08 August 2022

How to clean silver jewelry?

Jewelry, Watches & Accessories

Silver jewellery has a tendency to oxidise and this does not look good. Get some cleaning products and give your jewellery a second life. However, it is not always clear whether it is real silver or not.


How can you recognise silver jewellery? 

In order to clean your jewellery correctly, it is important not to make a mistake in identifying the metal. Here are the different types of silver:

- Sterling silver (also called fine silver, or 925 silver): this is an alloy made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, mainly copper.

- Rhodium-plated silver: This is an alloy of silver covered with a very thin layer of Rhodium, which protects the metal and makes it more shiny.

- Silver 800: This is the lowest concentration of silver you can find on a piece of jewellery that claims to be silver. It consists of 80% pure silver and 20% copper.

- Silver metal (also called silver plated): This is a "poor" metal covered with silver thanks to a technique in goldsmithing which consists in depositing a thin layer of solid silver on another metal such as steel or bronze for example. 


If you are in any doubt and before undertaking any cleaning methods for silver jewellery, we advise you to carry out one of the three tests below which will enable you to recognise a piece of silver jewellery:

1. Check the hallmarks: silver is authenticated by a 925 hallmark usually, as well as a registered logo.

2. Get a magnet: you should know that silver is not magnetic. So if your coin or piece of jewellery doesn't react to your magnet, it's silver.

3. Use an ice cube: this test is more suitable for silver coins, as the ice cube should melt very quickly on contact with the coin.


How to clean tarnished silver jewelry? 

Hagerty is the expert in the care and cleaning of silver objects. To restore the shine to your silver pieces, we recommend combining a jewellery cleaning bath with an impregnated jewellery cloth. Below you will find details of these two silver jewlery cleaners offered by Hagerty.


Silver dip 

To start with, we offer a cleaning bath especially for the care of silver jewellery, the Silver Clean. The small jar contains a cleaning solution and a basket, in which you can simply place the jewellery. This makes cleaning quick and easy (2 minutes).

Afterwards, be sure to rinse the jewellery well with clean water and dry it with a soft, dry cloth. Moisture could cause the silver to oxidise. The formula can be reused several times. 


Silver polishing cloth 

In addition, Hagerty offers the Silver Cloth, a cotton cloth that allows you to care for your silver jewellery quickly and easily, without damaging the surface.  

Thanks to the impregnated formula, the cloth makes rings, bracelets or other blackened silver or silver-plated pieces shine. The cotton cloth protects against oxidation and removes dirt.

Gently polish the jewellery with the cleaning cloth to restore its shine. As soon as the cloth is completely black, we advise you to buy a new one. Do not wash the Silver Cloth, as this will remove the impregnation. 



Take your jewellery to a professional 

If the above methods do not give you satisfactory results, it would be best to contact a professional jeweller. His experience and know-how should guarantee a perfect result.


How to stop jewellery from tarnishing? 

Once cleaned and sparkling, it is now important to take some precautions to keep your jewellery clean over time. 

Make sure you store your precious objects in a jewelry box that you can close, to avoid leaving it in the open air. Indeed, air and humidity tend to blacken the metal.

To avoid scratching your jewellery, do not hesitate to separate them well, using the available compartments of your box for example.

We advise you to remove your jewellery when swimming, playing sports, washing dishes and cleaning or even when sleeping.

Finally, you may have read a number of "home-made" cleaning tips for taking care of your silver jewellery. However, we advise you to be careful with what is proposed. Indeed, all these grandmother recipes are not adapted to the care of silver and you risk damaging your precious pieces more than anything else. 


You now know how to take care of your silver jewellery. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: hagerty@hagerty.world

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