WHAT IS STERLING SILVER?
The official designation of “Sterling” to a piece of Silver indicates that it contains at least 92.5% of pure Silver. The remaining 7.5% comprises of other metal alloys, most commonly copper. Although it may seem that “pure” Silver would be most desirable, that’s not actually the case. Metal alloys with a Silver content of more than 92.5% are too pliable to be used without suffering from dents and damage. The second alloy is required to ensure the metal’s stability and resilience.
WHY DOES STERLING TARNISH?
Sterling Silver will tarnish. This is not a defect but the result of a natural chemical process that occurs when Sterling Silver is exposed to materials containing sulphur and acids (such as those found in sweat and skin oils).
Anything from medication, perfume or the ph balance of a person’s skin can affect the extent of tarnishing to a piece of jewellery. Humid environments will also accelerate tarnishing. It is important to clean and care for your jewellery regularly to prevent any tarnish or discolouration from occurring.
CLEANING YOUR JEWELLERY
There are several ways you can clean and maintain your Sterling Silver items. We have available and recommend the WKM Semi-Chamois. This fantastic proven polishing cloth specially formulated with Anti-Tarnish Protection for both Sterling Silver and other precious metals are highly effective in removing tarnish and surface dirt from your jewellery, bringing it back to life.
Please note - different types of jewellery should be cleaned using different methods. Please follow the specific instructions for best results using WKM products or contact any of our friendly staff for further advice.
OTHER SILVER CARE TIPS
When it comes to Sterling Silver jewellery it is always best to avoid wearing it in water, in particular swimming pools and spas as chlorine can damage your jewellery in a very short time. This is most important with regards to stone sets and in particular crystal set jewellery. All of our crystal pieces are set in specialised glue that does not react well with water or everyday “chemicals” such as shampoos or perfume. It is important that these specialised pieces are best for occasional wear and will need to be treated with care to ensure their lustre and longevity.
At imperial we value the importance of caring for and maintaining your jewellery pieces. All of our stock is covered by our manufacturing warranty and we firmly believe that with some customer education and awareness all our jewellery items can be cherished and enjoyed for many years.