Anti Tarnish Jewelry Boxes Best Ways to Protect your Sterling Silver Jewelry
Anti tarnish jewelry boxes, are they the best way to protect your sterling silver jewelry?
You have spent money buying or making a unique piece of silver jewelry, and now it has tarnished and you have to spend time cleaning it and restoring it to its pristine condition. To avoid this frustrating process, we have put together some basic information on how to store and protect your silver jewelry from tarnishing.
What Makes Sterling Silver Jewelry Tarnish
One of the most common factors to affect sterling silver is exposure to humidity. Because of its unique properties sterling silver is dramatically affected by air pollution, particularly to sulfides in the air.
As silver tarnishes it follows a fairly predictable process. When silver begins to tarnish the white surface begins to turn yellow and form splotches that appear gold, and soon they begin to turn into a purple tint. This is the first warning that some action needs to be taken to clean the silver jewelry. This is particularly important, because once the tarnish is black; it could be deeply embedded and will be hard to remove. Because f the different types of manufacturing process the tarnish may get deep into the porous surface and eventually cause structural damage to a piece of art jewelry.
Never go swimming while wearing silver jewelry. Chlorine will blacken the silver and it will require special attention. You may have to take it to a specialist to clean. Avoid wearing silver jewelry when you go near a pool or a any source of water. If y can smell chlorine, your silver will begin to tarnish.
Exposure to silver to any type of commercial dishwashing solution can discolor it. Laying silverware on top of stainless steel, or natural steel utensils can cause an electrolytic reaction. Other sources that can damage silver include; milk, egg, onion, salt, chemicals in clothing, felt, rubber based products), latex, skin oils, makeup, perfume and hair products and more. To be safe always check with the jewelry supply company you purchased your silver.
Anti Tarnish Jewelry Boxes and other Ways to Store Sterling Silver to Prevent Tarnish and Corrosion
There is always the option of purchasing very expensive anti tarnish jewelry boxes. There are also some easy inexpensive ways to store your jewelry tarnish free without having to purchase a anti tarnish jewelry boxes.
These are some ideas to help you achieve incredible results for less money than an anti tarnish jewelry box will cost:
- Sterling silver jewelry must be stored in a dark and dry place. It is crucial to keep it away from sunlight, heat and any soluble element that contain chlorine or other sulfates
- Store each piece separately and avoid placing pieces on top of each other. This allows the air to circulate and helps protect the pieces from scratches and damage.
- Never wrap you jewelry on paper, plastic or rubber products, they contain compounds that will tarnish your sterling silver jewelry.
- Avoid using a jewelry box with treated lining (many ties found in commercial anti tarnish jewelry boxes). The lining used in many of these boxes is chemically coated and they erode and evaporate with time, thus leaving your jewelry unprotected. The chemical will also transfer to you when you wear your jewelry. Even if minute particles are transferred, you may be allergic or have sensitivity to it. Some linings can actually cause tarnish. They contain sulphur and chloride elements within them. Check with the manufacturer before purchasing, there are boxes in the market that do not contain these chemicals.
- Use Tarnish absorbing cloths such as These cloths have minute particles of silver to attract the sulfur to the cloth. It will become saturated with the sulfur so you will need to change them but, some versions last up to 40 years depending on the amount of silver in the cloth. The cost per yard is approximately $15.00 dollars making it an inexpensive yet solution to prevent tarnish.
- Purchase Anti-tarnish strips: Hagerty Silver Strips or 3M produce these paper strips. The paper strips contain activated charcoal that absorbs the gases that produce tarnish. You van place them at the bottom of the jewelry box drawer. These strips last at least 6 months and they need to be changed periodically. Keeping a label with a date inside the box can be helpful to remember when to change the strip. You can find them online, at jewelry stores and even hardware stores. A box is roughly $8 - $12 for a pk. of 8.
- Silica gel granules. Recycle the little packs that come in your jewelry box or in leather bags and leather shoes when you purchase them. You can also find them in the medicine bottles. These little packs absorb moisture in the air and retard tarnish. Add one to each drawer to help keep the jewelry box interior dry. To maintain the silica packs until you need them, store them sealed in a plastic bag and keep them in a dark cool place for future use. This will keep them from absorbing moisture before you need them. Change them every few months and more often in humid climates.
- Chalk. Even standard blackboard or sidewalk chalk can be used in a jewelry box. It has amazing absorption qualities and a little piece will work for months to control moisture/humidity.
These simple ideas can save you money and energy by protecting your sterling silver jewelry appropriately.
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