Silver is one of the oldest metals available today and dates back to primordial Byzantine civilizations. Silver as a metal is smelted from ore which is then used to make very beautiful and shining jewelry. Further, silver happens to be one of the most adaptable and durable metals in the world today. In addition to hard-wearing and attractive jewelry, silver metal has also been used to make such things as boxes and buttons, and utensils – the well-known silverware tea sets and silver trays which have been cherished and respected heirlooms throughout the ages.
Silver as a metal is extremely soft to be used alone to make jewelry. As such, it is always mixed with other metal alloys to end up with a very durable and long-wearing sterling silver. In an effort to protect consumers, the Federal Trade Commission has set standards and rules in place that expects a product to be sold as sterling silver, i.e. at least 92.5% of the item should be pure silver, with the alloy is only used to make the silver product durable and long-lasting.
One of the most popular alloys used to create a well-balanced sterling silver while at the same time add firmness is copper. However, copper is known to cause some tarnishing or darkening to occur your silver, reason why you have to take care of your silver jewelry to keep it shiny and sparkling for as long as possible.
To extend its charm and beauty, you may want to apply a thin plait of Egyptian lacquer on your silver jewelry. Egyptian lacquer is known to help prevent silver jewelry from tarnishing. Further, you should avoid exposing your silver jewelry to chlorinated bleach/water.
Never let your silver jewelry be exposed to air for longer periods of time as it will react to the sulfur and hydrogen sulfide present in air. These ingredients will pile up with time making the jewelry dull and it will only be a matter of time before it loses its luster.
Always store silver jewelry in a cool dry place away from any form of direct sunlight and sometimes even including artificial light.