Hi, I’m wondering if there is any successful anti-tarnish packaging people can suggest. Currently I put silver earrings onto a foam pad inside a cardboard box. I really don’t want to wrap the earrings in anti tarnish tissue paper, or include anti tarnish plastic ziplock bags, as they don’t allow for the earrings to be placed temptingly in a display case. I might just be chasing a unicorn!
Can you include a small anti-tarnish tab in the box? We don’t use foam, but we do use the paper box inserts (flocked) to hold our jewellery, and we include an anti-tarnish tab underneath the flocked insert. I don’t know how well it would work beneath foam, but it might be worth experimenting. Or just gluing one to the underside of the box lid or something.
I like that idea but the only thing I’d be wary of (and maybe this isn’t a problem, but I don’t know for sure) is that maybe the off-gassing of the glue, even after it seems dry, might affect things. Again, I don’t know, but it’s just something I thought of.
Oh definitely. I’d want it to be perfectly cured before putting it back on the lid. Perhaps assemble the lids/tabs well in advance. But maybe a tiny piece of double-sided tape for quick application?
Yeah, I guess the best thing to do would be to set up a little experiment. Have two similar pieces of polished silver, put one in a box with nothing else, and put the other in a box with the taped/glued tarnish tab and wait a couple weeks or whatever. Then check on both pieces and see if there’s a significant difference between the two.
Use an archival glue that doesn’t have any VOCs in it. A paste made of methylcellulose and water is non-acid, reversible, and doesn’t out gas. Methylcellulose is available anywhere archival book-binding materials are sold.
i could not recall the area of protection, so i looked it up
(Rio no longer carries 3M, only Intercept)
re: 3M anti- tarnish strips
this link says that a 1”x1” square provides anti- oxidation protection of up to 30 cubic inches of container space…for up to 2 years…
my personal experience is that they work in a box, under the batting, or in the a ziplock, which then has a smaller ziplock in it, that contains the piece (with the chain hanging out of the smaller bag mostly sealed, into the larger bag.
geographical location may play a part in effectiveness…?…
i seem to get tarnish on personal items…when stored in bathroom…but not so much in my studio…
Stop and think. Nearly every box you would be using will have been glued together. I wouldn’t worry about the glue. Personally I would fancy up the box with silver cloth. It can be purchased at most fabric stores. It would last far longer than any anti tarnish strip of paper. I think Amazon has it in different colors.
Thanks everyone - it seems all the parts of my packaging could be the cause of the tarnishing. I may have to make some myself from acid free paper, without glue - though it would be very time consuming. I’ll do some experimenting. Thanks again.
I was just wondering…
do your pieces have patina…?…i was wondering if patina promotes further tarnishing, over time…
also…how fast is the tarnish occuring?
do your pieces tarnish faster in the boxes?, versus not in a box?
you mentioned the boxes being placed temptingly in a display case…do you mean at shows? or in a jewelry store?
i was just wondering about the logistics…and what your issues were related to…storage of inventory, versus display, versus packing and shipping to a customer…each may lend itself to have different packaging solutions
It’s likely the cardboard not the glue. Cardboard is very high in acid which is why is is shunned for archival storage. You will need to find acid free cardboard boxes. Common Culprits of Damage: Causation and Prevention 101 — The Conservation Center
Thanks Julie … the jewellery is on foam pads in boxes, in a display case in a store. I would say it’s about a month before the pieces begin to look tarnished. Pieces not in the boxes haven’t tarnished in that time. Thanks for your interest in my dilemma.
and, the pieces not in boxes, that tarnish slower…are they on ziplock bags?
If the silver pieces displayed on foam pads tarnish much faster than those which aren’t, that would make me suspect outgassing from the foam. Some foams exude chemicals that promote discoloration; here’s what the Birmingham Assay Office says: Meet The Experts - Causes of tarnishing - Assay Office
Setting up an experiment in controlled circumstances, with different kinds of foam, might lead you to a type that’s best for displaying jewelry on.