The majority of the wedding jewellery that is ordered is silver and silver needs a little looking after to keep it shiny and tarnish free. This tarnishing is a normal process that happens with all types of silver and it’s a chemical reaction that happens on the surface. But because it is only on the surface even the most tarnished pieces of silver wedding jewellery should be salvageable but the best thing to do is to prevent your wedding jewellery from getting tarnished in the first place.
Why does silver wedding jewellery tarnish?
Silver tarnishes because it comes into contact with Hydrogen Sulphide which is in our atmosphere and every day objects. You can’t stop the tarnishing process but you can slow it down by caring for your silver wedding jewellery properly.
How do I stop my wedding jewellery from becoming tarnish?
As silver wedding jewellery tarnishes when it comes into contact with Hydrogen Sulphide there are a number of things you can do to slow down tarnishing such as keeping it in a dry airtight container as humid environments speed up the tarnishing process. Don’t store them in paper, cardboard or wool as these also contain Hydrogen Sulphide. Handle your wedding jewellery as little as possible as the natural oils on your skin will accelerate the tarnishing process.
Oops to late, How do I remove the tarnish?
If it’s only lightly tarnished and not an intricate piece then you may be able to restore the shine with a silver polishing cloth. These cloths are really inexpensive and often leave an anti tarnish barrier helping to prevent against further tarnishing. If your wedding jewellery has a yellow tinge then you might need to clean it in a silver cleaning solution or use this nifty trick. Grab yourself a bowl, kitchen foil, bicarbonate of soda and boiling water. Place the piece of wedding jewellery in the bowl with the kitchen foil and sprinkle the bicarbonate of soda of it then pour over the boiling water. The reaction between the foil and the bicarbonate of soda removes the tarnish. This video shows the same process but instead of using a bowl and foil, they’ve used a foil container. Also be aware that bicarbonate of soda is called baking soda in the US.
I’ve used this method with jewellery containing Swarovski crystal beads but haven’t tested it on other gems or pearls so take care not to destroy your wedding jewellery if it isn’t created from Swarovski crystals and silver.