Silver is the world’s most popular precious metal used in jewelry. It seems to have no flaws. However, lovers of silver jewelry after a while notice that their products begin to blacken. This happens both with regular wear and when stored without wearing.
The blackening of silver jewelry is manifested in a change in its color to gray, yellowish, brown or black.
An unsightly coating forms on the surface of the product, which deprives the object of its natural glow and visual appeal.
We will talk about why silver turns black in this article.
Why silver turns black on the body: myths and truth
There are many myths about the phenomenon of changing the color of silver. Most of them are folk beliefs. According to them, the cause of the appearance of an ugly coating on silver products can be diseases or poor health of a person.
This is not always true. Silver does not have the magical ability to predict health.
The answer to the question «why does silver turn black on the human body?» — another. During the use of jewelry, an oxidation process occurs — silver reacts to contact with oxygen in the air.
The main culprit in discoloration of silver jewelry is sulfur dioxide. Every day people breathe it in the air. The body, protecting itself from harmful influences, displaces it with sweat through the skin.
For this reason, silver jewelry worn directly on the body changes its color to a darker one. The metal reacts with sulfur compounds present in our sweat, which cause dark deposits to form on silver jewelry.
Jewelry kept indoors darkens when exposed to polluted air. The intensity of the process and the time after which it appears, largely depends on the level of environmental pollution.
If you put a new, beautifully polished ring on the shelf, it will turn black over time. Collectors and investors often recognize blackening as an initial check as evidence that they are dealing with real silver and not an alloy.
Why does silver turn black on a person?
Since silver jewelry has direct contact with the skin, diet and medication can also change its color.
Excess substances that our body considers harmful are excreted mainly with sweat. This is why silver can darken after direct contact with it.
However, this is not always a signal of any disease or problem, but a natural reaction of our body, to which silver also indirectly reacts.
The neck is the place where the most sweat is excreted from the body, and with it a lot of chemicals.
Each person excretes different substances with different frequency and intensity. For one, this process is carried out in such a way that the silver turns black, while for the other, nothing happens.
People living in large metropolitan areas and industrial areas are more likely to darken silver jewelry. In these places, the air is more polluted.
In one silver alloy, this phenomenon will occur with less frequency than with smaller samples of silver of a smaller sample. This explains the fact why 925 sterling silver blackens much less frequently than other samples.
While tarnishing is an inevitable process, there are a few easy ways to keep silver’s original luster:
correct use. Silver does not like water. Before each entrance to the bath, swimming pool, swimming in the sea or before washing dishes, jewelry must be removed. Cosmetics can also darken silver, so it is not recommended to apply rings directly to creamy hands or spray perfume on a neck adorned with a chain;
proper care. From time to time, silver jewelry should be cleaned with special products. The most popular are liquids with special additives, in which jewelry, polishing foams and wipes moistened with a cleaning agent are immersed;
proper storage. The ideal place for this would be closed boxes that cut off the air supply to the jewelry. Jewelry stored in this way will certainly remain free of dark deposits. Unfortunately, many people tend to leave their jewelry in the bathroom. Under no circumstances should you do this!
Buy silver jewelry in the Silvers online store and do not forget about the packaging — a jewelry box or a bag for jewelry. It effectively restricts airflow and preserves the natural luster of silverware.