How to Care for a Sterling Silver Ring
Sterling silver first came to light in the 13th century, and ever since then, it has become an incredibly popular alternative to pure silver. Today, you can find sterling silver jewelry just about anywhere. After all, it looks just as good as real silver, and it is only a fraction of the price.
If you have a sterling silver ring, you might be wondering how to care for it. Do you have to care for it in the same way as pure silver, or are there certain things you need to do to make sure it stays in good shape? Keep reading and learn more about how to care for sterling silver.
It is not necessary to clean your sterling silver jewelry all the time. In fact, cleaning sterling silver too often can end up ruining it. Instead, you will only want to clean your ring when you see that it is starting to collect debris or when it seems to be getting a bit tarnished.
If you clean it more often than necessary, you will actually end up removing a little bit of the silver each time. This can decrease some of the decorations the silver might have. Fortunately, cleaning sterling silver is quite easy.
If your sterling silver ring has a serious layer of tarnish on it, it will be a good idea to gently clean the ring with a mixture of baking soda and water. Baking soda is an abrasive substance. Even though it looks like a soft white powder, it is actually made up of many small and very hard particles.
When you mix baking soda with water, a paste will come together. Apply this paste to a soft piece of cloth and buff it on the surface of your sterling silver ring. The baking soda will scrape off the tarnished layer as well as any debris that may have gotten caught on the ring.
If the ring is not tarnished, then you won't need to go through all this trouble. Instead, all you need to do is use some soap and warm water to rinse off the ring and make sure there is no debris stuck to it. After you're done cleaning the ring, don't forget to polish it.
There are polishes you can buy that are specifically designed to treat sterling silver. These polishes will give your jewelry a particular shine that will also protect the surface of the silver.
The sun's UV rays are known to be quite potent and harmful to a variety of things. The sun can do everything from strip the clear coat off of a vehicle to give you a sunburn and more. The sun can also damage your sterling silver jewelry if you're not careful.
The way the sun damages silver is by breaking it apart on a molecular level. Of course, leaving your ring in the sun once in a while and for short periods of time won't really do anything. However, if you happen to leave your ring out where it is exposed to the sun most of the time, you will eventually start to notice signs of damage.
In particular, excessive sun exposure will make your ring tarnish at a faster rate. Silver tarnishing happens when sterling silver is exposed to excess oxygen and sunlight. While there isn't much you can do about its exposure to oxygen, you can keep your jewelry out of the sunlight.
What You Need to Know
Make sure that you don't store your ring in sunny locations such as on a windowsill. Also, if you plan on spending a day out in the sun or going to the beach, it is best to leave your sterling silver ring at home. While you can clean the tarnish off if it happens to develop, it is always best to try and prevent it from tarnishing in the first place.
This is because repeated tarnishing and cleaning can eventually wear down the surface of your ring. This will cause your ring to look faded and old, and it will wear down whatever decorations it may have on its surface.
Wearing your ring often is actually good for it since your natural skin oils will keep the silver shiny. However, there are certain things you should take your ring off for. For example, if you have a lot of household chores ahead of you, you'll want to take off your ring.
This is because many different cleaning chemicals can damage the sterling silver. For example, if you happen to have cleaners that contain a lot of sulfur, you should keep your sterling silver away from them, as these particular cleaners will cause your silver to tarnish at an alarmingly fast rate. This is also true of chlorinated water.
Even your own sweat can cause your sterling silver ring to tarnish faster than usual. So, if you care about making sure your ring stays in good condition for as long as possible, you'll want to remove your ring before cleaning anything.
Caring for a sterling silver ring doesn't have to be difficult, but there are certain things you should consider. For one, you should clean your ring with soap and water or baking soda if it's tarnished. Also, protecting your ring from the sun and cleaning chemicals will also help.
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