About Tarnish and Hand Stamped Jewelry

Facts About Tarnish & Hand Stamped Jewelry

No doubt you'll treasure your new piece of personalized jewelry from Heart On Your Wrist, be it a stack of sterling name rings stamped with your children's names or a stamped sterling key ring declaring you the world's best grandma. But don't be alarmed if six months down the road or sooner, your treasured personalized jewelry tag gets a little discolored or dull looking. This doesn't mean your special key chain or rings are ruined forever---it's just good old fashioned tarnish.

What is Tarnish and What Causes It?

Tarnish on sterling silver is very normal, and is part of an oxidation process, similar to rust. In the simplest of terms, tarnish is a chemical reaction between silver and the environment and more often than not, the sulfur content in the environment. Sulfur is present in the air, in certain foods such as onions and eggs, and in soaps and detergents you use every day. Many things may cause silver to tarnish and many of those things, such as air quality, we really have little control over.

Keep in mind that tarnish is not damaging your jewelry in any way, it is only on the surface of your jewelry and simply needs to be polished off periodically.

Some people who wear silver name rings or name tag necklaces will notice their jewelry will tarnish very quickly, while for others it may take months to develop. This is due to higher levels of acidity, or PH, in the skin. Generally, the higher the pH level, the more rapidly the tarnish will occur. Even a tissue, if it is acidic, can cause tarnish if you wrap personalized silver jewelry in it.

Sometimes chlorine can cause tarnish on your hand stamped mom jewelry. Silver jewelry can tarnish if it comes in contact with pool water, the air around a pool, bleach or certain fabrics with traces of chlorine. Moisture is another culprit that causes silver to tarnish. If you live in a humid climate, your jewelry will likely discolor more quickly than if you live in the arid desert. In fact, in drier areas you'll find silver will rarely tarnish.

How Do I Prevent Tarnish from Occurring?

When it comes to tarnish, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Before you put on your personalized jewelry, it's a good idea to apply all perfumes and lotions to avoid direct contact between the chemical and the silver. Wearing your jewelry in the shower is fine since it actually helps clean the surface of your charms.

Believe it or not, wearing your personalized jewelry is a method of prevention because the silver is constantly being rubbed (and therefore polished) against your skin. The worst thing you can do for your stamped silver jewelry is to leave it out on a dresser or table for days at a time. With it exposed to air and getting no handling, the tarnish will likely appear within a few days or sooner.

How your personalized jewelry is stored can make a difference in how quickly your jewelry tarnishes. When not being worn, the silver name jewelry should be stored in a closed jewelry box or better yet, a plastic bag. It should not be touching other jewelry, especially if the other jewelry is tarnished, and again, should never be left out on a dresser or table.

Cures for Tarnish

If you do find that your charms or chain are starting to look a little dull, you can quickly remedy this. Every Heart On Your Wrist Personalized Jewelry order comes with a polishing pad to keep your jewelry shiny and tarnish-free. The pad can be used to remove any tarnish that has started to occur on your charms. The trick with the pad, if you have a lot of tarnish, is to rub hard. The blackened letters should not be affected by rubbing with the polishing pad. See a video on how to use the polishing pads.

With these few easy steps, your beloved personalized jewelry from Heart on Your Wrist will remain as bright and shiny as the day you purchased it.

By Beth Philbin