Silver's properties of malleability and ductility, combined with the beautiful purity of its colour and capability to receive an extremely high polish, has made it a favoured metal for ornamental usage throughout the ages.
Like gold, silver is too soft to work with practically in its pure form. It is usually allied with copper, which has the effect of increasing its strength without adversely affecting its beautiful colour.
What is Sterling Silver?
The term 'sterling' is an historical description of an alloy of silver, which conforms to the legal British standard 92.5% fineness, hence the hallmark 925. All Heming's silver products are of this standard.
It is inevitable that silver items collect fine scratches in the course of everyday wear or usage, and over a period of time these will combine to give the metal an attractive patina or aged appearance. However scratches can be minimised through careful storage, by keeping items separately in sympathetic materials to prevent abrasion.
Exposure of silver to certain household chemicals such as bleach or ammonia can also be damaging, as too can chlorinated water.
Whilst silver can take on a high level of polish, it is liable to tarnish when in contact with the sulphurous fumes in the atmosphere. This is a natural process, which results in the dulling of the metal. Care should be taken to prevent a significant build-up of tarnish, as it is far easier to remove when it first appears. Specially formulated polishes and impregnated cloths are readily available from household department stores.
In order to derive maximum enjoyment from your silverware, we recommend that regular cleaning should be carried out.