The legal definition of sterling silver in the United States and the United Kingdom is 92.% pure (fine) silver. If you buy sterling silver in the US or the UK, you can have confidence that the 925 or STERLING SILVER stamp on the jewelry denotes that the silver content of the item is indeed 92.5%. In other countries there is no law against selling jewelry stamped with 925 or STERLING SILVER when the silver content is NOT 92.5%.
Silver Messages guarantees 92.5% silver content in our sterling silver, and our jewelry is stamped 925 or STERLING SILVER. Our jewelry is created by master silversmiths, all with over 25 years of experience in the jewelry-making industry.
Pure (fine, 99.9%) silver is too soft for jewelry making. The remaining 7.5% of .925 sterling silver is a metal alloy, added to sterling to make the jewelry strong and to ensure a smooth finish. The alloy can contain copper or nickel. Silver Messages guarantees that one of our jewelry contains lead.
Pure silver tarnishes very slowly, but the metal alloy in sterling hastens tarnish. It's the interaction between the oxygen in the air, light, and the metal alloy that creates tarnish, which is a fine gel-like substance that builds up on the surface of jewelry. If you can limit the amount of oxygen and light to which the jewelry is exposed, you can lessen the amount of tarnish. We recommend storing our jewelry in plastic bags, unless the jewelry incorporates organic gems, which can become brittle and dull if sealed in plastic.
An organic gem is anything that was the result of an organic process, like pearls, coral, amber, horn, bone, etc. These pieces need to "breath," and sealing them in plastic or submerging them in chemicals will make them dull and brittle over time.
How to Clean Silver Jewelry
First, examine the jewelry and determine if any of the stones are likely set with glue. Most bezel-set stones have glue under the stone. If so, only use a dry method of cleaning. Any liquid solution is likely to dissolve the glue and dislodge the stones. For dry method of cleaning, we highly recommend Blitz polishing cloths, which are excellent for all type of precious metals. They are a set of cloths, sewn together. The inside cloth takes off the tarnish, oils and grime. Then the outside cloth polishes to a gleam. Just like new!
For liquid method of cleaning, we recommend Tarn-X, which you can buy in the detergent aisle at your grocery store. Look for the black plastic bottle with white lettering. Tarn-X is an instant shine, safe for all precious metals and all crystalline gemstones, but not organic gems. Just pour a little in a tiny cup, like a measuring cup, pop in your jewelry for 5-10 seconds, then wash the jewelry in a sudsy de-greaser like Dawn dishwashing detergent, rinse thoroughly, dry thoroughly with a soft cloth like a dish towel. Just like new! Let the jewelry sit out to air dry completely for an hour or two. Some hard waters can make marks on precious metals. If this is the case, finish with a dry Blitz polishing cloth. Be careful not to soak your jewelry in Tarn-X. It can strip oxidation and pit the surface if left in the solution too long.
After your jewelry is clean, we recommend you store it in the plastic bags we used when we packaged your jewelry for you, and in the box we sent, or in a jewelry box that closes to keep out the light. But there is an exception to this rule: Never seal organic gems in plastic.
Light speeds up the silver tarnish process, so if you can store your jewelry in a box or jewelry box, you can slow down the tarnish process.
Chemicals like perfumes, colognes, hair spray, makeup, can also speed up the tarnish process. Always follow this rule: "Last on, first off." Put your jewelry on last after you apply perfume and makeup. Take it off first when you undress. This will also keep the clasps from catching on the fabrics in your clothes.
Storing your jewelry in a box or jewelry box, instead of hanging it on a jewelry tree or leaving it on your dresser or bathroom counter, will also protect it from chemicals we spray on ourselves when we dress, like deodorants, perfumes, hair spray.
Never wear your jewelry in the shower, pool or spa. It's a good idea not to get your silver jewelry wet if you can avoid it. If there are any glued-in pieces, water can dissolve the glue. The chemicals in your shampoo, conditioner, soaps, bath oils can instantly tarnish your jewelry and dissolve glue as well. Chlorine and other chemicals in your pool or spa can also instantly tarnish jewelry, dissolve glue and even pit the surface of silver.
Please never try to clean silver with steam. Steam works well with gold, platinum and diamonds, but none of our products can be cleaned with steam. Cleaning with steam will invalidate the Silver Messages returns and exchanges guarantee.
Our jewelry pieces were created to be multi-generational keepsakes, crafted for more than one lifetime.
Thank you for shopping Silver Messages. We appreciate your business, and we look forward to serving you.
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