Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fitness of 925.
Fine silver, for example 99.9% pure silver, is generally too soft for producing functional objects; therefore, the silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength while preserving the ductility and beauty of the precious metal.
With proper care, your sterling silver jewelry will remain beautiful and wearable; it may even become an heirloom!
STERLING SILVER EVIL EYE TENNIS BRACELET
The evil eye tennis bracelets are handmade and very delicate. Pressure should not be applied to them and should be handled with care.
GOLD PLATED PIECES
Gold-plating is an electrochemical process that involves layering several thin strips of gold over a stronger base metal, often silver.
Gold plating can survive a very very long time if the jewelry is worn with basic caution and propper care.
STAINLESS STEEL PIECES
With its bright, silvery finish and its resistance to tarnish, stainless steel has become an increasingly popular choice for fashion jewelry. For certain kinds of body jewelry that require a hypo-allergenic finish and a non-reactive surface, it is the metal of choice. Stainless steel is strong enough for daily use as household objects and industrial parts, and this same strength makes it an excellent choice of material for jewelry. Its resistance to scratching allows jewelers to create attractive brushed or etched finishes that will retain their beauty for years. Stainless steel is most familiar as flatware, but it is also used extensively in architecture, aviation, and industry whenever a strong metal that resists corrosion is needed. Its association with industrial and architectural uses is part of its appeal for many. Although fashion jewelry and body jewelry is often made out of stainless steel, the alloy has also become popular for jewelry meant to be worn for a lifetime.
Stainless steel, an alloy of iron, carbon, chromium, and traces of other metals, is highly resistant to rust or corrosion. A phenomenon known as passivation makes the steel less reactive with its environment, preventing the oxidation reaction that occurs in iron. The chromium in the alloy forms a thin, invisible film of chromium oxide on the surface of the metal that protects iron oxide, or rust, from forming. This passive film also prevents staining and discoloration of the metal under normal circumstances. Few chemicals can etch or corrode the metal, and stainless steel jewelry will not encounter most of these.
The best way to keep your jewelry lustrous is to simply wash it in a phosphate-free detergent and warm water after each wearing, and dry the piece thoroughly with a soft cloth (never paper).
Remove your jewelry before using any product that contains bleach, ammonia, acetone (in many nail polish removers), or turpentine, and before swimming in chlorinated water. These chemicals will break down the alloys in the metal and may leave the surface with pits or a dull finish. Avoid direct contact with perfumes and lotions as they may also affect the finish.
Create a mixture of 1 cup lukewarm water and 1/4 teaspoon mild phosphate-free dish detergent in a small bowl. Stir the water until it suds. A mild detergent contains no dyes or perfumes and will clean the gold-plating without causing any damage.
Dampen a lint-free cloth with the soapy water and wipe down the jewelry. Use a light hand to prevent scratching the piece or removing a layer of plating. Clean any dirt, grime or debris from nooks and crannies, such as behind a setting, with a cotton swab soaked in the soapy water.
Dampen a separate lint-free cloth with plain water and wipe down the jewelry to rinse away the soapy water. Never submerge the piece, especially if it features a setting, to prevent damage.
Dry the jewelry with a lint-free cloth. Set the piece on towel and allow it to air-dry overnight in a cool spot. Never use paper towels to dry any piece. The abrasive texture might scratch the delicate surface or plating.
Store your jewelry in a separate drawer or compartment of your jewelry box or armoire. Protecting the piece inside a velvet bag or small plastic baggie is another option. Whatever your choice, store the piece separately to avoid scratches, chips or damage.