How Long Does It REALLY Take For Silver To Tarnish?
How Long Does It REALLY Take Silver to Tarnish
The amount of time it takes silver to tarnish is not a question that can be answered simply. There are many variables to take into account when considering how long its going to take your beautifully polished silver to turn into an unrecognizable dirty brownish looking piece of metal. If you store your silver properly, it will take many many years for you to see any signs of tarnish; if it even tarnishes at all, but we'll go more into that later.
The simplest way to put it is that it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years for your silver to tarnish. As mentioned before, there are just too many variables for anyone to give you a definite answer. Things like how you're storing your silver, what kind of environment it is in, and how much it is being handled are all factors that will have an effect on the tarnishing process. For example, if you live in a humid area similar to Florida's environment, your items are going to tarnish faster than an environment farther north like Maine's, where there is less moisture in the air. If you handle your silver bare-handed frequently, the oils and dirt on your hands are going to accelerate the tarnishing process. If you leave your silver or jewelry next to your bathroom sink instead of in a wonderful tarnish preventing Intercept bag or pouch, you're likely going to see tarnish within a few weeks to months instead of a few short years.
Sterling Silver, Coin Silver, & Silver Plating
Now lets talk the various forms of silver since most silver products purchased are not entirely pure silver, but sterling silver, coin silver, or simply silver plated. Real silver, or silver with close to 99.9% purity, is just too soft for use as jewelry. To make it stronger and more durable, silver is mixed with copper and sometimes zinc or nickel to strengthen the precious metal. This silver alloy is called sterling silver and is generally about 92.5% pure. It is easily identifiable with a '.925' stamp as pictured above. Sterling silver tarnishes faster and that's mainly due to the copper alloy it is infused with. Other types of silver include coin silver or silver plating. Coin silver is a composite alloy and generally no more than 90% pure. Silver plating is usually a coating of sterling silver or pure silver over a less valuable metal. With silver plating, the coating will eventually wear away and look less desirable. With these silver alloys and anything that isn't more then 99% pure, you absolutely need to be storing them properly if you care about preserving their appeal. It's honestly never been more affordable or simpler than our company has made it. Storing them in Intercept packaging will keep your belongings tarnish free for years. Below you will see a piece of jewelry not stored in anything compared to the same piece stored in an Intercept bag.
Fun Fact: The name sterling silver most likely comes to a type of silver coin that was originally minted by Britain's King Henry II, due to its steady value and durability. It is believed the coins, at 92.5 % purity, were known as "Easterling coins." This name was soon shortened from Easterling to just sterling.