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Can sterling silver be contaminated with rust?

Hi there all,

I have done a bit of a studio swap with a friend so we can have a working holiday…not really used to her tools yet. Last night I made some sterling silver studs and hardened the posts with a pair of pliers. In the light of morning I can See the pliers are rusty :confused:

Do I need to take any precautions before I sell the earrings? Or are they fine because they are made of Sterling?
Any help would be so appreciated
Thankyou - Wally

Should not be a problem if you wipe any rust off the post. If you have remaining concerns you can wipe the post with some oxalic acid or phosphoric acid solution.

If you want to keep your tools rust free take a photo film canister and poke some holes in it then fill with moth balls (you need the real camphor ones). Put that in the drawer or tool box and will keep them rust free.

Would that be the naphthalene mothballs? I got some small VOC tins some years ago for rust prevention, never used them as yet.


A question, how do you harden ear posts with a pliers ?

Thanks ,


I didn’t know that! Thanks.

Mike, you gently grab the back end of the earring post with pliers and
twist 360 degrees.

Thank you, i am nourished by simplicity.

The other way is wire drawing but please mind that thickness of post will
reduce and length will increase. Leave some place for pulling damage with


I only have experience with work hardening by hammering directly or using
chasing tools.
With the input of twisting & stretching, also creating a work hardened
piece , i’m realizing that probably any way you deform metal it will
become work hardened.

Thanks ,

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