YUK! My silver is dirty looking!!
Over time, all Sterling Silver will tarnish - it's just a fact of life. When silver is exposed to certain elements, there is a chemical reaction that creates black and colourful smudges - it called a sulfate stain. (There are pictures of this below). You can wiki/google silver tarnish and find a lot of info on the process.
But there are ways that you can help keep your silver looking fresh and new. Proper care can keep your jewelry looking lovely for years to come. For starters, when you are not wearing your silver, store it separately (not just thrown in a jewelry box with other types of jewelry). Also, try and keep it wrapped in a soft cloth so it stays dry and cool. It will not *stop* the tarnish but it can slow it down.
When cleaning, avoid things like paper towels as it may scratch the surface. It is better to use a soft fine cloth for cleaning. You can purchase a silver cleaning cloth at most jewelry stores for a few dollars. (I'm going to show you some examples further down the page on how you can clean your silver).
You might be surprised at some of the things that will cause quicker tarnish: Wool, latex gloves, perfumes, hair sprays, ammonia, chlorinated water, rubber bands and even certain types of food you actually eat! (and this is only the short list of culprits!) It can even be the air around you due to pollution or humidity.
Here are a few other rings that I
love to wear.....
This is what your silver polish cloth will look
like when you start using it..
And a small footnote:
If I use another type of metal? It will specifically be stated with the gemstone :)