Please Read before you buy anti tarnish product
Silver jewelry is as popular as it's ever been. Storing your silver jewelry and how to care for these pieces can be daunting but here I'll try to clear up confusion and clarify the truth about silver jewelry storage and jewelry boxes. For cleaning and care of silvery jewelry, please see our article Silver Care Basics.
Causes of tarnish and corrosion:
Humidity, naturally emitted sulfur from silver, chemicals in clothing, food (onion, egg, oil based products, salt, milk, vinegar, acidic foods ) wool, felt, rubber based products(rubber bands), latex, skin oils, makeup, perfume and hair products(gel, hair spray, hair color) and more.
Jewelry Boxes and Storage
How you store and protect your silver jewelry is very important.
Sterling silver jewelry must be stored in a dark, dry place away from sunlight and heat. Silver should be stored where each piece has space for itself without other jewelry under or on top of it. This allows for the air circulation as well as protecting it from scratches and other potential damage. Never wrap or store your silver in paper, cotton, cardboard or plastic as these contain compounds that will tarnish you jewelry quickly. Rubber of any sort even rubber bands will tarnish silver at a rapid pace.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a "tarnish proof" or "anti tarnish" jewelry box. Really??
Anti Tarnish or Tarnish Resistant Jewelry Boxes
I will not own a jewelry box with a treated lining. Why? Anti tarnish fabrics used in jewelry boxes are usually chemically coated. Like all treated surfaces, these coatings wear, erode or evaporate over time. What concerns me is that chemical is up against jewelry you wear in your ears, around your neck or on your hand and some of that coating is sure to be transmitted. That coating is then transferred to your skin. Even if minute particles are transferred, who is to say that you are not allergic to this chemical or have a sensitivity to it. For flatware and cooking/serving items these treated linings are fine as you wash the residue away before use. On the flip side, some linings can actually cause tarnish. They contain sulphur and chloride elements within them. Most don't but, how you store and care for your jewelry makes a difference.
So where does that leave you?
Well, not all anti tarnish lined boxes are chemically treated. There are a few materials that contain minute specks of silver in them that absorb the sulfur gases and will protect silver for a lifetime. If you know that the lining is not a chemically treated but still anti tarnish then great. Don't know? Then there are other options that most people are not aware of and the greatest part is you are not limited to style, color or make of a jewelry box to use these products. Your silver can be protected while you have the jewelry box that you want, need and do not need to compromise at all.
Create an "anti tarnish/ tarnish resistant" storage environment for silver:
Follow the guidelines above and use 1 or 2 of the ideas below for storage. All are inexpensive, easily available on the Internet, from a local jeweler, hobby shop and even free. Also all are safe and do not emit fumes, gases or vapors.
- Tarnish absorbing cloths
Pacific Silver Cloth(Pacific Cloth) or a Silver Tarnish Inhibiting Cloths are great to wrap jewelry in before storing or lay the cloths inside box with jewelry on top or next to the cloth. These cloths have minute particles of silver to attract the sulfur to the cloth. It will become saturated with the sulfur so you will need to change them but, some versions last up to 40 years depending on the amount of silver in the cloth. (Google it) Price average $15/yd.
- Anti-tarnish strips
Hagerty Silver Strips or 3M Anti-Tarnish Strips absorb the sulfuric gases that cause tarnish. These are safe economical way to stay tarnish free. They are paper strips that contain activated charcoal that absorbs the gases. You can just lay them within a drawer or cut them up for compartments or smaller drawers. Jewelry does not need to be laid on them just placed in the drawer. These strips last at least 6 months and you can label/date them so you know when to replace them. You can find them online, at jewelry stores and even hardware stores. A box is roughly $8 - $12 for a pk. of 8. Not bad, huh?
- Silica Gel granules.
Do not throw away those little packs of that come in your jewelry box,new purse,shoes or medicine bottles! These absorb moisture in the air and retard tarnish. Add one to each drawer to help keep the jewelry box interior dry. Lack of air movement can cause a moist environment. This is why the gel packs are in leather products and more when you purchase them. Since we all throw them away and they come with most everything, you're sure to have quite a few around to save. Store them sealed in a plastic bag and keep them in a dark cool place for future use. This will keep them from absorbing moisture before you need them. Change them every few months. A must in humid climates.
Even standard blackboard or sidewalk chalk can be used in a jewelry box. It has amazing absorption qualities and a little piece will work for months to control moisture/humidity.
Follow these simple ideas and guidelines and you'll enjoy your silver with little maintenance for years and still have the jewelry box of your choice.
©JewelryBoxDirect.com, 2007. All rights Reserved