Jewelry cleaning tip brought to you by Jessi Clarke-White of Distinction Jewelry (This necklace is from her Stargate Collection-I thought it was so unique and creative. Be sure to check out her shop. She has lots of other fun jewelry.)
"Jewelry: It’s an unfortunate fact of life: silver tarnishes. Tarnish first appears as a yellowish tint, then shifts to gray and black. Some people like the “antiqued” look of tarnished silver, and in fact some jewelry designers deliberately apply a heavy tarnish to their pieces. You may opt to allow your jewelry to tarnish if you simply don’t wish to bother maintaining it, or if you like that look.
Removing tarnish: Silver polishing cloths are effective at removing tarnish, especially if used before the tarnish becomes too heavy. They are most useful on smooth silver; they lose their effectiveness on textured surfaces or small silver components. Chemical tarnish removers can be quite effective, but many need to be avoided or used with care around gemstones, pearls, and other jewelry components. I use Hagerty Silversmith’s Wash on my sterling silver and silver/gemstone jewelry. It is much quicker and easier to use than a polishing cloth, and it’s amazingly effective at removing tarnish quickly and easily. It also leaves Swarovski crystal with a lovely sparkle. It is relatively safe to use on jewelry containing gemstones, but repeated use can dull some stones, so when possible keep the wash off your stones, and wash it off quickly and completely.
Preventing Tarnish: Tarnish is caused by sulphur. Sources include sweat, wool, felt, eggs, leather, latex, and various other sources, so limiting exposure to them can help. Storing your silver in an airtight container with activated charcoal or commercial anti-tarnish strips is a good way to prevent tarnish when storing your jewelry. A simple storage method is to place the jewelry in a zip-locking bag with as much air squeezed out as possible.
Black silver: Rare black silver is actually silver that has been chemically tarnished to a rich bluish black. Tarnish removing products should not be used on black silver; they will not completely remove the finish, but they will discolor it. In pieces that combine bright silver and black silver, simply polish the bright silver with a silver polishing cloth, or apply cleaners with care to avoid contact with the black silver."