Why does silver turn black or green?
Silver becomes black because of hydrogen sulfide (sulfur), a substance that occurs in the air. When silver comes into contact with it, a chemical reaction takes place and a black layer is formed. Silver oxidizes faster in places with a lot of light and high humidity.
Also contact with products like cosmetics, hair spray, perfume, deodorant, body lotion, bleach, etc., can speed up the oxidizing process.
Besides that, the natural oils that your skin produces can also react to your silver jewelry. The extent to which the silver reacts with these substances from your skin is highly dependent on the type of food you eat, alcohol consumption and whether you are taking medication. These things influence the acidity of your skin, which can cause a reaction. Also sweat (which ammonia occurs in) raises the acidity of the skin and could tarnish the silver.
That silver jewelry that turns black would be made of a less silver content or even be no silver, is incorrect and a myth. The oxidation of silver jewelry is a sign that it is really silver. Other (noble) metals oxidize differently.
Some steps you can take to remedy the situation
- Do not store your silver jewelry in damp places such as the bathroom or the kitchen.
- Put on your silver jewelry after you have used make-up, perfume, hair spray and other beauty products.
- Take off your silver jewelry when you go swimming, cleaning (cleaning products are very bad), hand washing or contact with sea water (salt water).
- Take off your silver jewelry if you transpire a lot. For example, in case of fever or intensive exercise.
- Keep your silver jewelry in a closed bag that is protected from air and store it in a dark space.
How do I get my silver jewelry beautiful again?
Use a silver-clean product for cleaning silver jewelry. We offer this in the webshop under the category (accessories or necessities) or take your silver jewelry to a well-informed jeweler.
Ines Bouwen is not responsible for any unwanted changes that are made to your piece of jewelry, neither by the silver-clean product nor by giving advice to go to a well-informed jeweler.