While I love the warmth of gold and rose gold jewelry, over the years I’ve made sure to incorporate a variety of silver into my jewelry collections as well. There are quite a few varieties, and you’ll find more info on the types of silver I use in my jewelry as well as how to best care for it.
Sterling Silver | .925 Silver
Sterling silver is a mix of metals consisting of 92.5% silver, and 7.5% other metal, often copper. Pure silver is a relatively soft metal and can be easily scratched and dented. The addition of copper creates a stronger and more durable metal that is more suitable for jewelry. Sterling silver jewelry is more suitable for those with allergies or metal sensitivities, and can be worn in water.
You’ll find sterling silver in my handcrafted ear wires, hoops, ear cuffs, wire wrapped gemstone drops and links, and chains.
In recent years, I’ve switched to using sterling silver wire that is made from recycled silver to craft ear wires, post earrings, hoop earrings, ear cuffs, wire wrapped gemstones, links and basic components in my studio.
How to Clean and Store Sterling Silver Jewelry
Sterling silver jewelry can be cleaned in a variety of ways. Because it is a solid metal, abrasive cleaners work well to bring a bright shine back to sterling silver items that are showing signs of tarnish. One of my favorites methods? Special clothes
Fine Silver | 99.9%
Fine silver is a relatively soft metal, and isn’t suitable for all jewelry, however, it works well as details such as pendants, beads, and small components. I often use fine silver focal pieces with a sterling silver clasp and details.
How to Clean and Store Fine Silver Jewelry
Fine silver jewelry can be cleaned in a variety of ways. Because it is a solid metal, abrasive cleaners work well to bring a bright shine back to sterling silver items that are showing signs of tarnish.
Silver Plate w/ Anti-Tarnish Finish
Silver plating is a chemical process that binds a layer of silver particles to a metal surface, in this case copper. The silver plated items I use feature a matte, bright silver appearance and includes an anti-tarnish finish to help prolong the life of the silver.
Compared to solid sterling or fine silver, silver plating is not as thick or durable of a finish and will eventually wear off. Due to this, it is not recommended for individuals with metal allergies, and not recommended for wearing in water, and is not recommended for individuals with metal allergies.
The silver plated details used in ZKD jewelry are relatively durable, and wear similarly to rhodium plated items.
How to Clean and Store Silver Plate Jewelry with Anti-Tarnish Finish
Jewelry with silver plated details should only be cleaned with specially formulated non-abrasive liquid jewelry cleaner intended for costume jewelry, and wiped dry with a clean, soft cloth.
This is a unusual because it’s not actually silver! It is the same look, and gives the appearance of silver, but rhodium is a highly valuable metal (more valuable than gold) that has a silver appearance, and is often seen in the plating of solid white gold jewelry. It is a relatively non-reactive metal, which means that allergies are not common.
Rhodium is a more valuable metal than fine silver or sterling silver and rhodium plating is a chemical process that binds a layer of rhodium particles to a metal surface, in this case brass. This gives the metal a bright silver finish. Compared to solid sterling silver, rhodium plating is not as thick or durable of a finish and will wear off over time. Due to this, it is not recommended for individuals with metal allergies, and not recommended for wearing in water.
In recent years, I’ve discovered more durable options that include thicker plating and include anti-tarnish finishes.
You’ll find rhodium plated details in my line of leather jewelry, including my leather bangles, and chokers.
How to Clean and Store Rhodium Plate Jewelry
Rhodium plated jewelry should only be cleaned with specially formulated non-abrasive liquid jewelry cleaner and wiped dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Storage: To prolong the life of your rhodium plated jewelry, I recommend that your rhodium plated jewelry be stored in the air tight plastic bag it was received in when not in use.
A Note to Local Berlin Customers: I Can Clean Your Jewelry!
If you’re in the Berlin area, and would like to get your ZKD jewelry cleaned, please contact me to let me know what you need cleaned and we can make an appointment at my studio and shop at Studio Hertzberg in Neukölln. This is a free service I offer all my customers. Depending on the work and my availability, I may be able to take care of the cleaning while you wait, or can get it done and have it ready for you at a later date.
Comments or Questions?
Have more questions about how to care for your Zurina Ketola Designs handmade jewelry? Just consider me your own personal jewelry designer! I’m always happy to answer questions. Contact me for more information.
These posts have inspired me a bit to share more details about all the materials I use in my jewelry designs. So much time and effort goes in to finding the highest quality materials I can to produce my work. Stay tuned to find out more info about the leathers, silks, gemstones and pearls I use in my handmade jewelry!
Until then, head over to the shop and check out the new look! I’ve made a few important changes to help make navigating the site and shopping a little easier for you. I’d love to know what you think.