To make sure your jewelry is always ready to sparkle, these tips can help you to restrict your jewelry from tarnishing and becoming dull. 


What is tarnish? Why does it happen?


Tarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that occurs on metals like (sterling) silver and copper as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Oxygen, airborne pollutants, dust, and moisture are the main causes of tarnished jewelry. When jewelry gets tarnished/oxidized the metal often looks dull, gray or it looks like it has a black film/coating/patina, which can really reduce the attractiveness of your jewelry.

In some designs, artists use this natural chemical reaction, because it can create more depth in a design or give a silver piece of jewelry a more rustic or antique look. This type of jewelry is often called silver jewelry with a patina/oxidized finish. But if you want to prevent your jewelry from tarnishing, here are 7 ways to prevent it:


When you are NOT wearing your silver jewelry, it is best to keep it in a closed box, away from (sun)light and air(oxygen). Jewelry boxes are the best, so you can store all your jewelry in one place, but separate them inside the box. This way they are carefully protected and you’re making sure your jewelry will remain beautiful!


To store tiny earrings/ear studs you can use a button to make sure you don’t lose one piece of a pair. Although wearing 2 different earrings might work for you too? 


If you have problems with chain necklaces that get tangled up, this might will be very helpful! Especially when you’re traveling, but also to store your chain necklaces in your jewelry box: Open the lock of your chain necklace and put one side of the chain in a straw and the other side out, then close the lock again.


If you put a piece of chalk or a bag of silica inside your jewelry box, it will absorb moisture. Change it for a new one every couple of months.


  • sleeping
  • working out
  • going to a hair salon
  • cleaning, since cleaning products can damage your jewelry or you might get it entangled somewhere, so you can put on cleaning gloves to protect your rings, or take off any jewelry you off and store it safely
  • swimming
  • taking a shower/bath
  • sun ‘tanning’ or go out in direct heat or hard sunlight, because this might tarnish your jewelry or fade gemstone


You can clean your jewelry gently with some water and a soft cloth in order to remove skin oils, dust, makeup,… after each wear, it will really help prevent the forming of tarnish on your jewelry. Just make sure that the jewelry is really dry before storing it in your jewelry box. 


Something else that has an impact on the polishing and can make your silver tarnish faster: any kind of soap, lotion, sunscreen, perfume, make-up, hairspray,… since they contain chemicals that can be harmful to your jewelry. So when you are getting dressed it is best to put on everything make-up, body lotion, perfume, or clothes related,… and then add jewelry as your last finishing touch!

Give Jackson Square Fine Jewelers a call today! (650) 365-3000