Precious Ignorance



I recently got engaged to my long time boyfriend. During the process of oh my gosh wow, and finally, we of course began ring shopping. As usual, finding a man’s wedding band is a no brainer. They had rings everywhere, for really good prices too!
It had finally come down to my ring. As a mother of three…and with the fourth on the way, I like to bargain hunt. I am also fully aware that sometimes a deal is too good to be true. I found a sterling silver filled, platinum plated ring with a lab created amethyst. Depending on how the light shines on it is depending on the hue of purplish pink. I read through the company’s reviews, hoping my ring was as stated. And boy did I come across really stupid reviews.
Fact-tarnishing copper doesn’t turn your finger green. If you’re allergic to nickle, and it is present in any metal such as sterling silver, white gold, or lesser variants of yellow gold…the allergic reation is your finger turning green. I’ve owned a lot of jewelry in my 29 years, and I have never had a ring turn my finger green. Plated or not.
So I scoured the internet in search of the truth. What I just told you is very much true. So instead of realizing they, the customer, had a nickle allergy….it was the company’s fault. I took it a step further and contacted the seller, and poof, “filled sterling silver, plated with platinum.” For the price, it is skeptical. But what a lot of people don’t realize is…a company like Amazon allows a lot of over seas sellers to sell items at a whole sale price.
I purchased a genuine leather tote bag from over seas. The reviews suggested otherwise, and I am convinced people are paid to be stupid. It is a genuine leather bag, as the inside shows the grain of leather! My bag has yet to fall apart and isn’t damaged in any way. So how do we come to the conclusion that it’s the sellers fault?
(Remember my previous blog? On how Americans have too much to say?)
Anyhow, since sterling silver has a few extra components…like nickle and brass (which makes it more durable, harder to bend or damage) Know that the tarnishing process is from those extra metals mixed it. Pure silver is lighter, softer and it actually costs more. I have a nice pure silver bangle and a pure silver pair of hoops. But I also own a sterling silver cuff, rings, and an Italian silver chain. The chain tarnished when I did my hair, turning to that unfavorable green color. It can be fixed either by me continuing to wear it (except to sleep) or silver cleaner.
Of course, for some reason I know better. Would you like to know why?
Over the course of my 29 years, I have cleaned and own a lot of silver. It turns green and tarnishes depending on the chemical it’s been used with, including acids from fruits and household cleaners. Grape juice is a major culprit. If unused, it tends to turn as well. If there is moisture on it for a prelonged amount of time, it can tarnish. There’s plenty of ways to let it tarnish.
Here’s what you should know. Plated silver will turn. Filled silver will not. Usually, to help the look and quality, filled silver is plated with the following. Platinum, gold, rose gold, or white gold. Precious metals are still a commodity, and are very pricey to curate and to purchase. If you’re purchasing a wedding ring that is filled sterling silver and plated, here are a few tid bits to help keep your jewelry.
Never wear a sterling silver piece of jewelry while swimming. This includes, lakes, the shore, and pools. Pools, especially. Do not shower with a ring that has protruding gems, no matter the metal or quality…gems can be wrung or pulled loose from the metal base. Do not sleep with your jewelry unless you absolutely have to. Do not cook with your jewelry. Even though you clean it or take it to a jewelry cleaner, you can damage the gem if it is cubic zircronium or a softer gem, like amethyst or sapphires. Most of these gems are lab created to be fitted in sterling silver. This allows this softer metal type to hold the gem in place, because an actual gem, even a diamond, wouldn’t hold well.
Lastly, if you are one to dye or use chemical treatments on your hair, things like bleach, perms and relaxers will tarnish your ring…and depending on the amount of copper used to cut the silver…may permanently damage it. Most sterling silver jewelry will get better over time or can be used with a cleaner…but it’s best to just be cautious.
I cannot express enough how ignorant it is to boast, brag and bitch when the problem is someone’s lack of knowledge.

Graphic Novelist JCS

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