Since ancient times jewelry was made of silver, but many geographic expeditions to continents in the Western Hemisphere discovered silver mines that have greatly increased the quantity of this precious metal. That’s why since the 16th Century much more silver has been mined and used than in all previous centuries combined.
As durable jewelry cannot be made of soft pure silver, it is fused with other metals to improve performance. The most popular silver alloy is called sterling silver.
If you see the figures 925 or 92.5 on the jewelry you know that it is made of sterling silver, because these figures are used to indicate the silver content. The rest 7.5 percent of the alloy can be complemented with different metals, but Copper is the most widely used option. This additive makes silver harder, but the alloy starts tarnishing when sterling silver reacts with gases in the air or comes into contact with other substances.
It is recommended to store your jewelry in special cloths or bags. The fabric prevents the adornments from the contact with harder jewelry that may scratch soft silver. Try to keep your sterling silver jewelry in a cool dry place.
To clean your sterling silver jewelry use polishing cloths. You can find the instructions to use toothpaste to clean sterling silver, but it is a bad idea, because the toothpaste is rough and can leave scratches on the metal.
A patina can appear at sterling silver jewelry, if it is worn every day. If you do not mind the look, leave it. If you want to make it bright and glossy again, use a polishing cloth to restore the silver to its original look.
Sterling silver jewelry is not only beautiful but also inexpensive. These adornments and accessories are within the reach of most budgets.