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Sterling Silver: Jewelry That Lasts A Lifetime

August 25, 2010 by  
Filed under Silver Jewelry

Silver Jewelry is now more fashionable than ever! Why, you ask? Well, for one, it goes with everything adding a special sparkle to any look… It’s valuable without being pricey… and best of all, with the proper care, silver Jewelry can last a lifetime!

“Real” silver Jewelry is not actually made from 100% silver, as silver is too malleable to be used in making long-lasting Jewelry. To counteract this problem, jewelers mix silver with another alloy, usually copper, to add tensile strength. The two metals are mixed when both are in a liquid state, with the copper acting to harden the pure silver so that it can be used to create silver Jewelry. The purity of the silver Jewelry is determined by the ratio of pure silver to copper.

The silver Jewelry we know as “sterling” or “925” silver is made from an amalgam of 92.5% pure silver and  7.5% copper. Lower-quality amalgams, such as 835 silver and 800 silver (containing 83.5% and 80% pure silver, respectively), can also be found on the jewllery market. However, the highest-quality silver Jewelry, like the items you’ll find at Magnolia, is always made from sterling silver. How will you know if the silver Jewelry you admire is “the real deal”? Look for a tiny stamp bearing the number “925”…

Indeed, 925 sterling silver has a bewitching gleam…which needs “care and feeding”. If not kept up, “real” or sterling silver Jewelry will “blacken”. But don’t be alarmed: this is merely a result of oxidization, the same natural process that causes a peeled apple to turn brown when exposed to the air. In fact, blackening is an indication that your silver Jewelry is “real”, and is not an imitation or a lower-grade amalgam. So if you find your silver Jewelry losing its lustre, don’t fret – it’s actually a sign you’ve got good taste!

In all seriousness, nothing could be easier than preserving the regal sheen of your sterling silver Jewelry. Just follow these easy steps, and your silver Jewelry will last a lifetime:

1.    Shower whilst wearing your silver Jewelry! Soap and running water help keep silver Jewelry shining.

2.    But DON’T wear your silver Jewelry when swimming. The chlorine in a pool and the salt in the ocean are not friendly to silver, and can have a corrosive effect.

3.    Neither should you wear your silver Jewelry when cleaning. Since detergents can cause silver Jewelry to blacken, take off those lovely rings and bracelets before doing the dishes or swabbing the floor!

4.    Likewise, don’t let your silver Jewelry come into contact with your lotions, creams and perfumes, which also contain chemicals harmful to silver.

5.    Don’t be alarmed if your silver Jewelry blackens faster in summer. It’s because of the acidity in sweat and the humidity in the air.

6.    Keep your silver Jewelry in a Jewelry chest or box, a closed drawer, or a cloth pouch. This also protects against blackening and scratches.

7.    Last but not least, now and then you should wipe your silver Jewelry with a special cloth – available at all Magnolia stores.

Now that you’ve seen how easy it is to care for your sterling silver Jewelry, don’t compromise on anything less. You’ll find silver Jewelry in oodles of styles and colors at Magnolia – and a handy cloth for cleaning it, to boot!

read more on Unique Silver Jewelry

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