While silver is susceptible to oxidation, it is not the same type of oxidation that other metals experience when they “rust”. When other metals like iron suffer from rust, they are permanently damaged. Often times in silver oxidation, most, if not all of the oxidation is able to be polished or cleaned using a variety of methods.
So while the short answer is no, silver does not rust, there are other chemical reactions involving silver that can alter the look of your silver bullion products.
Silver Tarnish and How to Avoid It
The oxidation of silver is most often referred to as “tarnish”. While pure silver is very resistant to the effects of tarnishing, it can still occur.
The silver tarnishes due to the reaction between the outside layer of the silver and sulfur in the air. This reaction creates a silver sulfide sort of film on the silver that can be polished off, but there is always a possibility of the tarnish returning.
Silver tarnish/oxidation can be avoided by keeping silver stored in a way that is sealed off from open air. Options include tubes, capsules, monster boxes, and even everyday items such as plastic food containers. Desiccant packets that absorb moisture can also help prevent your silver from tarnishing or oxidizing.
How to Clean Silver
If your silver does end up having tarnish develop, there are instructions in the video below regarding one way of cleaning silver:
Best Way to Clean Silver
The most effective and safest way to clean your silver bullion is to use coin cleaner. SD Bullion has the E-Z-Est Coin Cleaner available for your silver cleaning needs:
There are risks involved with cleaning silver since it is a soft metal that can be easily damaged if cleaned improperly. It is important you don’t let silver sit in any homemade cleaning solution for too long as it could potentially damage the silver itself. However, most solutions made specifically for cleaning silver will not harm silver in any way.
Purchase silver products and silver cleaner from SD Bullion at the Lowest Price online and get free shipping on all orders over $99.
Chris Keller has a passion for the precious metals industry (he's been collecting coins since he was a child). He specifically enjoys creating written and video content around unique products that our customers might not see otherwise. At SD Bullion, Chris has consulted thousands of bullion investors leading to millions of dollars in sales.