What is Sterling Silver?
The official designation of “Sterling” to a piece of Silver indicates that it contains at least 92.5% of pure Silver. The remaining 7.5% comprises of other metal alloys, most commonly copper. Although it may seem that “pure” Silver would be most desirable, that’s not actually the case. Metal alloys with a Silver content of more than 92.5% are too pliable to be used without suffering from dents and damage.
Why does Sterling Silver Tarnish?
Sterling Silver will tarnish. This is not a defect but the result of a natural chemical process that occurs when Sterling Silver is exposed to materials containing sulphur and acids (such as those found in sweat and skin oils). Anything, from medication, perfume or the ph balance of a person’s skin, can affect the extent of tarnishing to a piece of jewellery. Humid environments will also accelerate tarnishing. It is important to clean and care for your jewellery regularly to prevent any tarnish or discolouration from occurring.
Why Does New Zealand Mint Rodium Plate?
New Zealand Mint have produced & sold high quality jewellery for over 40yrs. We wish to maintain our reputation as suppliers of superior quality product and hence adding value by providing silver jewellery with rhodium plating. Because rhodium is a “noble metal” & inert, it withstands corrosion under nearly all environmental conditions. Rhodium plating is a process that gives silver jewellery a more vibrant, deeper look and makes it richer & more lustrous giving a similar look to white gold. Rhodium is very hard, durable, near scratch resistant, and will preserve silver jewellery pieces beyond their normal life span plus it has the advantage of being hypoallergenic.
Cleaning Your Jewellery
There are several ways you can clean and maintain your sterling silver, rhodium plated items formulated liquid dips and polishing cloths for both sterling silver and other precious metals are available from most jewellery stores. These are highly effective in removing tarnish and surface dirt from your jewellery, bringing it back to life. Please note that different types of jewellery should be cleaned using different methods. Please follow the specific product instructions for best results
What about Blackened or Antiqued Silver or pieces that include Black Onyx?
For pieces that have an antiqued finish or include semi-precious stones (ie Trelise Cooper or Black Onyx ) please use a soft cloth to gently clean and polish these items, dipping these items in silver cleaning solution will damage antiqued finish.
Other Silver Care Tips
When it comes to sterling silver jewellery it is always best to avoid wearing it in water, in particular, swimming pools and spas, as chlorine can damage your jewellery in a very short time, where possible avoid contact with shampoos, perfumes or deodorants and rubber bands. By following these simple tips you will ensure your precious pieces retain their luster and longevity.