All sterling silver jewelry will tarnish, becoming dull and turning dark brown or black. Sometimes, this happens very quickly depending on your individual body chemistry, your location, and how the jewelry is stored when not in use.
Because they will tarnish, sterling silver nose rings are best used for temporary situations, like a formal dinner, as opposed to being worn 24/7 – and should never be used in an unhealed piercing.
Suitable for long term wear, better low maintenance alternatives include niobium, titanium, and 316L stainless steel.
The following periodic maintenance will help to keep your sterling silver jewelry looking nice:
Quick Note: Polishing pads and treated polishing cloths contain abrasives and actually remove metal. Use these sparingly to avoid removing fine details on your jewelry.
If your jewelry is already tarnished, this section is for you. Fortunately, tarnish is completely removable – there’s no reason to throw your sterling silver jewelry away! Here are two methods that work for removing various stages of tarnish:
Important: Neither method is recommended for use on jewelry that contains semi-precious or precious stones, pearls, amber, or beads because it could cause damage – it may cause fading, cloudiness or even cracks from the heat. One way to get around this is to use plastic tweezers (do not use steel) to hold your jewelry in the mixture, keeping the stones from having contact or being submerged.
Niobium, titanium, and 316L stainless steel hoops require very little, if any, maintenance to keep them looking nice. Periodically wipe them down with a damp cloth before and after wear to remove skin oil, makeup and anything else that may have accumulated. You can also use the included polishing pad to shine the metal up – it works incredibly well on niobium and 316L stainless steel!
If you have a sterling silver beaded hoop, you can use the care information listed above for sterling silver. However, please note that some bead finishes may be affected if you use the two methods for removing tarnish with baking soda. Silver beaded hoops are better kept nice looking with preventative maintenance as opposed to allowing them to tarnish completely.
Tips for keeping the beads looking nice:
The belly rings that I sell with fine silver charms have been given a black patina to darken the recesses and highlight the raised details. Here are some tips for keeping them looking nice without removing the patina:
Do not use the silver cleaning methods above with baking soda because they will completely remove the blackened details in the recessed areas on your charm.