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How to Prevent Tarnish on Sterling Silver Jewelry

3 Important Things to Know to Prevent Tarnish on Sterling Silver Jewelry: Essential Tips for Retailers

Boma Jewelry Wholesale Blog Preventing Tarnish

At Boma Jewelry Wholesale, a sustainable B Corp certified jewelry brand, we understand the importance of maintaining the pristine condition of the jewelry we supply to retailers. Tarnish on sterling silver jewelry is a common occurrence, resulting from a natural chemical reaction between silver and sulfur-containing substances in the air. However, while tarnish is natural and inevitable over time, it is also easy to prevent and simple to clean. Here, we provide three essential tips for jewelry retailers to help prevent tarnish on the sterling silver pieces they sell, ensuring that these items remain as lustrous as the day they were first displayed.

1. Proper Storage is Key

One of the most effective ways to prevent tarnish is by storing silver jewelry correctly. Exposure to air and moisture is the primary cause of tarnishing, so keeping jewelry in airtight containers can significantly slow down this process.

Boma Jewelry anti-tarnish kit

(Above: use Boma's anti-tarnish kits to store your jewelry and prevent tarnish).

We recommend:

  • Using anti-tarnish strips: Place these strips in your display cases or storage boxes. They absorb the pollutants in the air that lead to tarnishing.
  • Sealing individual pieces: For long-term storage, zip-lock bags or hermetically sealed bags can provide an airtight solution that keeps out air and moisture.
  • Including silica gel packets: These packets can be placed alongside the jewelry to absorb moisture and keep the environment dry.

2. Regular Cleaning and Care

Boma Jewelry Wholesale Blog Polish Cloth

(Above: use Boma's professional-grade polish cloths to remove tarnish and polish your jewelry).

Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent the buildup of tarnish. Encourage your staff to gently wipe each piece of jewelry with a soft, lint-free cloth after a day of display. This not only removes any potential tarnish-causing substances but also keeps the jewelry looking its best for customers. Additionally:

  • Use a professional silver polish: A gentle, non-abrasive silver polish can remove early signs of tarnish and restore the jewelry’s original shine.
  • Offer cleaning services: Providing a cleaning service for customers can be an excellent way to add value and ensure that the jewelry they purchase from you stays in top condition.
925 Silver Hoop Earrings | Hoop Earrings | Boma Jewelry

(Above: model wears Boma Jewelry best selling classics, the Belle Hoops).

3. Educate Your Customers

Educating your customers on how to care for their sterling silver jewelry can significantly enhance their satisfaction and reduce returns due to tarnishing. Include care instructions with each purchase, highlighting the importance of:

  • Avoiding exposure to chemicals: Perfumes, lotions, and other chemicals can accelerate tarnishing. Advise customers to put their jewelry on last, after applying cosmetics and perfumes.
  • Taking off jewelry before swimming or bathing: Chlorinated water and saltwater can cause tarnishing and damage.
Boma New Earrings Belle Hoops

(Above: model wears Boma Jewelry best selling classics, the Belle Hoops).


Tarnish on sterling silver jewelry doesn't have to be a deterrent for your customers. By implementing these preventative measures in your store and educating your customers on proper care, you can significantly extend the life and beauty of the jewelry you sell. At Boma Jewelry Wholesale, we are committed to providing high-quality, sustainable products that, with the right care, will remain a cherished part of your customers’ collections. Visit our website to learn more about our products and how we support our retailers in maintaining the highest standards of jewelry care and customer satisfaction.

Suzanne Vetillart is a second generation owner of family-owned Boma Jewelry. Boma Jewelry was founded in Seattle in 1981. Learn more about story here.

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