Like the Capulets and Montagues, you most likely fall into one camp or the other when it comes to sterling silver jewelry. To coat or not to coat…
‘O Rhodium, rhodium, wherefore art thou rhodium?’ Is often the cry I hear when customers are contemplating a purchase from Dalia’s Silver Lining. Don’t get me wrong, I can certainly appreciate the bling factor of a rhodium dipped piece. We. Just. Don’t. Do. It. Although rhodium delivers a big boost of pizazz, it’s a fundamental departure from the artistry of our pieces. Rhodium is expensive, can chip, fade, scratch and spot. Naked sterling requires maintenance. It requests its owner to treasure the item, study its crafted curves, periodically polish them to admire their beauty. The polishing also brings symbolic and meaningful memory to the jewelry itself. A contemplative gesture that evokes the moments you adorned yourself or someone you love with the piece. A first kiss, an anniversary, the celebration of friendships, an heirloom that encompasses your family heritage. Images and feelings that emanate from the jewelry through the act of cleansing. (I admit it, I’m old...and fashioned!)
So how does one really clean sterling silver jewelry, especially those with semi-precious stones or gems? For sterling only pieces, you need to consider a few things: Is there purposeful oxidation on the piece? (oxidation can add depth, contrast, and a rustic edge) If so, utilization of polishing cloths (also available from Dalia's Silver Lining) is probably your best bet. Save the elbow grease for the areas that need luster and avoid the oxidation.
When the time comes, and it will, here's a home remedy certain to bring back the luster to your Dalia's Silver Lining treasures (safe for your pieces with gemstones, but not purposeful oxidation):
- A large enough bowl to lay out your pieces so they don't touch
- Aluminum foil
- Very hot water (boil and let sit a few moments)
- Teaspoon of non-dyed dish soap
- 1 Tbsp of baking soda for every cup of water
- Line the dish with foil.
- Add baking soda to the water (be certain it doesn't bubble over)
- Add the soap and stir slowly
- Place room temperature jewelry in the dish, ensure that each piece is resting on foil and not touching the other pieces.
- Pour the solution slowly over the jewelry, make certain the jewelry is fully submerged
- Wait 15 minutes (longer if required)
- Rinse in warm water and polish dry with soft cloth
Ta-da! Pretty easy no? If the above seems too onerous, an over the shelf product like Goddard's does the trick. Just remember to rinse well and always dry your pieces so there's no spotting.
Have any questions, suggestions or comments? Don't be shy! Dalia's Silver Lining has generations of experience and can share a thing or two on how we keep our treasures sparkling...like the sun, rising in the east!