Antique silver is a gift, one that is beautiful to look at, receive, and show off. No matter what form it's in, from sterling candelabra to candlesticks and a sterling silver tea set, it requires diligence when taking care of it.
Here are some tips on how to properly care for your antique sterling silver.
Silver is meant to be extremely shiny, with polished silver reflecting 95% of the visible light spectrum. However, over time dirt, makeup residue, oils, and other pollutants can build up on your silver causing it to have a dull and dingy appearance. But how much do you need to polish them? Check the rating first. If your silver has a rating of .950, it does need consistent polishing. Anything under that rating doesn't need it as often.
While water won't necessarily hurt your silver, it can leave marks. So to prevent this, only clean your silver with a microfiber cloth or a specific silver cleaning cloth bought at a trusted jewelry store.
Proper storage is just as important as proper cleaning for your antique silver. Too much air exposure can ruin your pieces, so try and do the following:
- Store each piece individually in its own cloth bag, to prevent scratches.
- Keep your pieces in a cool and dry environment. If you live in a hot climate, an air-conditioned room is your best bet.
- If you are thinking of storing your piece for an extended timeframe, consider putting them in airtight bags. This will help to protect the silver from humidity and oxidation.
Know when to remove your silver
Keep this in mind: dry silver is happier than wet silver. So as a rule of thumb, always take off your jewelry if you may get it wet or ruin its shine. It is advised to remove your jewelry when doing household chores, exercising, showering or bathing, swimming, at the beach, or gardening. It is also important to remove your silver if you are preparing or cooking food that has a lot of sulfur, such as eggs, as this will tarnish the delicate metal.
If you follow this guide and take care of your silver properly, you will be able to enjoy it for years to come.