The Story on Tarnish

You may be surprised to hear that all precious metals will tarnish or corrode over time.  All of them.

Tarnish on jewelry is a blackening or discoloration of the jewelry or skin. The blackening is actually made up of very small particles of the metal that have been worn off.

Most people are familiar with silver tarnishing as sterling silver can tarnish quite rapidly. Other metals take longer.

What causes tarnishing? Exposure to salt air and products containing sulfur, such as rubber bands and some papers. Cosmetics, lotions, medications and even an individual’s personal body chemistry can also accelerate tarnishing.

Body chemistry? Definitely. Have you ever seen a ring turn one person’s finger black but cause no problem with someone else? This is a body chemistry issue.  Some people are unlucky to have a body chemistry that reacts to the alloys in silver and gold and causes tarnishing.

We recommend combating tarnish by storing your jewelry in an ant-tarnish storage bag. (Sorella includes one with every piece we sell.) These bags are coated with a film that neutralizes the gases that can cause tarnish.

We also recommend that you don’t wear your jewelry in the shower where it will come in contact with all manner of soaps and lotions.

Additionally, an annual cleaning by a professional jewelry will really keep your piece sparkling.