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Preventing tarnish while traveling for shows

Hi all,

I’ve been traveling a lot more for shows and markets recently, and it seems that tarnish haunts me everywhere! I put everything in individual baggies with anti-tarnish stripes in each bag, but I can’t seem to avoid tarnish sneaking up on me (maybe from when the jewelry is sitting out on display?).

Does anyone have any tips for how to fight tarnish while doing the show circuit? Let me know, thanks so much!


That’s a good question. I have another issue that is related- I was set up and everything looked great. There were oodles of flies and mosquitos in my tent (outdoor show) so I lightly sprayed the very top of the tent with fly spray. That was a big mistake. Within a half hour my jewelry all had a golden looking film. Fortunately a rub down with my favorite cleaner took care of it. Do you have any chemicals near your stuff?

I did shows for decades, about half in congested urban settings - Chicago, KC, etc - bad enough getting me and my work dusted with air borne particulates, brake pads, tire wear, and such, but even worse is are the unseen chemicals which catalyze corrosion of ones work. Alloyed gold, sterling, and less noble metals are especially prone to tarnish (the first step of corrosion). Dense metropolitan shows are flooded with sulfur and nitrogen oxides (thank you cars), plus smaller amounts of readily reactive compounds. Add in summer humidity and you get electrolytic reactions. Folks in big cities live in a toxic vapour, life expectancy diminished thereby, but they dig it. Search the net for papers written by chemical engineers on corrosive urban atmospheres, even stainless steel is hard put upon to resist. I used to buy Sunshine Cloths from Rio packed 100 to the bag. I’d quarter them and give to purchasers, and always had one in my hand polishing pieces when I wasn’t busy trying to set the hook on a customer. If your work will stand it you can always dump it into a tumbler with SS shot with a slightly alkaline solution (Rio ultrasheen) which will neutralize and remove most acidic films resulting from doing shows in ant farms. DALE

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Fortunately I spend most of my time out in the “boonies” away from too much city grime, but it’s been especially humid both inside and out of my studio this summer. No fly spray, either, or at least none that I personally spray.

My particular problem, too, is that lots of my jewelry is gold-plated, or has delicate stones set into them so throwing them in the tumbler isn’t an option :confused: The gold-plated pieces have been holding up a bit better, though, so fortunately I can re-polish the silver pieces before I show them again.

Thanks for the considerations!


Has anyone tried wrapping their pieces when not on view in the blue anti-tarnish cloth? Can be purchased by the yard and does wonders for my silver. I live in a town where there is a mill and although we don’t like to mention it to tourists, there is stuff in the air. :wink:

I use ziplocks for storage and traveling. It’s not perfect - but the oxygen is somewhat blocked and better than nothing.

It’s not oxygen that causes tarnish it’s sulfur dioxide - but the process is called oxidation.

The anti tarnish cloth was alway my go-to when doing shows. I made bags for my clients and always stored and transported silver wrapped in it. Available by the yard on line from multiple sources.