Through exposure to oxygen in the air, sterling silver will tarnish over time forming a dull, grey patina.  On some pieces, this slight tarnishing may be considered attractive.  A quick cleaning with a polishing cloth is typically all that is necessary to restore sterling silver pieces to their original brightness and shine.

There are a couple of things you can do to slow down and minimize the tarnishing of your favourite pieces.  First, and easiest, wear the item.  Your piece will maintain its original beauty and shine longer if you wear it.  When you are not wearing an item, it is desirable to keep the piece away from the open air and out of direct sunlight.  We keep, our pieces in small little zip lock plastic bags.  While this may not be the most attractive way to store your jewellery, it is very effective in the prevention of tarnishing.  Even a cloth bag, or drawer, or jewellery case will go a long way to reduce tarnishing.

Remember to remove your silver jewellery before using a hot tub.  The combination of hot water and high concentrations of chlorine, will turn your favourite piece dark with tarnish in no time.  Considerable elbow grease and use of a tarnish removing polish will be necessary.


We recommend use of a simple metal polishing cloth.  These cloths are available from many jewellery stores.  They are very inexpensive, last a long time and work very effectively.  Typically, these clothes are composed of an inner layer of soft cloth, impregnated with additives to quickly polish and remove tarnish.  An outer layer as well to keep your fingers clean.  As you use the cloth, the inner layer will blacken, but as it does, the polishing effect will continue.  We always have polishing clothes available if you need one.

For a piece in need of more serious cleaning, try any of the widely available silver polish formulas.  These work extremely well, but are a bit messy to use.  Once the piece is polished with one of these formulas, a thin coating of polish will remain, which will slow down the tarnishing process somewhat.

For silver chains, here is a simple cleaning method which works very well:

  • Place a piece of tin foil on the bottom of a small pot or bowl
  • Place the jewellery piece on the foil
  • Cover generously with washing soda (baking soda will work also, but not as well!)
  • Then cover with boiling water
  • Allow the piece to rest in the mixture a few minutes, then rinse and dry
  • For heavy tarnish, repeat and brush with a toothbrush while in mixture