Auronum

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  • Gold £1,855.65 oz -0.50%
  • Silver £22.57 oz -0.72%
  • Platinum £749.26 oz -1.99%
Gold -0.50%
£1,855.65 oz
Silver -0.72%
£22.57 oz
Platinum -1.99%
£749.26 oz
Gold -0.50%
£1,855.65 oz
Silver -0.72%
£22.57 oz
Platinum -1.99%
£22.57 oz
Gold britannia 1oz coin and quarter ounce
Does Gold Rust or Tarnish?
June 27, 2024
gold and dollars
Is Gold a Commodity or a Currency?
June 28, 2024
Gold britannia 1oz coin and quarter ounce
Does Gold Rust or Tarnish?
June 27, 2024
gold and dollars
Is Gold a Commodity or a Currency?
June 28, 2024

Silver articles

Does Silver Rust?


Silver is a curious metal and one that has been cherished as precious for centuries. As an owner of silver, it may be wondered if silver rusts. Silver has some unique reactions over time with rainbow-like tarnishing and milk spotting common, however it has been proven that silver does not rust.

Why Silver Does not Rust

Rust is the result of a chemical reaction between iron, oxygen, and water which creates iron oxide. Silver does not rust because it does not contain the iron needed to form iron oxide. Silver’s chemical composition makes it completely resistant to rust, however, silver is prone to a different form of corrosion known as tarnishing.

What Causes Silver to Tarnish?

Tarnishing of silver is a chemical reaction that occurs when silver encounters substances that contain sulphur. This reaction results in the formation of silver sulphide which gives the discolouration effect on the surface of silver items.

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Sources of Sulphur

Several common sources of sulphur can cause silver to tarnish:

  • Air Pollution: Hydrogen sulphide from the breakdown in plant and animal material the air can lead to the tarnishing of silver.

  • Household Items: Items like rubber bands, latex gloves, and certain foods such as onions contain sulphur compounds.

  • Cosmetics and Lotions: Some beauty products may contain sulphur compounds that can react with silver jewellery.

Factors Influencing Tarnishing

The rate and extent of tarnishing can be influenced by several factors:

  • Humidity: High humidity levels can accelerate the tarnishing process by encouraging a reaction between silver and sulphur compounds.

  • Pollution Levels: In areas with higher air pollution, silver items are more prone to tarnish.

  • Exposure to Chemicals: Frequent contact with substances containing sulphur, such as cleaning agents or certain foods, can lead to faster tarnishing.


Preventing and Managing Tarnish

While tarnish is a common issue with silver, there are several ways to prevent and manage it to keep your silver items looking their best.

Prevention Techniques
  1. Proper Storage: Store silver items in a cool, dry place, preferably in anti-tarnish bags or cloths. These materials are treated to neutralize sulphur compounds and prevent tarnishing.

  2. Avoiding Sulphur Exposure: Keep silver away from sulphur-containing materials and environments. Remove silver jewellery before handling items like latex gloves, rubber bands, or certain foods.

  3. Regular Cleaning: Clean silver items regularly with mild soap and water to remove any contaminants that might lead to tarnishing. Dry them thoroughly before storing.

Cleaning Tarnished Silver

If silver items do tarnish, there are effective methods to clean and restore their shine:

  1. Commercial Silver Cleaners: These products are specifically designed to remove tarnish and restore the luster of silver. 

  2. DIY Cleaning Solutions: A popular homemade solution involves lining a bowl with aluminum foil, adding hot water, and mixing in baking soda and salt. Submerge the silver item in the solution for a few minutes. This method utilizes a chemical reaction that transfers the tarnish from the silver to the aluminum foil.

  3. Gentle Polishing: Use a soft cloth to gently polish silver items, removing the tarnish without scratching the surface. Specialized silver polishing cloths are available and are impregnated with cleaning agents that make this process more effective.

Conclusion

Silver does not rust because it lacks the iron . However, it does tarnish when exposed to sulphur-containing substances, forming a dark layer of silver sulphide. Understanding the difference between rust and tarnish is crucial for proper silver care. By implementing preventive measures and employing effective cleaning techniques, you can maintain the beauty and integrity of your silver items for years to come.

Rust is a specific type of corrosion that occurs in iron and its alloys due to the formation of iron oxide when iron reacts with oxygen and moisture. Since silver is not an iron-based metal, it cannot rust in the traditional sense. However, silver can undergo a different form of corrosion known as tarnishing.

Investing

Gold Bullion

Investors of Silver may also wish to buy the ultimate safe haven asset, Gold. Auronum is a supplier of low-premium 999.9 fine Gold bullion bars

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