My very first rant…
Although this rant has been on my mind for a long time. As many of you know we have another jewelry business where I get an opportunity to physically interact with customers. It’s something I actually love doing. Who wouldn’t want to sell jewelry?! Women just love it and that makes it fun.
My rant...I still can't believe that I still hear, “but will it turn black?” Okay, my first thought is will what turn black??? Is someone's chain actually turning black? How the heck has that occurred? Because sterling silver just doesn’t “turn black”. It goes though it’s tarnishing phase if it isn’t stored properly. And I get how that can happen but turning black, I just can’t think with.
I started out as a gold gal. Not that I could afford it but it was the metal I was drawn to. Then early in the 90’s I started selling sterling silver. Holy smokes, it took my customers by storm. My very first day of selling silver I almost completely sold out. I WAS AMAZED. Since those days I have learned a lot about jewelry especially the care of jewelry. I paid attention and felt it was my responsibility to educate my customers. I think it is every salespersons job to educate as well. It certainly can’t all be about the bloody sale can it? I guess it can and has probably what has given salespeople a bad name.
Anyway, let me get to my point. And maybe before that I have to say I enjoy wearing a precious metal over a brass or whatever. I just enjoy that. I certainly will wear costume jewelry but generally for the bling aspect to it. My point is this, STERLING SILVER JEWELRY IS EASILY CARED FOR and really should never turn black. At that point-turning black, it has gone past any care factor. Yes, certainly there is that small percentage of people who will react to silver. They will know who they are because usually they can’t wear most jewelry. How horrible is that?
An overall rule with sterling silver is that it will tarnish if it is left out, in the air. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% some other metal usually copper. Sterling silver is made with another metal because silver itself, 100% pure silver is too soft, it breaks easily and bends. It’s too bad as 100% silver does not tarnish.
The solution to how soft pure silver is was to add another metal to it to have a silver piece of jewelry. Some manufacturers use nickel which isn’t great as there are a lot of people allergic to nickel and most often it is mixed with copper. With the silver being mixed with another metal we have added a tarnishing factor. It is just part and parcel of this metal.
Okay so here are some very easy tips knowing the overall rule - KEEP SILVER OUT OF THE AIR WHEN NOT WEARING IT.
- Store your sterling silver in a jewelry box or plastic bag
- When storing it, make sure it isn’t touching another piece of silver jewelry. So store one piece per bag or per compartment in your jewelry box.
- Store your piece dry. If you were gardening or exercising wipe the piece off of any moisture.
- Apply creams, foundation, makeup, perfumes etc and let soak in before putting your jewelry on.
- Do not wear your sterling silver in a pool and certainly no cleaning with harsh cleaning products-bleach etc.
The main enemy of sterling silver besides the air is perfume, creams, make up etc.
Did you know you can actually sell your sterling silver just like your gold? Of course at a very different price but you can get money for your old sterling silver!
Did you know per Wikipedia In Colonial America, sterling silver was used for currency and general goods as well. Between 1634 and 1776, some 500 silversmiths created items in the “New World” ranging from simple buckles to ornate Rococo coffee pots. Although silversmiths of this era were typically familiar with all precious metals, they primarily worked in sterling silver. The colonies lacked an assay office during this time (the first would be established in 1814), so American silversmiths adhered to the standard set by the London Goldsmiths Company: sterling silver consisted of 91.5–92.5% by weight silver and 8.5–7.5 wt % copper. Stamping each of their pieces with their personal maker's mark, colonial silversmiths relied upon their own status to guarantee the quality and composition of their products.
So in finishing my rant which I have to say was quite low key, salespeople at large, please educate your customers on the product you are selling. It helps the world go round, just saying…
The Jewelry Lady