Why does silver jewelry turn black?

In your jewelry box, no chance of finding anything fake. Your jewelry is a true extension of yourself and you probably don't want it to oxidize and become damaged due to poor quality. You are a fan of beautiful jewelry, whether gold, silver or even diamonds, and you hope to see your precious collection stand the test of time.

However, despite all the efforts made, some of your chains, your rings and even some small bracelets have lost their shine and are turning black . Tarnished, you keep them for love but refuse to wear them. But then, where can this problem come from and how can you restore the original shine to silver jewelry that is turning black? 💍

Summary :

Blackening of silver: the cause

The first thing to know is that you are certainly not to blame. This darkening and loss of luster of silver over time are completely natural phenomena. The cause of your misfortunes is a chemical reaction . Silver is a metal, as precious and qualitative as it is, in contact with some of the particles found in our environment, it reacts and is covered with a thin dark layer composed of silver sulphide . The more time passes, the more this layer on the surface of your jewelry thickens and therefore, visually it darkens.

Especially since certain accessories are obtained from different metal alloys. Among them, copper, which is frequently found, tends to gradually oxidize upon contact with humidity and air.

Do not panic ! This absolutely does not call into question the quality of your precious objects. The chemical reaction is inevitable. 🧪

However, to avoid seeing them blacken or tarnish, some necklaces or earrings will simply require a little more maintenance than others.

Let's now see what treatment to give to your silver jewelry to prevent it from blackening.


How to prevent your silver jewelry from blackening?

First, let's list the culprits of this problem:

  • Pollution, air
  • Water and humidity
  • Chemical products
  • Hygiene products
  • Perspiration
  • Skin contact

These factors are all elements responsible for the loss of shine of your ornaments and regalia. While some of these elements can be easily avoided, others, such as contact with the skin, are undeniably unavoidable, unless you never wear your accessories. Would you be able to keep your sublime pair of diamond studs locked up just for fear of them coming into contact with your skin? That would be quite a shame, don’t you think?

Let's see how, with just a few tips, you can limit the effects of these factors or restore your jewelry to its original shine.

    1. Remove your silver jewelry before any contact with water. Washing your hands with your set rings, taking a shower with your necklace or diving into the pool with your cuff on is prohibited!
    2. Remove jewelry during physical activity. Sport equals perspiration and perspiration equals oxidation, QED, we take off our jewelry before sweating! 💦
    3. Store your collection carefully in pretty jewelry boxes and suitable cases . Sheltered from the air and therefore from the oxygen it contains, but also from humidity and dust, you will preserve the magnificence of your objects for longer.
    4. The rhodium layer present on your jewelry must be renewed. Rhodium-plated silver has a film called rhodium, which is responsible for the shine of your jewelry. It also protects it from blackening but it wears out from being worn and erodes. A quick appointment with your jeweler every 2-3 years and that’s it.
    5. Clean your silver jewelry. You love them don't you? So like everything you love, take care of it.

Some tips for maintaining your silver jewelry

Silver sulphide (the bad guy responsible for the darkness of your object 🤬 ) is water resistant. This is therefore not enough to make it disappear, but you will see that with a little elbow grease and ingredients that we all have at home, it is very easy .

You will need to choose at least one of the following products:

  • Toothpaste
  • Lemon juice
  • Baking soda
  • Cola-type soda
  • Alcohol vinegar
  • Marseille soap
  • A toothbrush and a chamois or very soft cloth

The good news is that you don't have to make any special purchases since we all have, at a minimum, toothpaste in our homes. The bad news is that you now have no excuse to let your silver jewelry tarnish.

Manual :

  1. Take one of the ingredients listed and mix a few drops of it in water.
  2. Leave your jewelry to soak in this mixture for around fifteen minutes.
  3. If the layer resists, take a used toothbrush with soft bristles and gently scrub the surface of your object.
  4. With the very soft cloth or chamois, dry generously.
  5. Rinse thoroughly and thoroughly with clean water.

Chef's tip:

If your jewelry is not set with precious stones, place it in aluminum foil and pour salt and hot water over it. Close it like foil and let it rest for a few minutes. Rinse, dry and admire all the beauty and shine of your silver jewelry. 🌟