Why Does Silver Tarnish | How to Prevent Tarnish


Why Does Silver Tarnish | How to Prevent Tarnish - Alef Bet by Paula

Why does sterling silver tarnish?  How can I prevent my silver jewelry from discoloring?

You're curious about the why and how come your silver jewelry goes from beautiful to "dirty" and how can I prevent it from tarnishing?

This quick read will provide you with the knowledge and how to care for and prevent discoloration of your silver jewelry.

First, the why?

Why does it tarnish?

Or get that muddy, dirty look?

 That tarnished look that dulls the color and beauty and luster of silver jewelry.

saint benedict bracelet

 Saint Benedict bracelet

Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, primarily copper.

  • The copper reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing the tarnishing or discoloration.
  • Silver also tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution.
  • The lotions we use on our body, the perfume and hairspray, sun tan lotion, etc. those don't help our jewelry maintain its luster either.

So, what can you do? 

say no to tarnished jewelry

All jewelry requires cleaning to maintain its shine and splendor.

A fantastic way to clean sterling silver is with a soft cloth or a jewelry cloth.  This is our go-to product, and it will last for years.  We suggest buying only one, it is fantastic.

Just wipe your piece of jewelry down after wearing it to clean off any natural occurring skin oils or sweat.

Another wonderful alternative to keeping your jewelry sparkling clean is to buy a liquid jewelry cleaning solution and dip it in there from time to time, but be sure to rinse and dry your pieces before putting them away.

jewelry cleaner

Our favorite jewelry cleaner

Other people recommend a soapy "bath" for your pieces and then to follow up with a gentle cleaning using a cotton ball of q-tip.

We have found, after years and years of selling silver jewelry that the best way to prevent tarnishing is really in how you store your jewelry.  

It is best kept in an air-tight storage bag that limits the exposure to air.  A small jewelry bag with a "ziploc" closure is ideal. 

Here's a short video to show you how to store your jewelry correctly. 

And the BEST-- how to PREVENT KNOTS!

If you've found these tips useful, or have another suggestion leave us a comment below.  We love hearing from you!



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4 comentarios

I just purchased the evil eye silver bracelet. It’s absolutely beautiful, however it’s a little big can I get it cut and sized so it can be a little smaller?

Nancy Gardner

I purchased the Star of David with Cross and blue enameling and it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! It is exactly what I wanted. I found it on Amazon. Thank you so very much for your beautiful jewelry and design.


I just opened my birthday gift from my husband and it is a Beautiful necklace – Star of David with the Cross in the center. I’ve been wanting a necklace like this FOREVER… way before I married my Jewish husband (I’m a Gentile lol) and we are a perfect pair and this Necklace SAYS IT ALL. It’s Beautiful. Thank you for your creativity and willingness to combine these two faiths together. 💜

Denise Silverstrom

I. I love my evil eye bracelet.

Mary Petrakis Jones

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