Being a luxury brand, you’d expect that the quality of Tiffany and Co. jewelry is top-notch. High quality or not, however, sterling silver tends to tarnish over time.
But what happens when your tiffany jewelry starts turning brown? In this post, we’ll be covering this issue and examine some of the reasons for the brown discoloration for your Tiffany pieces.
We’ll also offer you tips on how to care for and store your Tiffany jewelry so you can enjoy them for longer.
My Tiffany Necklace Is Turning Brown- Is It Normal?
You finally managed to buy the Tiffany silver piece you’ve always wanted, but over time you notice that it’s turning brown. Could it be that you’ve been duped? Not necessarily.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, silver has a tendency of tarnishing and Tiffany silver pieces are no exception. The tarnishing occurs when the silver piece is exposed to air leading to oxidation.
This is a chemical reaction between silver and the Sulphur in the air causing the formation of a thin coating of silver sulfides over the surface of the jewelry. The tarnishing can also be caused by exposure to body sweat, oils, perfumes, and other harmful chemicals.
The tarnish is what is responsible for the darkening of your Tiffany silver pieces. Depending on the severity of the tarnish, your jewelry may start appearing yellowish-brown or even black. So, to answer the question, yes, it is normal for your Tiffany necklace to turn brown if it is made of silver. It’s all a matter of how well you take care of it.
Why My Tiffany Necklace Is Turning Brown?
As we’ve already discussed, the main reason why your Tiffany jewelry is turning brown is that it’s made of silver which tends to tarnish. There are, however, various reasons or causes for the tarnishing. The following are the main reasons why:
1. Daily Wear.
We can understand that you love your Tiffany silver necklace. Considering how much it costs, it’s only natural to want to make the most out of it.
What you may not know is that the daily wear of your silver necklace without proper care eventually tarnishes or corroded it.
This is due to the constant exposure to your sweat, whose chemical component, although mild, is enough to corrode your silver. Salt is also responsible for the corrosion of sterling silver.
We, therefore, advise you to take off your necklace when going for a swim in the ocean or other salty water bodies.
2. Use of Cosmetics.
Cosmetics like make-up, body oils, and perfumes can sometimes contain harsh chemicals like calamine and zinc oxide.
Exposure to these chemicals may cause metallic abrasion to your Tiffany necklace, which leads to discoloration.
So, you should either avoid cosmetics with these chemicals or ensure your necklace is the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off when applying your cosmetics.
3. Exposure to Hydrogen Sulfide or Materials Containing Sulfur.
As we’ve already explained, when silver is exposed to Sulphur, whether it’s in the air or some chemical product, it causes a chemical reaction that forms silver sulfide.
That is the coating you see on the surface of your jewelry that you register as tarnish. To avoid this, it would be good to avoid using chemicals containing sulfur, near your jewelry or being in polluted environments likely to have hydrogen sulfide.
Increased humidity and high temperatures are also conditions you should avoid as this will quicken the chemical reaction and worsen the tarnishing.
4. Exposure to other compounds.
Aside from sulfur, there are other harmful components like latex, rubber, wool, and chlorine that increase the tarnish of silver jewelry.
You should therefore be careful not to swim in a chlorinated pool with your Tiffany necklace. Also avoid handling the necklace with or storing it next to wool, rubber, or latex materials.
How Long Does Tiffany Jewelry Last?
As with any jewelry, its longevity will depend on how well you care for and maintain the piece. The same goes for Tiffany jewelry. Tiffany and Co. use only the highest quality of materials when making their jewelry, be it diamond, silver, or gold. Therefore, their pieces are designed to last a lifetime, even more.
To ensure this, Tiffany offers its customers a full-time warranty, especially on its diamond pieces. As per the warranty, you will get a full refund or be able to exchange your piece if it fails to meet the specifications they provided. Because they are aware that the silver pieces will tend to tarnish, Tiffany and Co. have provided adequate information on how to care for and maintain the silver pieces. They even have silver cleaning and polishing products that you can use to ensure your silver jewelry keeps its luster for a long time to come.
If you don’t trust your cleaning skills, Tiffany and Co. offer a lifetime worth of complimentary cleaning service and a routine check every six months to ensure the stone settings are secure. What’s more, if you happen to break your Tiffany jewelry, they offer repair services at a fee depending on the damage. With all these conditions put in place, you’re more likely to enjoy your Tiffany piece for a long time, unless you lose it.
Can I Wear My Tiffany And Co Necklace In The Shower?
Given the quality of material used to make Tiffany jewelry, their pieces should be able to survive being exposed to water. That includes their silver pieces. So, you should be able to shower with your necklace on occasion, with little impact on it.
Still in as much as your necklace can get a little wet, we would still advise you to remove it while showering. The main reason is, you can never be too sure how the chemicals from your soap could react to the necklace. And while we are on the topic of getting your Tiffany necklace wet, you will also want to avoid swimming in a chlorinated pool with your necklace.
As you know chlorine is a harsh chemical, especially for silver pieces. Also, avoid hot tubs and hot springs as that may end up damaging your necklace as well.
How To Clean Your Tarnished Tiffany Necklace.
Just because your Tiffany silver necklace is tarnished doesn’t mean that you should stop wearing it. It only needs to be cleaned and polished and you’ll have it back to being as good as new in no time. The following are some steps you can follow to clean your tarnished Tiffany necklace at home:
Step 1: Clean the necklace.
You can do this by rinsing it under cool running water while rubbing gently with your fingers. This is to remove contaminants like oil, dirt, grit, and hairspray from the surface of the necklace. That way, the polish will better focus on dissolving the tarnish. Once you’ve rinsed it, dry the necklace with a clean microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the silver.
Step 2: Polish the necklace.
On a clean soft cloth, add a dime-sized amount of Tiffany’s jewelry cleaner and use it to gently rub the necklace using back and forth motion. Take your time with this step, cleaning one inch at a time, and stopping to rinse the soft cloth and reapply the jewelry cleaner every 15 seconds. Rinsing the cloth prevents you from rubbing the tarnish back into the necklace. Repeat this process until there’s no more tarnish left. For the engraved areas or crevices, you can use a flattened cotton swab.
Step 3: Rinse off the jewelry cleaner.
You can do this by thoroughly rinsing it in warm water or wipe it down with a warm damp cotton ball. Afterward, dry it with a clean microfiber cloth and store it away from any harsh chemicals or compounds. A great place to store the necklace would be in a zip-locked plastic bag or leather pouch.
Tips For Storing Your Tiffany Necklace.
How you store your jewelry goes a long way when it comes to how well they hold up over the years. The following are some tips that could help you with properly storing your Tiffany necklace:
Store it in a jewelry box.
A good jewelry box should be lined with tarnish-proof fabric and has a separate space for each jewelry piece. This keeps the necklace away from harsh elements like perfumes and oils. Storing the necklace separately also prevents it from getting tangled with other jewelry pieces. You can also store the necklace in the flannel pouch that comes with the Tiffany necklace.
Keep the necklace dry when in storage.
After cleaning and polishing your necklace ensure you’ve completely dried it, before storing it. Leaving any moisture on it could increase the chances of tarnishing. If the storage space is an open one, then ensure the conditions around it are of low humidity and temperature. That will also reduce the chances of tarnish.
Store the necklace properly when traveling or on the move.
If you’re traveling ensure you pack your necklace properly if you wish to carry it with you. The flannel pouch or a segmented jewelry box should suffice. For extra security, you can wrap the necklace in tarnish-proof fabric. If you don’t have the box or pouch, you can wrap the necklace in a soft cloth and keep it away from clothes.
We hope that this post has helped reduce your worry about your Tiffany jewelry turning brown. All it needs is proper cleaning and polishing, although we would advise that you avoid home remedies and soaking your jewelry if you are not a professional.
Also, when in doubt, you could always take the jewelry back to Tiffany and Co. for proper cleaning and they’ll have it back to you as good as new.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.