Silver has to play second fiddle to gold, but that’s not to say it isn’t a precious metal! Our curiosity about silver knocked, and we answered – we’ve got all the facts about silver and why silver tarnishes. Check it out…
- It’s a precious metal – which makes it pretty – and why we love it!
- Silver has been mined since 3000 BC in Turkey and Greece.
- Ancient folks even discovered how to refine silver, impressive.
- Silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity.
- Antimicrobial properties have made silver popular in the world of medicine, but it can turn your skin blue. Weird.
- Flashback to Chemistry Class Silver: the metallic element Ag (short for Argentumns). While silver comes from the Anglo-Saxon word seolfor.
- Atomic number 47, what does that mean again? The number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom
What Makes Silver So “Precious”?
Precious metals include Gold, Silver, and Platinum. They are rare metals. The high luster makes them perfect for gorgeous adornments, and people figured this out in ancient times! Their low reactivity means you aren’t at risk of having a chemical reaction while wearing it, fabulous news, right?
What’s The Deal with Tarnish?
Pure silver is highly tarnish resistant, but it is far too soft for use in everyday jewelry. Sterling silver has been the jewelry standard since the 14th century, it is an alloy (mix of metals) with a small amount of copper. This allows sterling silver to offer the luster we love, with durability needed for jewelry and other household goods.
Over time, any sterling silver jewelry exposed to air will tarnish. Comprised of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. It’s the other metals, typically copper, that make sterling silver tarnish. The copper reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing the sterling silver tarnish. Silver tarnishes faster in areas with high humidity and air pollution. Chemicals like hairspray, perfume, deodorant, body lotion, bleach, etc., can speed up the tarnishing process.
Care and Keeping
We have a handy little jewelry care guide available for download to help keep your silver in good condition. Check it out or share it on social media!