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Care of liquid silver


I checked out the archives to see if you had any posted
about the care and cleaning of jewelry made of Liquid Silver segments
strung on “tigertail” wire, where different types of raw
semi-precious nuggets are also used? I have several such pieces
myself, and make Medicine Wheel birthstone pieces upon request, for
my Indian community. In most cases, there are nuggets of turquoise,
goldstone, snowflake obsidian, carnelian, chrysocolla, etc., with
tiny (�2mm) Sterling Silver beads mixed with the Liquid Silver
segments, all strung on the same piece. I KNOW better than to use
either silver polish, Tarnex, or even the "Silver Lightening"
aluminum tray on these pieces, but the stone nuggets make it next to
IMPOSSIBLE to use a jewelers’ cloth to remove the tarnish from all
the Liquid Silver and small diameter beads. I LOVE these pieces
because they ARE so different, but have you ANY suggestions for
cleaning them? Even if you don’t, I’ll be back to check out more of
your articles. I’m trying to find a small second-hand tumbler, as
well as a second-hand silver solder set-up, but I’m really just a
beginner, and most of what I make is for honoring gifts or
commissioned pieces.

I’ve had good success with a hand full of baking soda and a few
drops of water to form a very thick paste. I draw the liguid silver
through my hand full of baking soda a couple of times then rub the
necklace using both hands. Then rinse off the baking soda. Do this
over the sink as it is messy. I don’t believe baking soda will
scratch the stones you mentioned.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado

To clean your liquid silver, Mix 50% warm water with 50% liquid Wisk
laundry soap and let set for 15-20 minuets, this will make it really
sparkle. Caution, if stones are attached and if the stones are set
with the artist useing sawdust as a backing and if the bezel leaks
this or any water soaking will cause the sawdust it will swell and
lift the stones. Have a good day? Lloyd.

I have had success in using a fine paintbrush to paint on Tarnex
just onto the silver beads between the stones , rinsing after 10-15
seconds. On a long necklace, I work in sections, rinsing between
each section. I lay the piece on a paper towel so the solution does
not drip onto the stones. I make some pieces with silver and
freshwater pearls which I clean this way. If anyone has another
method, I’d also like to know. Patricia D. Stoll