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High quality, pure TURKISH silver, a precious and malleable metal, is usually alloyed with copper to enhance its durability and prevent damage to the metal. Typically, sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
Over time oxidation reactions will occur, especially with sulphur and oxygen, causing silver to become tarnished. Care should be taken to prevent this tarnishing.
To avoid this tarnishing, try to avoid the following:
✯ Applying hair colours or permanent solutions while wearing your jewellery.
✯ Showering or swimming with your jewellery on.
✯ Body lotions, hair spray, suntan lotions, or oils of any kind on your jewellery.
✯ Physical activities (sweat).
✯ Never removing your jewellery.
Silver does not oxidize in air. However, it does react with sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide in the air or other sulphur compounds and chloride salts, resulting in discolouration called tarnish. Tarnish is a brown discoloration caused by air pollution, cigarette smoke, some foods, furnace fumes, etc. Egg yolks, mustard, table salt, vinegar, olives, salad dressing, perspiration, rubber floor coverings, rubber bands and sulphur in some household synthetic detergents can also tarnish or affect silver. Latex paints may contain rubber and will tarnish silver.
Silver is a soft metal. Use care while cleaning it. No matter how mild an abrasive polish is used, some silver will be removed each time it is polished. Rubbing with a soft cloth causes some wear.
Clean with soap (not detergent) and water. If additional cleaning is necessary, use as mild a cleaner as possible. Rinse and polish with soft cloth or felt (tissue is not recommended).
Dry the silver jewellery very well before storage to prevent residual water stains.