I use sterling silver in most of my designs. It's 92.5% pure silver and the rest is the addition of metals such as copper.
Silver can tarnish/ blacken over time. There are a number of factors that can make it tarnish including water (chlorine), perfumes, foods and even wool clothing. Silver is particularly affected by sulphides in the air around us.
To avoid your silver from tarnishing try these tips:
1. Put jewellery on after applying perfumes and hair products.
2. Clean after wear with a soft jewellery cloth to remove skin oils.
3. Store in an airtight container.
To clean already tarnished silver that has a 'polished' finish:
1. Wash in warm water.
2. Polish with a soft silver cloth.
If that doesn't work or if your jewellery has a 'matt' finish:
1. Dip in a silver clean solution called 'silver dip'. I use 'Goddards' or 'Town Talk'. Make sure to rinse the solution off afterwards, in warm water.
Some silver designs are oxidised or 'blackened'. Some are completely black and some have it just on the textures. This is achieved by tarnishing the silver with a chemical solution.
This is a surface finish that may darken over time but can also be removed or faded if it comes into contact with abrasives or silver cleaning solutions.
Take care to avoid these and your oxidised finish will last longer!
I'm happy to re-apply any lost finish for you, just get in contact.
Some of my designs have accents of 9ct Gold and most are available to order in 9ct Gold too. This is 37.5% pure gold with the remainder being made up of different alloys.
Gold is an inert material that doesn't react with chemicals so 9ct gold doesn't tarnish much. Simply buff it with a soft cloth now and again and rinse with warm water to remove soap build up from textures.