We hope that our products will passed down from generation to generation as heirlooms. In order to ensure the life of your silver gift, we suggest you take special care in preserving the quality.

We've produced this ultimate care guide for silver to help you ensure your silver continues to look as great as it did the day you received it.

1. WHY DOES SILVER TARNISH?

Tarnish is the result of silver reacting with sulphur to form silver sulphide.

This forms naturally on the surface of silver products as they react with sulphur particles in the air. Silver sulphide is black and therefore the more silver sulphide forms on the silver product, the darker it becomes.

2. WHAT ACCELERATES SILVER TARNISH?

The chemical reaction is accelerated by two factors: a) the greater the amount of sulphur you expose the silver to, the faster it will tarnish; and b) the warmer and more humid the environment you keep the silver in, the faster it will tarnish.

3. HOW TO PREVENT SILVER TARNISH

Silver will always tarnish as it reacts with sulphur in the air, but you can minimise tarnish by reducing the two factors above.

Items containing sulphur (and therefore you should avoid putting silver into contact with) include:

MATERIAL

FOOD

OTHER

- Wool

- Eggs

- Cosmetics

- Rubber bands

- Vinegar

- Perfume

- Rubber (latex) gloves

- Olives

- Hairspray

- Fossil fuels

- Onions

- Oily hands

- Felt

- Mayonnaise

- Household chemicals

- Oil based paints

- Mustard

- Perspiration


The heat from direct sunlight accelerates tarnishing, so be sure to take off your silver jewellery before you go swimming and sunbathing.

4. HOW TO TEST IF TARNISH HAS FORMED

Place the paper against some clean white paper and if tarnish has started to form, you will see a very light yellowish tint on the silver.

5. HOW TO CLEAN SILVER

Before silver tarnish starts to go black, it will start with the mild yellow tinting noted above.

This is easily cleaned by washing the item thoroughly with a detergent that doesn’t contain phosphate based chemicals.

When you wash your silver jewellery be careful to avoid getting the jewellery scratched or dented due to being rubbed or hit against the sink or water tap.

The best way to do this is to rest it on your hand, rather than on a hard work surface or bowl, and rub gently in a circular motion.

To avoid water spots forming wen drying, towel dry the silver using a soft cotton cloth. Silver that has been properly dried does not tarnish as easily. After removing from the cloth, it should either be placed in a drying cabinet at 50-60°C for 15-30 minutes, or dried using a hair dryer kept at least 15cm away from the silver.

However, do not use this method if the object has handles or other fittings of wood or ivory, since these could become damaged.

If you regularly wash your silver in this manner it is unlikely you will need to employ any of the harsher treatments described below.

6. HOW TO POLISH SILVER

When polishing, use long back-and-forth motions that mirror the grain of the silver. Do not rub in circles, as this will magnify any tiny scratches.

Frequently change to a different section of your cloth to avoid placing tarnish onto previously unaffected areas.

7. WHAT CLOTH TO USE TO POLISH SILVER

Silver is soft and can become scratched easily. You can use a special silver cloth to polish your items, but a lint-free flannel, microfiber, or other soft nonabrasive cloth will do as well.

If the tarnish is particularly heavy, a cotton ball or cotton makeup pad will speed the removal process.

Do not use paper towels or tissues to polish your jewellery as they contain fibres that can scratch the silver.

8. HOW TO REMOVE HEAVY TARNISHING

For heavy tarnishing you will need to use a commercial jewellery cleaning solution, which can be found in many home supply stores.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions very carefully.

Do not use such cleaning solutions, polishes and/or tarnish removers on pearls, gemstones, resins, fabric or silver jewellery with oxidized finishes as it will harm these items.

9. HOW TO STORE SILVER

It is also recommended to wear cotton gloves to move the silver to it’s home, especially when moving to storage, to avoid leaving damaging oily perspiration on the surface.

To minimise the formation of tarnish, provide the silver with an environment that minimises exposure to the causes of tarnish outlined above.

If storing for a long time, you can wrap the item in acid-free tissue and store in a tarnish resistant bag or box, made of material that draws the sulphur in the air away from the silver.

Ordinary polythene bags can also be used, but do not work as well. Also, be careful to avoid trapping moisture in the bag and don’t let the bag come into direct contact with the silver.

If you do use a polythene bag, you can buy anti-tarnish strips to put into the bag that draw sulphur away from the silver. However, if anti-tarnish strips are used, do not allow them to touch the silver and change strips regularly as they can re-deposit the sulphur onto the silver.

If the item is an ornament that is on show around your house, keep it away from direct sunlight or other heat source such as a fire or radiator, and present in a cool, dry area.

If the item is regularly used jewellery, it should be stored in a closed jewellery box with segmented compartments to avoid scratching other items. Use sachets of silica gel to absorb excess moisture.