We're often asked, "will chlorine damage my silver jewelry"? We love summer and all that goes with it including time spent in the pool and on the beach. Who doesn't? Well, the answer is not necessarily who doesn’t' but maybe what doesn't. Here's my public service announcement. Sterling silver jewelry looks great with your beachwear but don't go in the water with them. They will tarnish and, in some cases, become damaged by exposure to pool and saltwater.
Water, in and of itself, doesn't cause the damage. In fact, we recommend gentle washing using soft soap and water as a regular way to keep your jewelry clean and help remove tarnish. When your silver is exposed to water for short periods followed by a soft cloth to dry, no damage will result in the short exposure. Water isn't the culprit when it comes to damage, it's the chemicals in the water.
Water found in pools contains various amounts of chlorine and we recommend you enjoy lots of time in the pool, just don't wear your jewelry. And, another place that chlorine is found is in hot tubs and usually in higher concentrations. Not only will the chlorine cause tarnish but the heat of the water will cause the chlorine to do double work dulling your once shiny pieces and the damage may not be reversible.
And, no warning to protect your sterling silver jewelry during the summer months would be complete without mentioning saltwater. Saltwater can be corrosive and leave a residue that will need to be removed if it can be.
If you accidentally jump in wearing your sterling silver jewelry, don't despair. Wash your jewelry as quickly as possible with soap and water and then dry it completely. If you didn't wait too long and are able to clean it quickly, you may avoid irreversible damage. And., if the simple washing with soap and water doesn't do the trick, we recommend using a sterling silver polishing cloth.
If you love sterling silver jewelry as much as I do, don't dunk your jewels in the pool, hot tub, saltwater, or liquid jewelry cleaner.
How do you tell if it IS real Sterling Silver? Worth Mentioning Again
1) Sterling Silver is non-magnetic
2) It should be stamped with 925
3) It is odorless, so sniff it.
4) If you polish it with a soft cloth the cloth should come back with black marks on it.
5) Ice will melt faster if it is in contact with real silver. (bet ya did not know that one?)
6) Nitric acid will not affect real sterling silver but will bubble green if it is fake.