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by Jesus Zabala - 8 min read

How Long Do Men’s Silver Chains Typically Last?

Buying jewelry is often a hefty and long-term investment. Numerous young fashionistas worry about making their first silver chain purchase. While some fear that it will easily break, others dread the potential tarnish. So, how long do men's silver chains typically last?

By explaining the options available, we will also incorporate some of our own experiences with the endurance of this jewelry. We will also review all the essentials when caring for your precious metals and how to prolong their lifespan. 

Continue reading to discover the durability and longevity of men's silver chains!

How Long Do Men’s Silver Chains Typically Last
Source: jewelrylab.co

How Long Do Men's Silver Chains Typically Last?

As with any material possession, a man’s chain can wear off over time. The average lifespan of men's silver chains is from 20 to 30 years when worn regularly. But when properly taken care of, it may serve you for a lifetime.

Furthermore, several important elements affect its longevity. Since any silver jewelry piece is a real investment, we had to read up on them before we decided to buy one. 

So, these terms are crucial for the necklace’s durability:

  • Silver purity
  • Oxidation process
  • Exposure to certain elements
  • Frequency of wearing

Don’t forget that the quality of the jewelry also plays an important role in its longevity. That’s why you should always buy a men's sterling silver chain necklace from jewelry experts, which will last a lifetime. So, if you’re looking for an extremely durable piece of jewelry with a long lifespan, check out our collection!

Elements That Affect the Silver Chains’ Longevity

Silver purity

The first element that impacted the typical wear and tear of men's silver chains is the silver’s purity. Even though many people think this type of jewelry only contains one precious metal, they’re mistaken. 

This natural element is quite soft and gentle, so it can get easily damaged. It’s often mixed with copper, zinc, or nickel to increase its durability and strength. 

The most common purity in today’s market is fine silver and sterling silver. The first is portrayed with the number “999”, which stands for 99,9% silver in the product. 

So, the amount of other alloys in the jewelry is so insignificant that they don’t affect it. It can easily get dented and scratched up while also missing the vibrant silver shine. 

Furthermore, sterling silver is always marked with the number 925. It contains 92,5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or other alloys. These other metals increase its strength and durability, so it won't get as easily damaged as pure silver. 

We always ensure to check the jewelry. These engraved numbers or letters confirm the silver purity of the product. Thus, we know we’re getting our money’s worth.

Oxidation process

The second element that affects the men's silver chain lifespan is oxidation. This chemical process happens when certain metals, like silver, are exposed to air. 

Even though it can’t be seen with the human eye, air often has sulfur-containing gasses. When they come in contact with silver, it causes discoloration and darkening in certain areas. The results of this process are known as tarnish, which comes in the form of black silver sulfide layers. 

It’s also important to know that some types of silver jewelry are more tarnish-resistant than others. For example, pure silver is less prone to this process, even though it does change color over time. 

A silver chain that contains more copper in the mixture is more likely to tarnish because this metal is more reactive. Thus, jewelry with higher silver pureness is less likely to tarnish as fast as ones with less purity. 

It’s hard to tell when this process will become visible. While it may take years for tarnish to develop in controlled environments, it can also take up to a few months when not taken care of properly. It mostly depends on the exposure time and how often the jewelry is worn.

Exposure to certain elements

This leads us to the exposure of elements that can quicken the tarnishing process. It’s only natural for the jewelry to come in contact with unsuitable substances if you wear it regularly. Even your skin has natural oils that may affect the silver chain. However, some elements can cause greater damage than others.

For instance, you should always avoid wearing your silver jewelry when you expect to encounter water. This can be taking a shower, going to the sea, or washing the dishes. 

Even though the water doesn’t damage the silver, it can quicken discoloration. Furthermore, some types of water may also contain chemicals unsuitable for this metal.

Another element that can affect the lavish color of a silver chain is direct sunlight. This happens because the oxidation process becomes faster in hot and light environments. If the jewelry contains more copper, it can heat up faster and further quicken the process. 

Frequency of wearing

Lastly, estimating the longevity of men's silver chains comes hand-in-hand with the wearing frequency. Even though silver chain necklaces look stunning both with casual and formal attire, they’re not recommended for everyday use. 

When wearing a silver chain frequently, it’s more prone to getting dented and scratched up. Instead of worrying about losing it, you should save this jewelry for special occasions more useful. Not only will it become more precious to you since it will remind you of the said occasions, but it might also last longer since you store it properly. 

Moreover, we found that silver chains should never be worn during intense activities or exercise. Since the body produces more sweat during vigorous movement, it can quicken the tarnishing process. This is caused by the acidic nature of sweat and its interaction with closely fit silver jewelry. 

Taking Care of a Men's Silver Chain to Prolong Its Lifespan

Even though all these elements affect the longevity of a men’s silver chain, there are also ways to prolong the lifespan. 

As mentioned, this type of jewelry can last for a lifetime when taken care of. Many beginner fashionistas may struggle with this at first. But several easy hacks we’ve accumulated during the years may be useful.

To properly take care of a silver chain, here are several tips and tricks that worked for us:

Regular cleaning

The first step to prevent discoloration on a men’s silver chain is to clean it properly at first sight of tarnished layers. During cleaning, you should never use harsh chemicals that may damage the jewelry. Instead, many common household items can come in handy. 

Some of them are:

  • Dish soap
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice and olive oil

Dish soap

Cleaning a silver chain with dish soap requires a bowl of warm water in which you’ll mix the solution. Once the water is properly mixed with the dish soap, the jewelry should be left to soak for 10 minutes. 

When the required time has passed, we always use a lint-free cloth to remove any leftover dirt or tarnish. Once the last piece of dirt has been gently removed, we rinse the silver chain from any soap left on it. 

Baking soda

The next common household item you can use is baking soda. When it’s mixed together with warm water, it results in a paste-like solution. Then, the paste is gently applied to the silver chain with a soft cloth or toothbrush.

We’ve had situations where we’ve had to deal with tricky designs, and the easiest solution is to thin out the paste with a bit more water. Once the jewelry has been gently brushed, all you need to do is rinse it with water, and it’s ready to go.

Lemon juice and olive oil

The process of cleaning jewelry with lemon juice and olive oil is similar to the one with baking soda. But instead of making the paste, ½ cup of juice and 1 tsp of olive oil is used to make a solution. 

Once again, it’s gently applied and scrubbed before getting rinsed off with water.

Polishing cloth

There have been instances where we’ve noticed a little tarnish layer left after the cleaning process. When this happens, the best solution is to use a polishing cloth to remove it and give the silver chain a refined shine. Not only may this remove small scratches, but it’ll also give it a layer of protection. 

Storing it properly

The next step to prolonging a silver chain's longevity is storing it properly. Even though it sounds simple, it can damage or tangle jewelry if it's not done properly. 

Some of the best storing practices we’ve found over the years are:

  • Using separate air-tight bags
  • Silica gel packets
  • Anti-tarnish tabs and strips

Never leave your jewelry out in the open or store it in a damp place. It can easily get misplaced or tarnished when exposed to the elements. 

Furthermore, it’s recommended to avoid placing unprotected necklaces with other jewelry since they can get scratched up and tangled. We always ensure no paper, cotton, or cardboard is near them since they may contain sulfur and quicken the tarnishing process.

Using separate air-tight bags

To ensure that a silver chain is stored properly, it’s smart to invest in air-tight bags. They prevent moisture from coming into contact with the precious metal and protect it from oxidation. 

Additionally, when stored separately, it prevents tangling or damage to the necklace.

Silica gel packets

Another option for safely storing jewelry is by using silica gel packets. These little packs can be used to delay the tarnishing process when placed with your jewelry. But you should still ensure a safe storage space like a jewelry box or pouch. 

Remember that the containers should be clean and dry to protect the silver chain.

Anti-tarnish tabs and strips

Lastly, anti-tarnish tabs and strips are specifically designed to prevent jewelry tarnish. They’re placed inside bags, jewelry boxes, and pouches to keep the jewelry from oxidizing.

Keeping it dry

As mentioned above, silver jewelry doesn’t go well with water or other liquids. Thus, it should always be removed when dealing with any water activities. Even a simple shower can quicken the tarnishing process and discolor the silver chain.

The same should be applied to storage. We always choose a proper storing method to prevent any moisture from getting in.

When we’re planning to wear a men’s silver chain for a special occasion, we tend to check the weather forecast before heading out. This way, we’ll know if there’s rain expected and change the necklace to avoid getting it wet.

Avoiding strong chemicals

Lastly, a silver chain should never come in contact with strong chemicals. So, when it’s time for spring cleaning, you shouldn’t wear this jewelry.

We’ve also seen beginner fashionistas use such chemicals to remove tarnished layers from their jewelry. While it may sound logical to use cleaning supplies, it should never be done on such gentle metals. It will only damage the chemical structure of the element and expose it to oxidation.

Taking Care of a Men's Silver Chain to Prolong Its Lifespan
Source: jewelrylab.co

Conclusion

So, how long do men's silver chains typically last? While most people expect an average 20-year lifespan, they can last for a lifetime when properly taken care of. 

After elaborating on what can damage the jewelry, it’s up to each individual to decide on the best way to keep it safe. 

Always remember, if you take good care of your possessions, they will surely last longer!

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.

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