That was my immediate reaction!
This was a message that I received from a lady who was interested in ordering a new bracelet that I had just designed. She really wanted the bracelet. It had special meaning to her.
But ... she was reluctant ... she had ordered two bracelets years ago - one for her and one for her daughter. The silver had turned black/tarnished. I messaged her back to explain about sterling silver and what had probably happened. I suggested that she return the bracelets to me and that I would clean them and return them to her in tarnish-resistant bags to protect them in the future. That is when I received the message - "I threw them out." My heart dropped.
When I first designed my Hope Crystals Cancer Awareness Bracelet (the original Sparkles of Hope), I decided to use sterling silver beads and components because of the quality and durability of sterling.
Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver. Fine silver is 99% pure but is too soft to use in most jewellery. Alloys are used to make up the other 7.5%. Copper is a common alloy. The copper reacts to moisture and sulfur in the air, causing the sterling silver to tarnish. Moisture, humidity and chemicals in the air and on the skin can hasten this process. Storing the silver jewellery in some boxes can also cause this to happen.
The good news is that this tarnish can be prevented and removed! All my sterling silver jewellery is now sold in tarnish-resistant bags and I include a 'Jewellery -care card' with each item as well. Check out my blog post for more details about caring for your sterling silver jewellery.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if your jewellery has tarnished!