Oxidized Silver – A Great Look That Is Easy To Maintain
Sterling silver is 92.5% silver with metals added such as germanium, zinc and platinum depending on the composition. Silver is coveted for its bright shiny appearance, but we all know how quickly it can tarnish and discolour. A light tarnish turns the surface slightly yellowy and dull while a heavy tarnish turns the metal black.
In recent years, however, it has become popular for jewelry designers to deliberately oxidize their silver designs to create a contrast within the designs. The deep engravings hold the black tarnish while the raised pieces are polished back to bright silver, standing out beautifully against the black. The result is not only a clearer design, but also an aged look perfect for more vintage style pieces.
When wearing oxidized silver pieces it is important not to use silver dip or other chemical cleaners. This will dissolve the oxidation and the black detailing will disappear. When caring for these pieces use a silver cloth – this is a soft fabric impregnated with silver so that when you rub it over your jewelry it takes away the tarnish. This is much easier and cleaner than using solutions and toothbrushes etc as you are only cleaning the raised surface and do not need to worry about the hard to polish crevices. These cloths are also safe to use on jewelry with gemstones.
Here at Secret Sapphire Luxury Jewellery in Yaletown we carry Lori Bonn’s Victorian inspired collection of Bonn Bonn silver charms many of which use this technique. Coming soon are Scott Kay’s menswear collection of silver bracelets, rings, cufflinks and necklaces many of which use this technique. Lusciouss silver jewellery forgoes the oxidization using empty space to showcase the detail.
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