When planning to give a ring to your partner as a symbol of your love and dedication to each other you want the ring to last a lifetime, even becoming a family heirloom to be passed on to future generations. Sterling silver rings are made from primarily the precious metal silver at 92.5% which is where the 925 comes from when looking for proof a piece is sterling silver. The remaining 7.5% is a combined alloy that is generally made with copper or zinc and while this reduces the amount of silver in the piece, it provides it additional strength and durability that 999 fine silver does not have. This is the driving factor for most people choosing sterling silver over fine silver as it will ensure that the piece lasts a lifetime.
As with anything that is worn on a regular basis like engagement rings and wedding bands, sterling silver rings can get worn down over time. A ring that is never maintained and worn everyday may only really last for 20 to 30 years before it wears thin, or the intricate design gets smoothed out, or loses its shine and luster. However, this does not need to be the case, sterling silver is easy to perform at home maintenance on it to keep it in excellent shape. A well worn ring made from any precious metal whether it is sterling silver, gold, or platinum is well served for an occasional visit to a competent jeweler to assess and repair any wear and damage that is unable to be performed at home.
Home Maintenance to Make a Sterling Silver Ring Last a Lifetime
Very few jewelers offer a free maintenance schedule for a sterling silver ring due to their lower cost this is just not a service that is extended for free. Therefore, it is wise to watch a few videos on YouTube covering the basics for caring for sterling silver jewelry. The following methods can help you keep your ring clean and allow it to sparkle and shine like new: soap and water, baking soda and water, olive oil and lemon juice, and white vinegar and baking soda.
Clean Sterling Silver with Soap and Water
Using a little soap and water is the go-to cleaning option for just about everything including sterling silver rings. Get a small polishing cloth and gently rub the piece. You want to avoid soaking the ring in the soap and water otherwise it may cause rust to form, but a damp polishing cloth rubbed on the ring will get majority of dirt off and should be your first step in cleaning your ring.
Clean Sterling Silver with Baking Soda and Water
Using baking soda and water to create a paste that you can brush on the ring with either a soft cloth or an old toothbrush. It is advised to use a little warm water for this application and after working all the edges and crevices in the rings design rinse the jewelry with warm water and dry it with a clean polishing cloth so no moisture remains.
Clean Sterling Silver with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice
Use a ½ cup of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to create the solution. Then apply with a soft polishing cloth and work into all the edges and crevices of the ring, followed up by a rinse in warm water and patted dry with a fresh cloth.
Clean Sterling Silver with White Vinegar and Baking Soda
When your ring has rusted and is very dirty you need to use a much stronger cleaning solution. Combine 2 tablespoons of baking soda and ½ cup of vinegar and place the ring into the bowl to soak for a couple hours. Make sure to get a bowl that will account for the large amount of bubbles when you mix the solution together, if you have ever made a volcano as kid you know what happens when you combine vinegar with baking soda. When it is all done you will want to rinse it with warm water and pat dry.
Following these basic cleaning tips will help ensure that your sterling silver rings last a lifetime and be something that will retain its luster and shine.