For centuries, silver has been revered as a highly valued metal. It is the most abundant of all the precious metals. Ancient populations used it for currency, ornaments, silverware, and jewelry. Today, silver is implemented in a wide array of industries and market sectors such as electronics, medicine, and clothing. Its most common use, however, is in jewelry. Silver earrings, bracelets, watches, and rings are attractive, classy, and widely available.
In its purest state, silver can be as soft as gold. For this reason, the metal is generally alloyed with copper to add strength. Silver is a strong and durable metal, and is known for the ease in which it can be shaped into various patterns and designs. The finish of silver depends on the techniques applied. It can be matted, brushed, sandblasted, or oxidized. It can also be polished to a high sheen that even platinum cannot attain. On occasion, silver will take on a worn looking finish when tried on due to a response with the the wearer's skin. For this reason, before purchasing silver jewelry, it is imperative that you establish that you're not allergic to silver.
Sterling silver has a much higher purity than ordinary silver. At 92.5% purity, its reflective qualities create bold and innovative designs. The most popular form of silver on the jewelry market, sterling silver is usually distinguished by the stamp "sterling" or "0.925".
Silver can build tarnish on its surface without proper care.The following are ways to keep your silver looking pristine.
1. Polish silver regularly with a silver cleaner.
2. Wipe silver with a soft cloth after wearing it.
3. Avoid exposing silver jewelry to moisture or direct sunlight when it's not being worn.
4. Store silver in a zip-loc plastic bag, jewelry box, or pouch, separate from other gemstone jewelry.
Most of the designer and high end silver jewelry comes with a finish on it to prevent tarnishing. If a jeweler does work on the piece or it gets a great deal of wear, this finish will wear off and the piece will tarnish as any other piece. It is important to try to preserve the protective finish as long as possible.