Unlike gold and platinum, silver tarnishes gradually over time, this is a completely natural process and easily reversed. Tarnishing occurs when copper elements within the silver react to oxygen or moisture in the air and oxidises. This causes a discolouration that dulls the surface of the metal – however on antique rings it can be a very charming feature. There are a few ways of lessening the effects and speed of the oxidation process.

Cleaning 

To clean gold, silver or platinum jewellery it is best to stay away from harsh solvents or chemicals. Instead use a gentle soap, luke-warm water and lint free cloth. Although it is commonly known that vinegar or baking soda will remove tarnishing from silver, it may cause surface scratches on more delicate, antique pieces. If you want to have your silver, gold or platinum pieces thoroughly cleaned or polished, it is recommended that you take them to a jeweller where they may use a professional steam cleaner.
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Take care when cleaning your pieces yourself, and remember to account for the porosity of any gemstones that feature on your jewellery and whether they can be submerged in water. 
 

Chips, Scratches & Cracks 

Store platinum, silver and gold pieces separately and away from other gemstones as they have differing levels of hardness and could scratch each other. They are best stored in cases with soft lining. If you want to buff out minor scratches, use a proper polishing cloth- readily available to buy at most jewellery shops, take care when polishing a piece that features a gemstone as they are susceptible to scratching too.

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Protect your jewellery from tarnishing or fading by storing it in a dark, dry place, and keeping it away from excess moisture. Chlorine can damage and discolour metals like gold and platinum and can slowly erode the finish and polish of gemstones. It is also important to note, you should remove your gold, silver or platinum pieces when exposed to sandy or gritty elements as their abrasive nature will cause micro-scratches that will detract from the natural lustre of these metals.

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