your silver and gold jewelry can last a lifetime with proper care under normal wearing conditions. no matter what your jewelry is made of, heavy wear and rough conditions will of course impact how your jewelry looks.
wearing your silver jewelry frequently is often the best way to prevent tarnishing. however, storing silver pieces under humidity and extreme changes in climatic temperatures can easily oxidise the silver, giving it a tarnished look. tarnish on sterling silver is most easily removed when it first becomes visible. polish your silver jewelry regularly and store it in an airtight box or ziplock bag to avoid exposure to the air.
if cleaning is required, you can gently wash the silver piece with a soft toothbrush and mild dish soap with warm water. make sure to dry it well before storing. be extra careful when cleaning jewelry with prong settings as they may loosen during the cleaning process. you should avoid wearing sterling silver jewelry in seawater, swimming pools, hot tubs, etc as chemicals and salt can be corrosive to metals.
with a higher gold content and improved methods of fabrication, gold-filled jewelry wears beautifully. gold-filled offers an economical alternative, while giving little up in quality. created by bonding a substantial layer of gold to a base metal core, such as brass, the gold content is at least 1/20th the weight of the total piece. this is what stands gold-filled apart from gold plated jewelry.
likewise with sterling silver, gold-filled jewelry is cared for in the same manner. maintain the beauty of your gold-filled jewelry by cleaning using a little bit of warm water, and a soft cloth to dry and shine after. avoid chemicals that are marketed for jewelry cleaning as they are actually somewhat abrasive and can cause some damage or discoloration to your jewelry.