A timeless masterpiece, sterling silver is a classic metal from which jewelry is often made in order to last a lifetime. The sterling silver quality is important to consider if you are looking to get cash for silver. Learn how to keep sterling silver from fading and how to deal with sterling silver tarnish.

Does Sterling Silver Tarnish?

Sterling silver is a precious white metal. Pure silver is too soft to work with, so most jewelry pieces have another metal mixed in, such as copper, to make it more durable. A silver alloy is precisely that, silver that has been mixed with other metals. Sterling silver, though, is the highest quality alloy since it has the largest percentage of pure silver, comprising of 92.5% fine silver and 7.5% other metals.1

So, does sterling silver tarnish? That would be a yes! This is because of the fraction in sterling silver that’s made of other metals, copper or other metals react to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing it to turn a green or blackish hue, or the tarnishing reaction.

How to Clean Tarnished Sterling Silver?

There are numerous ways to clean tarnished sterling silver. If your silverware, silver jewelry, or other silver pieces have only minor discoloration and tarnish spots, you can clean it off using only a silver polish cloth. For more sever tarnishing you may have to use a sterling silver cleaner or dip. Beware, some of these cleaners can produce toxic fumes or damage gems, so be sure to follow the product’s instructions carefully. It might be safe to take your silver to a professional cleaner if it has very stubborn tarnish.

How to Keep Sterling Silver from Tarnishing

Over time, your sterling silver will tarnish, even with the best care. Even a slight change in hue is possible. The good news is that it is very easy to clean and keep it from tarnishing completely. Showering with any piece of jewelry isn’t a good idea in the first place but take extra precaution when showering with sterling silver. You want to avoid:

  • Harsh Chemicals
  • Moisturizes
  • Pools and hot tubs
  • Oils

At the first sign of sterling silver tarnishing, consult a jeweler to help clean it and restore its natural color. There are many DIY methods that can be found online as well.

Selling Your Silver

Always store your sterling silver in an airtight box to protect it from the moisture in the air as best you can. Sterling silver can be worn with anything, a timeless piece that will never go out of style. Trading in your jewelry is the best way to earn cash for silver. Contact us at GoldFellow to learn more about our other services and use our gold price calculator to find out what your jewelry is worth today. Trust us to give you the best price today!


  1. The Diamond Store Magazine – What is Sterling Silver?
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