How to keep fake silver from turning colors

Written by gwen wark
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How to keep fake silver from turning colors
Keep your fake silver from oxidising to prevent it from turning colours. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When fake silver oxidises, it becomes a green and bronze colour that gives away the fact that your jewellery isn't as real as it seems. Oxidisation occurs when the materials in imitation silver are exposed to air, light or moisture, resulting in a chemical bond that creates a greenish or bronze colour that can rub off on your skin. Preventing the chemical reaction between air and the metals in the imitation silver also prevents the unsightly colour change.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Coat your imitation silver jewellery with clear nail varnish. This will slow down oxidisation by minimising exposure to air, skin, salt and humidity.

  2. 2

    Remove jewellery promptly when finished and wipe it down with a soft, clean cloth. This removes any lingering traces of salt and oils, which cause oxidisation, from the skin that transferred to the jewellery while being worn.

  3. 3

    Wrap your jewellery in an anti-tarnish cloth or bag before storing. These materials slow down the oxidisation process and extend the life of your jewellery.

  4. 4

    Store your imitation silver in a dark jewellery box to minimise exposure to light, a cause of oxidisation, between wearings.

Tips and warnings

  • Ask a jeweller to plate imitation silver jewellery in rhodium. This prevents oxidisation of the metal.
  • Avoid applying sunscreen, cosmetics or perfume to areas near imitation silver jewellery. These compounds speed up oxidisation and aid in transferring oxidised metal to your skin, leaving a green or bronze stain.

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