But over time, they become tarnished and full of finger marks, so how do we keep them in mint condition? There are many misconceptions about cleaning silver jewellery which we must dispense with first.
A popular myth is that you can clean silver jewellery with toothpaste, but most silver experts are against doing this, as they feel it is too abrasive and can leave your silver with scratches.
Salt is extremely corrosive to silver.
Never clean silver in the dishwasher or with common household cleaners or detergents.
Only ever use a very gentle soap (a baby soap would be ideal) and warm water.
So that's how we don't clean silver jewellery, so how do we do it? Well, you would remove a stain from your clothes as soon as you noticed it, the same goes for silver jewellery.
As soon as you spot tarnish on your silver remove it.
Any good jewellers will give advice on cleaning silver and many also sell silver cleaning cloths which are impregnated with tarnish remover.
It may be worth keeping some of these in the house - they will last you for a long time.
But you don't have to buy any of these cleaning materials if you don't wish to and you don't have to spend a lot of money on maintaining your jewellery in a pristine state.
If you ask any of the older members of your family, they will probably have a host of recipes for cleaning silver jewellery, which have been handed down the generations.
Do remember however to be very careful if the jewellery contains stones like pearls or opals.
It may be better to seek professional advice on cleaning these or get them cleaned by your local jeweller.
Two of the most popular "home-made" recipes for cleaning silver are as follows:- 1.
Line a plastic bowl with some tin foil; add hot water and a tablespoon of washing soda.
Make sure the silver touches the foil and the tarnish should just life right off.
Make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda, brush on to the silver jewellery with a paintbrush or toothbrush.
Allow to dry and then polish with a soft cloth.
To keep any jewellery (not just silver) in good condition and safeguard it from scratches, remember it is vitally important to store it correctly.
This will ensure chains don't get tangled or that those precious items are not rubbing up against other pieces.
Often for those very special pieces it is wise to keep the boxes they came in, if at all possible.
These boxes are often quite sumptuous and luxurious in themselves - they have a soft pillow for the jewellery to rest on.
Your jewellery needs and deserves luxurious treatment and tender loving care.
And if you treat it well, it will repay you by lasting for years and years and years.