You Asked, We Answered
WHY DOES STERLING SILVER TARNISH?
Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% pure silver (hence the hallmark 925) and 7.5% of other alloy metals, typically copper.
The trouble with copper is that it’s highly susceptible to tarnishing. If you’re looking at a piece of jewellery that is dull or appears dirty, then your silver has tarnished. Tarnish is simply the result of a chemical reaction with oxygen or sulfur particles in the air. On the bright side, copper is a hypoallergenic metal, because it’s a pure element. Some other metals that can be used in silver alloys include zinc, germanium, silicon, platinum and nickel. Halestone Silver is Nikel Free, so it's kind to skin. All pieces have a protective coating to help resist tarnish and come in a Biodegradable, anti tarnish zip lock for storage :)
HOW DO I PREVENT TARNISH?
Wear it often: Believe it or not, your skin’s natural oils will help keep silver shiny. One of the easiest ways to prevent tarnish is to simply wear your silver often as opposed to letting it sit in a jewellery box unworn.
Remove before cleaning: Substances with additional sulfur, such as household cleaners, chlorinated water, perspiration, and rubber will accelerate corrosion and tarnish.
Try to keep out of direct sunlight: Before you hit the beach or pool, be sure to remove your silver jewellery. Sunlight can cause silver to tarnish and could maybe cause Opals to dull as well.
Put your jewelry on last. Lotions, makeups, hair spray, and perfumes will accelerate tarnishing.
HOW DO I STORE STERLING SILVER JEWELLERY?
Use an air-tight container: any container can be used, as long as it's air-tight.
Be sure to keep your silver in a cool, dark place.
Store pieces individually: storing jewels separately prevents any chance of scratching to the metal, stones or linked pieces tangling with each other.
Anti-tarnish strips: I've packaged in a small black anti-tarnish strip with your gem. These cloths absorb sulfur and moisture from the air and are chemically treated to prevent tarnish and you can put them in your jewellery box.
Do not store jewels in paper, cardboard, or cotton-filled boxes: these boxes may contain traces of sulfur which will contribute to tarnishing.
When you receive your package, you will receive: Recyclable Black Cardboard box, and the Halestone Logo Cotton sachel which is made from a renewable resource and are biodegradable. They are also strong and durable so they can be re-used multiple times. I have also included a Biodegradable brown "anti tarnish" zip lock bag which you can also re-use and they are great for long term storage :)
HOW DO I CLEAN MY JEWELLERY?
Use Dishwashing Detergent and water mix, on the Sterling silver or gold only. Be sure to avoid any detergent touching an opal. Opals are made up of hydrated silica – that is water molecules. Exposing your solid Australian opal to moisture is absolutely fine and they can be washed in tepid (blood warm) water. Like other precious gems, exposure to water is not the issue – it is the dishwashing detergent and other chemicals that may be in the water that may damage your opal. It is always best to take your opals off before handling food or other chemicals.
Finish with a polish: After you’ve given your jewellery a good cleaning, finish the process by using the provided polishing cloths.
The key to keeping your sterling silver shiny is to regularly clean to remove tarnish as it builds.