Sterling Silver Jewelry Care Tips
You’ve clearly got great taste - here’s how to care for those gorgeous pieces.
Sterling silver jewelry is durable, affordable, and beautiful - the perfect solution for high quality pieces that are both on trend and guaranteed to last.
At Prairie Sky Jewelry Co, we pride ourselves on crafting gorgeous heirloom quality sterling silver jewelry at all price points. We believe in accesibility of art for all incomes, so we do our best to create beautiful pieces with prices ranging from the tens to the thousands without ever shirking quality or craftsmanship. We work closely with American lapidaries and mines to be sure we use the most beautiful, genuine American stones in our work. Any time we’re not using American stones it’s because they’re stones that aren’t found in the US - for example, we source our amethyst from Brazil, where it is mined and cut locally. We hold strong to our motto - “You’re a work of art - your jewelry should be too.”
What is Sterling Silver?
Sterling silver consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper or zinc. Centuries of metallurgy have shown copper to be the ideal companion metal to pure silver as it improves the metals’s hardness and durability without affecting the bright, pure color. The price of sterling silver jewelry is primarily influenced by the labor involved in making the item, the skill of the craftsperson, and the intricacy of the design and is only slightly affected by the silver market.
Hallmarking + Stamps
All Prairie Sky Jewelry Co pieces are stamped ‘.925’ to indicate the piece is indeed sterling silver, then hallmarked with either our logo stamp or signed personally by our silversmiths.
Why do my pieces turn black?
Tarnishing is a natural chemical process that occurs when sterling silver is exposed to oxygen, called oxidation. This chemical reaction causes a dark silver to black patina to form on the surface of your jewelry, like you often see when shopping vintage jewelry. This patina can be allowed to form as your piece ages or periodically polished off to restore your pieces to a bring ‘white’ shine. Many pieces coming out of our studio have been purposefully oxidized to better show small and intricate details in our work.
Storing Jewelry (and preventing oxidation)
Humidity plays a very large factor in the speed at which your piece will oxidize. The higher the humidity, the quicker your piece will appear to age. To prevent this, store your jewelry in an airtight bag or container in a dry room in your home. Bathroom storage, though convenient, is guaranteed to oxidize your jewelry very quickly because of the warm and humid environment. The more you wear your pieces, the less they will oxidize - the natural oils in your skin will actually create a barrier on the silver, preventing the oxidation process from occurring as quickly.
When not to wear your jewelry...
Although we craft heirloom quality work, it is still best to take tender care of your pieces to extend their lifetime and prevent unneccesary wear. Avoid wearing your jewelry while you:
- Fistfight Bears
- Use Hairspray
- Clean with chemicals
Polishing your Jewelry
We’re happy to provide complimentary polishing pads in orders as our stock allows - if you have not received one in your order, please contact us to receive one by mail. Use the polishing cloth gently, following the grain of the silver. Do not use your pad in a circular pattern and be sensitive to small and moving parts of your jewelry - disproportionate strain can cause small parts to become brittle and risk breakage. Most local professional jewelers also offer in-house cleaning services for a small expense, which we encourage anyone concerned about the cleanliness of their jewelry to take advantage of. Turquoise and many other gemstones are fairly soft (a 5-6 on the Mohs scale) and are not meant to withstand harsh chemicals or cleaning products. It is very important to be patient and careful in the care of your jewelry to avoid unnecessary harm to a piece or stone.
If you have additional questions or concerns about the care of your jewelry (Prairie Sky or otherwise), please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help in any way we can.