Will your silver pieces tarnish? by Emylee Due to the copper content of all Sterling Silver, all silver will eventually tarnish as a result of a process called oxidation. The amount of time it takes for a piece to tarnish is dependent upon the makeup of the metal, the chemistry of your skin, any products your jewelry is subjected to, and moisture on your skin or in the air. For those living near the ocean or in humid environments, tarnish is nearly unavoidable. Fortunately, a bit of polish will make a tarnished piece look as good as new. Learn more about Sterling Silver in our Precious Metals Guide. Request a cleaning and polishing service for your jewelry.