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Damaged jewelry

One of my reps recently returned some trays of jewelry via UPS. He
did not insure anything, but stated they all left his hands in
pristine condition. When we opened the box, all of the sterling
silver components had turned black. Has anyone had a similar
experience? I am thinking that perhaps there was something very
toxic in the truck that affected the sterling silver. On top of it,
UPS stated, when we attempted to make a claim, that our personal UPS
number posted on the package was incorrect, therefore our claim was
invalid. That’s one way of avoiding responsibility. Do you think
that taking the jewelry apart and putting it into pickle, and then
tumbling, might renew the original finish?

Any suggestions regarding solving this perplexing and financial
costly situation would be very much appreciated.


Razine M. Wenneker, Manager
Ellie Rose LINK-ABLE Designs, L.L.C.
Email: @Razine_Wenneker1

Yes, living in Florida where it is damp does make some of our silver
turn. Usually we can clean it up with rouge cloth.


HI Razine, Many boxes, cards and papers will cause silver jewelry to
turn black very quickly. If you are shipping your jewelry in these
you will have to wrap each piece in anti-tarnish tissue and put it in
a plastic zip-lock bag. Most jewelry box manufacturers are aware of
this and offer boxes that are treated to be tarnish resistant. I
learned this the hard way! :-> Try dipping each piece in Tarnex or
another product like it- then rinse and dry well. I don’t believe you
will need to take your jewelry apart (unless you have stones or
something on it that can’t be put in Tarnex- read the jar carefully
before using it). HTH Kate Wolf in Portland, Maine where the sun is
out and my sweet peas are glorious.

Perhaps you ought to first check what “pristine” condition meant to
the rep. To me that would mean that none of the jewelry was damaged,
however tarnishing is something that happens naturally to sterling
over time. If the rep had the line for a period of time it is more
likely that the tarnish came about naturally from simple exposure to
the elements. I don’t believe it would be possible for something in
a UPS truck to tarnish silver instantly. Tarnish is not truly
"damage" so personally I would side with UPS on this one.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Don’t panic! The easiest and quickest way to clean silver is to use
a silver dip, the ones containing thiourea are amazingly fast (
although they carry cancer warnings…) Depending on what the other
components are you may be able to put the pieces in whole saving you
time. You may not even have to polish afterwards.

laura cowan
judaica designer and silversmith

I was producing some rather ornate leather treasure pouches a few
years ago with sterling silver beads in the fringe and on the
necklace. I had put the pouches into ziplock bags to protect the soft
buckskin leather, but left the beaded necklace strands out of the
bag. The sterling beads inside the bag reacted to the leather and
turned pure black while the beads on the outside of the bag didn’t
tarnish a bit. It was very difficult to clean those beads! If the
finish of the jewelry would allow it, a vibratory tumbler should
save you a lot of time. Luckily for me the bali beads look their best
with oxidation so complete removal was not necessary.

The cool thing is that now I know how to get a really nice oxidized
finish in no-time flat without using chemicals out of a bottle.
Coffee beans are good for that too.

If it wasn’t something in the tray itself when it was shipped that
did the tarnishing, I’m wondering if the rep was remiss in taking
care of it. Maybe he left the tray in a hot, humid, closed area (like
a car) for too long.

Good luck!

 The easiest and quickest way to clean silver is to use a silver

A great suggestion. Just remember to rinse well after as there is a
film left from the dip that sometimes develops into a patina. Also
watch the organic gems, Amber, Coral, etc. They don’t like the
chemicals very much. Everything else should be OK.

Don Rogers
Campbell Gemstones

You might also consider using one of those Ionic Cleaning systems.
We had one up here for a while, and it worked really fast for
getting tarnish off of silver. They claim it doesn’t harm sensitive
gems, like opal, emerald, etc. We ended up sending ours back
because we don’t do enough silver tarnish removal to justify the
cost, and the tank developed a leak after only a short while.
Tarnish was removed almost instantly, though… -BK in AK

Kate, Sorry, I just got back on line after a total HD crash. Its
been nearly two weeks. Fortunately, had good back up data and the
fixer guys also were able to protect the rest.

Re putting silver in plastic bags…I recently put a piece into a
plastic bag and within two days the silver had already begun to turn
a yellow color. Looked almost like it has been badly plated! Anyway,
it wipes away easily with a cloth but apparently plastic is not a
good storage medium for silver!.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where the rain
has diminished and simple elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1

Hi-Try putting a piece of aluminum foil in the plastic bag with the
silver piece. Keeps it from tarnishing. Sandra

Hi, Here’s a link for small anti-tarnish tabs. I’d try putting the
item in a small zip-loc bag along with one of the tabs.


Hi Don, I think you missed the part of my post that said to wrap
your silver in anti-tarnish tissue paper before putting it in the
poly bag. Anti-tarnish tissue is available from most jewelry tool

Kate Wolf in Portland Maine