Silver Care

Pure Sterling Silver Jewellery

Pure silver or fine silver is a relatively soft metal and generally too soft to make long lasting and strong jewellery. So to give pure silver extra strength, it is mixed with a little bit of other metal or metals, usually copper. The standard is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metal. This is the combination which we know as sterling silver. Nickel can be used as a metal in sterling silver or in certain processes of jewellery making. However, as nickel can cause allergic reactions in some people, all jewellery on Crowded Silver is nickel free.


The copper in the sterling silver may cause the sterling silver to tarnish or darken over time. This is a natural process of the sterling silver as it is exposed to hydrogen sulphide. This is a compound which is found both in the air, on our body and in certain materials. To reduce tarnishing there are a few steps you can take apart from regular cleaning.

  1. Before storing, it is recommended to remove salts, oils and residue from any lotions, perfumes etc. You can do this by washing gently with a mild detergent. You can also just wipe it with a soft polish cloth impregnated with a silver cleaning compound. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Store your sterling silver jewellery in a cool, dry place. If you live in a humid area, store it with a little bag of silica to absorb the moisture.
  3. Wrap each piece in acid free tissue paper.
  4. Store each wrapped piece in a zip lock plastic bag with the air squeezed out. This is ideal for reducing its contact with the air.
  5. Avoid storing in paper or cardboard boxes as the paper can contain acid which may accelerate tarnishing.
  6. Avoid contact with chemicals, such as perfume, hairsprays, chlorine, salt water and household cleaning products.
  7. Everyday wear of your sterling silver jewellery also helps preventing tarnish. By wearing a silver necklace for example, you ‘polish’ away the tarnish. So enjoy your sterling silver jewellery and wear it as much as possible.


  1. To avoid scratches, store in individual pouches / bags / compartments or individually wrapped.
  2. Clean your sterling silver jewellery with special silver cleaning cloths. Such cloths can be purchased in most department stores.
  3. See steps above on how to store your jewellery.


Oxidisation is a heavy build up of tarnish usually in the finer details of the silver piece. Some sterling silver jewellery has deliberately been given an oxidised look. This is done to create a grey, smoky appearance, or to enhance the details of the design. To maintain this oxidised look, do not use commercial silver polish or cleaners or dips. The reason for this is that they will remove the oxidisation. Generally you do not need to clean oxidised jewellery.  If needed, let it instead soak in warm water (not hot) with a little bit of mild detergent. Then just gently dab dry the oxidised jewellery piece.