While silver jewelry is quite sturdy and does not spoil easily, the right care and proper precautions will ensure that your silver jewelry shines brighter and has a longer and lustrous life. Caring for silver jewelry is much easier and here are a few do’s and don’ts about storing sterling silver.
If you wear your jewelry often, it would be good to know that it will not spoil easily. This happens because body oils help to keep tarnishing down and cleaning at a minimum.
When you are not wearing your silver ornaments, keep them in an airtight bag which is made of tarnish proof material. Plastic zip lock bags made of Mylar (turkey cooking bags) or polyethylene bags may be a good option. These bags also protect your jewelry from scratches.
As silver is not scratch proof, store it away from articles that may rub up against them. Keep them secured in a drawer inside a specific jewelry box with a soft cotton lining. Do not store them loose as they may rub against other items and tarnish or scratch easily.
Clean your sterling silver jewelry with a soft 100% cotton cloth that is nub free. Flannel cloths are a good option too for this purpose.
Never store your sterling silver jewelry in open air and do not expose it to much humidity or sunshine. Over an extended period of time these factors can cause your jewelry to tarnish quickly. The effect of tarnish would first come through in the form of a golden hue that slowly turns to a shade of black.
While plastic bags may be a good option for storing jewelry to protect it from humidity, avoid polyvinyl plastic bags. Also avoid plastic bags that contain sulfur compounds which can cause your jewelry to tarnish faster or stain.
Do not store your sterling silver jewelry directly on wood surfaces. This is because wood usually contains acids that can mar the finish of your silver. Oak is seen to be the worst in this category. Also, avoid storing your sterling silver with other metals, like pennies, and rubber, as these items too can cause silver to tarnish and damage.
Paper, polyester, and coarse fabrics also often contain wood fibers or synthetics that can cause tiny scratches in the surface of fine sterling silver jewelry. Dirt left over from previous cleanings can scratch the surface as well.