Almost every day we receive and answer questions from our customers, people in our environment and even from other fellows and professionals who are interested in the care of our recycled silver jewelry. That's why we want to explain what is ecosilver exactly and what care you should give to the silver to make it always look perfect.
First of all, we would like to highlight something that we’ve found so curious... and it’s that after just one month since our start, we have come to the conclusion that some people think that the ecosilver we use in our collection is of poorer quality compared to traditional silver. And this has really made us think of something important: Is recycling understood as something negative?
What is known as pure silver, also known as fine silver, is the basis of sterling silver. It is a very malleable material that is usually mixed with other materials or metals in order to achieve a more long-lasting, solid and practical result.
This is how sterling silver is made, which, in short, is the best-known alloy composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.
Therefore, the sterling silver is just that: sterling silver. And, the sterling silver, either is it or not.
How can we know if silver is sterling silver?
If you had nitric acid within reach, a drop would be enough to know if it is silver or not, but we doubt that you have a jar of such a poison nearby. (Please, this acid is very corrosive… we only recommend its use by professionals).
As we understand that if you are reading this you don’t know about precious metals and, therefore, you are not a jeweler or anything similar, then we can recommend you a trick that never fails: the magnet test.
How to do this magnet test for silver? It’s very easy: if the piece of silver sticks to the magnet, then it is a piece of whatever except silver.
Another way to know if a piece is silver or not, is looking for the hallmark of law.
In Spain, pieces of sterling silver must be hallmarked with two stamps: one is the mark of origin, which corresponds to the maker, and another is the assayer hallmark, which certifies that it is sterling silver. This seal can only be done by authorized laboratories upon request and study.
So, is ecosilver sterling silver?
Yes, of course. The only difference is that the fine or pure silver we use to get the sterling silver comes from 100% residues or recycled silver, being an ecological alternative to conventional silver.
Ecosilver: an ecological and quality alternative
All the jewelry you will find in OA is made in an artisanal way with ecosilver, which, since it's completely made of recycled silver, represents the ecological and sustainable alternative to “new” silver. We insist: when we talk about recycled silver we mean that it is composed of 100% silver residues, waste from the jewelry, medical, electronics and gift item industry.
For both processing and care, recycled silver is handled in the same way as sterling silver and the same results are achieved. The only difference lies in its sustainability and, therefore, in the fact that it is more respectful of the environment.
Now, given that it is sterling silver, it is susceptible to 'suffer' the natural process of silver and could be obscured due to its exposure to external agents.
Therefore, we will try to clarify some issues related to this process that you have asked us in the past:
When a silver jewel becomes black, does it mean it is of poor quality?
The answer is no. In fact, it is quite the opposite. If your silver jewels do not darken with time, it means that they are not composed only of silver, but they contain alloys with other metals that do not go through this process.
OA jewelry is composed of 100% silver, and although it will tend to darken due to its exposure to hydrogen sulfide in the air and thousands of agents, including the pH of our skin, it has an easy solution.
The first step: prevention
You have kept your silver jewel in a drawer, or in the bathroom, or in the wooden box that you have on the dresser in which the sun always shines and when you went to pick it up you have noticed that it has turned black.
It’s normal, when storing your jewelry you should avoid damp places, direct sunlight, very hot places and direct contact with materials such as wood, since it contains acids that affect the silver.
The ideal option? Keep your silver jewelry in a dry, preferably watertight place and, if possible, in individual bags because, this way, you also avoid scratches.
Another factor that could affect the good maintenance of your silver is the contact with chlorine, perfume or salt water. Sweat does not help either, and although it's not something we can always control, you can avoid wearing your jewelry if you're going to do physical activity. We also recommend trying to take off your jewelry before going to sleep.
The second step: care
If we put effort in taking care of our jewels we will delay the process of darkening, but the truth is that, sooner or later, it will be necessary to clean them.
The good news is that it will not take you much time, effort or too many resources.
What do you need to clean your jewelry?
- Water and soap or baking soda: dip your piece of silver for ten minutes in soapy water or baking soda and, then, dry it with a cloth.
- Water, soap and a toothbrush: mix warm water with a little soap and rub the piece with a soft toothbrush.
- Special materials: a cloth and / or a specific liquid for cleaning silver are always good options to restore the shine to your jewelry.
If you want more information do not hesitate to take a look at the section «Silver care and cleaning» on our website that you can find here, but if you follow these tips, you will surely be able to always wear your silver jewelry as it was the first day.
Now, in addition, you know that with our line of ecosilver you choose quality and, above all (and more importantly), you choose sustainability.
Recycled things are not of poorer quality neither imply negative aspects. Quite the opposite! Using recycled materials as our ecosilver or our recycled leather consists in reusing those things that already exist and have fulfilled their lifespan &mdashif they ever had it&mdash in order to continue creating and bringing value.
Our ecosilver is not made of newly quarried silver (what we find completely unnecessary), but it comes from wastes turned into a new resource, which help us to keep a more sustainable production process and offer a product that helps to reduce the negative impact on our planet.