every piece you buy is genuine 925 Sterling Silver.
Why is Pure Silver Mixed with Other Metals in Jewellery Making?
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, silver oxidises (tarnishes) very quickly and the addition of other metals slows down this natural chemical process. Secondly, 100% pure silver is extremely soft and bends or breaks easily. Adding a more durable metal to the mix ensures that your jewellery will last longer and remain in good condition. Finally, 925 Sterling Silver is a much easier material for silversmiths and craftsmen to manipulate and create beautiful pieces from.
Why is my Silverplus Jewellery Changing Colour?
When oxygen or sulfur come into contact with silver, they chemically bond with the surface of the metal causing the silver to appear dirty or discoloured. This is what we describe as tarnishing or oxidisation. This is a totally natural and indeed expected chemical reaction and whilst your Silverplus jewellery is protected to a certain extent by it's 925 Sterling Silver status, as time goes by you will see the colour change.
Can I Prevent Tarnishing and Oxidisation?
Yes, with care you can delay tarnishing and oxidisation. The first thing to do is wear it often. The oils in your skin will naturally 'polish' the silver and keep it shiny and tarnish free. Avoid exposing your silver to household cleaning chemicals, chlorinated water and anything containing sulfur such as wool, mustard or eggs. Direct sunlight will accelerate tarnishing so avoid sunbathing whilst wearing your jewellery. Finally, cosmetics, potions and perfumes will dramatically accelerate the tarnishing of your silver so be sure to put your jewellery on last when dressing.
How Should I Store my Silverplus Jewellery?
As exposure to air tarnishes silver, keeping your jewellery in individual airtight bags will both minimise the discolouration over time and stop your pieces from scratching each other. Storage in a low humidity area of your home is also beneficial and if this isn't possible then adding a piece of chalk or a packet of silica gel to your jewellery box should help to reduce the oxidisation process to minimal levels.
How Can I Clean my Jewellery?
The best way to clean your Silverplus jewellery is to use a special silver cloth. These are widely available. Alternatively, use a microfibre or other non-abrasive cloth to polish in a long back and forth motion rather than a circular one which will magnify any existing scratches. Avoid paper towels or tissues as these contain fibres that will scratch.
Commercial Silver polishes and dips can be useful where the tarnishing is heavy and a simple polish isn't working. These should be used with care however because the powerful solvents in these cleaners may be hazardous in unventilated areas. Heavily tarnished pieces can benefit greatly from dipping however and may be given a completely new lease of life.
There are a number environmentally friendly natural cleaners that you can make at home that will help to remove heavy tarnishing from your pieces. Searching online will give you lots of ideas for this.
After cleaning your jewellery always rinse under running water to remove any residual cleaner. This is especially important in detailed or etched designs where the polish may stick and harden.
Jewellery inlaid with stones should be treated with care. Softer stones such as turquoise or opal should never be immersed in cleaner because damage will be caused to the stone. Inlaid pieces should also be treated with care because of the risk of perishing the glue and destabilising the stones.
With appropriate care and attention your Silverplus 925 Sterling Silver jewellery will stay beautiful for many years to come.