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Sterling silver makes beautiful jewelry. From bracelets to earrings and necklaces, sterling silver can be used to create memorable and affordable pieces. The biggest culprit affecting the finish on sterling silver pieces is chlorine. Chlorine is found in our everyday wash water and, more commonly, pools.


One effect that chlorine can have on sterling silver is discoloration or tarnish. Discoloration happens when the copper in the alloy reacts with the chlorine. The discoloration can be either a light brown or black.


Pitting happens to the silver finish when it has been exposed to chemicals for too long. The aluminum plate needs to be cleaned periodically in order to prevent pitting. Pitting weakens the piece, and makes little cracks and holes in it.


If the silver is already tarnished, there are ways that it can be reversed. There are chemical solutions that are specifically for cleaning jewellery. Do not use anything abrasive on the silver because it will scratch. Use cotton cloth instead.


Preventing tarnish or pitting is easy. Remove all jewellery before showering, swimming or washing dishes. Clean the jewellery occasionally to remove pollutants or chlorine residue.