Sterling Silver Christmas Ornaments
It’s that time of year again and if you feel as I do, the holidays seem to have arrived earlier than anticipated! If you’re in the midst of the shopping rush and getting together all your last minute holiday items, you may find yourself in need of a unique gift for a loved one that you just. can’t. decide. on…
If you’re shopping for an individual who celebrates Christmas, you may want to consider giving them an ornament. While for a time ornaments may have been regarded as house warming gifts or a keepsake strictly for newly weds, ornaments have emerged at the forefront of holiday bestowment.
Christmas ornaments are not only enchanting decorations for your tree, but they also serve as a warming memory to your loved ones. In giving somebody a Christmas ornament, you ensure a bond that will last for a lifetime…but that’s only if said ornament survives the off-season gauntlet!
Sterling silver Christmas ornaments make luxurious and personable gifts, but they do require a little extra care and thought.
Why a Sterling Silver Ornament?
There’s an abundance of holiday ornaments out there, so you might be asking yourself why choose sterling silver one. Well, to put it simply, sterling silver is a statement piece. It’s timeless, high quality, elegant and of all the ornaments on a Christmas tree, a sterling silver one will undoubtedly stand out the most. Its luster catches the eye and its sheen will leave an impression on those who receive it.
Also, while most Christmas ornaments that fall off the tree will shatter, an ornament made of sterling silver will remain intact. Though sterling silver is known to be a soft metal, in comparison to ornaments made of glass or ceramic, they’re as durable as they come. In this sense, the sterling silver ornament embodies a great deal of the beauty and a little bit of the beast.
While sterling silver will cost more than ornaments made out of other materials, you’ll be giving a gift that will last multiple lifetimes and that will be passed down to future generations of the gift recipient. Sterling silver creates memories and producing memories is perhaps the best gift of all.
How to Care for a Sterling Silver Ornament
So you’ve decided to go with the sterling silver ornament – good choice! Now what?
This is where the thought and care of the ornament comes into play. The person who has received this gift may not be familiar with sterling silver and how to care for it.
Anyone who owns silverware or sterling silver jewelry knows that silver tarnishes. Over the course of time, it will begin to darken as it’s exposed to sulfuric gases in the atmosphere.
- If you’re the individual GIVING the sterling silver ornament, combining the gift with a small tub of silver polish and a silver polishing cloth is a thoughtful gesture.
- If you’re the one who’s RECEIVED the gift, you’ll definitely want to look into picking up these polish/cloth accessories for yourself.
Apply a small amount of polish to the ornament, buff it a bit and wipe it down with a cloth and silver tarnish can be eradicated (though with a caveat). This only works, however, if you don’t let the tarnish get out of hand in the first place. Once sterling silver oxidizes to a greater extent, it will begin to turn BLACK. At this point, the polish and cloth routine won’t work and you’ll need to get the piece professionally cleaned.
Here’s a great video on how to polish silver. While this video displays the polishing of silverware, the same tactics would be applied to sterling silver ornaments as well:
Storing the Sterling Silver Ornament
While some ornaments meet their fate due to cats, dogs, children and that one supple tree branch that just can’t bear the burden anymore – many ornaments will meet their ends in the off season during storage.
The ornament will most likely come in an upper class gift box. The look and feel of the box is an important component of the gift. It helps to convey a message and lets the person know that what they’re getting is special.
It’s crucial, however, that a proper storage bag is used after the gift is opened.
The main reason for this is because some manufacturers don’t utilize proper tarnish protection in their packaging. While manufacturer packaging will most likely suffice until the gift is given, it won’t do much to protect the ornament after its been opened.
As mentioned above, atmospheric gases like sulfur are the main cause of silver tarnish. You may be thinking, “my home doesn’t contain any sulfur, I don’t need to worry about this”. Unfortunately, this most likely isn’t the case.
Where do you store all your Christmas decorations? – I’d wager the answer is in the attic or the basement, contained within a cardboard box. These are the two areas of your home most likely to undergo vast temperature changes. Combine this with the sulfur released from organic packaging such as cardboard or paper and you’ve got an atmosphere laden with corrosion-causing elements. The most fitting remedy for this problem is a proper sterling silver storage bag, like the ones created by us at Intercept Silver and Jewelry Care Co.
Our storage bags don’t scratch silver, are effective for 3+ years and NEUTRALIZE all corrosive gases. If you use proper storage techniques, you can avoid the silver polishing process all together!
If you decided to give an ornament as a gift (or anything made of sterling silver), our products will go a long way in protecting that keepsake for yourself or your loved one.
Regardless of your denomination, we wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday! We hope 2017 sees you in good health and in good spirits!