Why Does Jewelry Tarnish?
Jewelry of all types from Sterling Silver to Brass will eventually tarnish and turn a darker color due to the metal's interaction with sulfur and moisture in the air. This process can happen faster in places with high humidity or air pollution.
How To Protect Your Jewelry
Here are some practices you should adopt to prolong your jewelry's luster and shine:
01. Avoid Moisture. Since humidity is one of the main reasons jewelry tarnishes, you should always avoid water and moist environments when wearing your jewelry. Don't store your jewelry in your bathroom and don't shower while wearing your pieces. Similarly, be sure to avoid swimming in your jewelry and stay out of hot tubs. Chlorine and salt water are especially harsh.
Side note: Avoid wearing your jewelry to the beach at all costs. The abrasive sand can easily scratch metal, especially soft metals like silver, and can remove the plating from Vermeil pieces causing them to need re-plating sooner.
02. Store Properly. You want to keep your jewelry away from sunlight and moisture preferably somewhere dark and cool. To avoid tangled chains and scratched and/or damaged jewelry, always store each piece individually. Ideally you would keep each piece in an individual plastic bag with as much air removed as possible. Check out these bags that have tarnish protection built-in.
Tip: Purchase some Anti-Tarnish paper and put a small strip in each bag to help prevent discoloration. We like these 3M Anti-Tarnish Tabs.
03. Clean Regularly. The more consistently you clean your pieces, the easier it is to keep tarnishing to a minimum. After you take your jewelry off (or on a consistent basis if you're not wearing your jewelry regularly), clean them with a jewelry polishing cloth (we like this non-toxic one) and/or jewelry cleaning liquid. This one is a good all around cleaner for most metals.
04. Wear Your Jewelry! The best way to keep your jewelry from tarnishing is to actually wear it! This is the best and easiest tip in my humble opinion.
Now go enjoy your jewelry knowing you can get that like-new shine them up again at any time!