The Issue with Silver, Leather & Rubber
An interesting jewelry design is the combining of silver with leather and/or rubber. We see these creations in bracelets, necklaces, earrings, watch bands, etc. Prices range from the very affordable to designer level costs.
Bracelets may use knotted leather joined with silver. Necklaces also can use a thin leather braid and a silver pendant. Rubber cords and rubber tubes combined with silver are also used for men’s and women’s bracelets, necklaces, etc. Black rubber or leather with silver clasps for both men's and women's necklaces also make a fashion statement, and while these combinations make for unique products, they can also cause issues.
The challenge these designs create is in maintaining the silver to keep it from tarnishing. The combination of materials will need to be managed because leather and rubber contain very high levels of Sulphur which will tarnish the silver portion of the jewelry piece relatively quickly. Some of these items are made with silver that has an anti-tarnish or rhodium coating, but these coatings can oxidize and/or wear off, causing the silver to get dull and tarnished. While this style of jewelry makes an interesting fashion statement, it needs constant care in between uses (and when it’s stored) to keep it looking it’s best.
Anti-tarnish tabs are great for preventing tarnish in an environment with low to elevated levels of Sulfur and very effective at absorbing and neutralizing those corrosive gases. However, when you have very high levels of Sulfur, like silver with rubber and/or leather, especially when combined with heat and humidity, you need more protection in order to neutralize the gases that lead to tarnish and corrosion. So, for very high sulfur environments, by using an anti-tarnish bag or pouch, you are completely surrounding the jewelry with the anti tarnish material. Then the bag/pouch will not only isolate the jewelry item from its corrosive environment, but it will absorb and neutralize the corrosive gases, thereby keeping your silver item shiny and tarnish free!