Markings and requirements
The US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) states that jewelry for sale cannot be described or marked as ‘solid silver’, ‘silver’, ‘sterling’, ‘sterling silver’ or ‘Ster.’ unless it does contain at least 92.5% of genuine silver. This can also be said to be 925 parts of pure silver per thousand parts, explaining the ‘925’ or ‘92.5’ inscriptions on jewelry that designates silver content.
Caring and cleaning
To avoid tarnishing of your silver, store your silver jewelry in bags or cloths meant for tarnish prevention. The cloth is treated to slow down the tarnishing process and keeps it from being rubbed by harder jewelry that could potentially scratch it. Also, keeping it in a cool and dry place will also help protect it.
For cleaning, you can rely on polishing cloths as they are a good choice for this purpose. Some people recommend using toothpaste to clean silver jewellery, but toothpaste can be abrasive and will leave scratches. So, avoid doing that.
What is silver patina?
A type of glow along with darkened areas often develops on sterling jewellery that is continually worn, called a patina. It sometimes looks good and so, if you like it, do not do anything to it. But if you would rather have it look shiny and bright, restore it to the original look by using a polish cloth.
Addition of copper in silver
Copper is the most common metal used to make the other 7.5% content in a sterling silver piece. Even though it hardens the silver, there is a tendency for the silver to tarnish when gases in the atmosphere react with the surface. This often causes the surface of the jewelry to become dull.
Sterling jewellery looks beautiful and is yet affordable, even with the escalation in the value of silver in the recent years. Sterling silver is within the reach of almost everybody’s budget and with the ever increasing prices of other metals; sterling will soon be loved by everyone.