I recently had a customer complain about a necklace “tarnishing” just a few weeks after purchase. His wife decided to use the polishing cloth to give the sterling silver a wipe, and was aghast when it came away black. Now, the necklace itself was not tarnished, and by that I mean it hadn’t turned that yellow-grey-black that we typically see.
So he wrote me to express his surprise that his new necklace would discolour so quickly. I realized it’s probably a great education opportunity.
When silver tarnishes, it’s a surface discolouration caused by the interaction of oxygen (air) with the silver, and it’s also known as oxidization. With sterling silver this process is normal, natural, expected, and yes, it can occur relatively quickly.
Many things can speed tarnish; air pollution, the minerals in your water (and as such wearing your silver jewelry in the shower…
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