Posted on September 20 2018
I thought I’d put together some helpful tips on how to look after your silver keepsake gifts, to help preserve your little fingerprints and handprints, so that they can be treasured and cherished forever.
A question that I get asked a lot when discussing silver fingerprint and handprint gifts and keepsakes with my customers is “will they tarnish?” The simple answer is yes, they will. When looking after your silver keepsakes it may help you to understand how and why silver tarnishes.
When silver comes into contact with oxygen or sulphur, they chemically bind to the surface and cause discolouration. This is the oxidisation process resulting in the tarnishing of your silver jewellery. When finishing your personalised silver keepsakes, I will always spray each treasured piece with an anti-tarnish spray which will help to reduce tarnishing; it will not stop your keepsake from tarnishing and it won’t stop the need for you to polish your jewellery every now-and-then because, by its very nature, silver will tarnish, a process that is unavoidable; the spray simply helps to reduce tarnishing. So, when you receive your fingerprint charms, or handprint necklaces, you may see that there are parts of your treasured piece that are darker than others and in fact do look tarnished…. This is because I purposely oxidise some areas of the silver fingerprint and handprint keepsakes so that the detail from the tiny fingerprints and handprints that I take are more visible. Therefore, it’s important to bear in mind that when polishing and caring for your jewellery try to avoid wearing the detail away.
There are a few simple steps that you can follow to help preserve your keepsakes & general care of your pieces:
Protecting your silver keepsakes:
- Remove charms/bracelets/necklaces when exercising, showering, and cleaning to avoid your silver keepsakes from coming into contact with chemicals like chlorine and sulphur that can be found in some household cleaners but also in some foods like mayonnaise and vinegar
- There are also chemicals found in cosmetics and perfumes that can accelerate tarnishing so remember to put your silver jewellery on last
- Remove your jewellery when swimming and sunbathing as excessive sunlight can cause tarnishing
- Storing jewellery in air tight plastic bags with anti-tarnish strips is a great way of storing your silver keepsakes and avoiding exposure to the air
- Whilst exposure to our general environment can accelerate tarnishing, wearing your jewellery is also a great way to clean your jewellery naturally as the oils we produce act as cleansers
Cleaning your silver keepsakes:
- Regularly check fittings and clasps
- Regularly polish your jewellery. Our keepsakes come with a polishing cloth which is coated with an anti-tarnish solution. Avoid using kitchen roll, tissue or fabrics to polish your jewellery as these can leave tiny scratches on the silver. Also remember to use up and down strokes when polishing your silver keepsakes as circular movements can leave smears
- Use an anti-tarnish strip to keep with your silver when you are not wearing it. This works by absorbing the particles in the air.
- Washing your pieces gently in warm soapy water with something like washing up liquid can also help to remove any signs of tarnishing and general dirt from everyday wear
On re-reading my blog back, I’ve realised I’ve made reference to silver fingerprint and handprint necklaces and bracelets and charms. The above advice would also be applicable to cufflinks, key-rings, tie pins and tie slides, of course. I hope you will be very happy with your purchases of handmade silver keepsakes. Please remember that all purchases from Little Tiny Prints come with a 12 month guarantee, and if you have any questions please get in touch with me.
I hope this has been a helpful read if you’re wondering how to keep your keepsakes looking shiny and new.
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