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Silver marks on clothes


how can you stop getting silver from leaving that black ring around the
collar? i have used many different silver cloths, but still get black
marks on clothes. would appreciate any help.


That black ring is probably from the rouge (from the cloth) that is left
on the piece after you polish it. Get a toothbrush and some detergent and
give it a GOOD scrubbing after you polish it!



I would love that to be the answer. I am rather well endowed and wear
Squash Blossom necklaces from the era when they were solid silver and
heavy. Inevitably I have black streaks across the chest from the motion
when walking. These are rather old pieces and I prefer the patina to

Aside from wearing only dark clothes, any other solutions?



There are three possiblities for that mark. One is that polishing
compound, like rouge, etc, is still on the silver after you’re done, and
this is black, and will leave a mark. Solution: Clean it better after

Second is that you’ve got something on the clothes, or being added to the
silver during wear, which acts like a polishing compound. If the mark were
on skin, this might be the most likely bet, since many cosmetics contain
things like cerium oxide, or other pigments, which can act like rouge, and
will cause silver or gold to abrade off onto the skin, leaving the same
black mark it does on a buff when you polish it intentionally. But on
your clothes, this is less likely, unless you’re using your cosmetics in a
manner where some gets on the clothes too. some face or talcum powders,
for example, might for a dust which settles on the fabric when you apply
it, and then the silver can abrade itself on that powder. I suppose it
might even be possible for some laundry products to leave a similar deposit
on the cloth, but I’m not aware of anything of that nature.

The third possibility is that if the silver has been antiqued, and then
not cleaned, the black sulphide formed in the antiqueing process is not
always very adherent, if too much is applied. This can leave a stain.
Solution is to not leave antiquing solutions on the silver quite so long,
and perhaps also to use a light brush (like a brass plater’s brush, used
with soapy water) to lightly burnish the antiqueing down onto the silver
afterwards, which removes any dusty non adherent black sulphide. This does
not apply to those paint on laquor based antiquings, only to the chemical

the bottom line to keep in mind is that clean silver, rubbed on clean cloth,
does not leave a mark. Some dirt, polish compound, or abrasive or other such
contaminant must be present to cause that problem.

Your rouge clothes themselves will leave a rouge or other polish compound
residue. Wash the silver item carefully after any polishing operation, to
be sure no polish compound remains.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe


people … tsk. picture this: 1. world’s cleanest silver item. 2. moistly
warm (98.6 for everyone but me) surface of a human body, loaded with all
tarnish/oxidation=black marks that residue from the old equalizing
cell/tissue fluid/chemical process that even the world’s cleanest body has
on-going every second. 3. oxygen-laden earth air. don’t believe it? clean a
piece of silver however you want & rub it with a cloth. then imagine the
agitation of a human body with the above properties in motion against the
silver. try it - ive


Everything I have read about jewelry smudges points to the jewelry itself.
Whether it be on skin or clothes, the jewelry item itself, or rather the
alloy, is what leaves the black stuff. Acids in the body, body powders,
clothing. All will, can, and do make jewelry leave that black smudge.
Rub a clean piece of jewelry on a clean piece of cloth and you have a
smudge. Works the same way when wearing the jewelry, only much slower.
The heavier and larger the piece of jewelry, the faster the smudge
appears. Not much one can do about it.


I have scrub it with a good detergent and used a toothbrush, wiped it with
a soft cloth, ring around the collar, put it away in a plastic bag, wiped
it before wearing it with a soft clean rag, and stil ring around the
collar or black marks. help

Andrew and Jill Morrison
2197 N. Allen Avenue
Altadena, California 91001

ph (626)798-6588
FAX (626)791-0263
e’mail @A_J_Morrison


Perhaps a coat of wax will seal off the oxidation. I use Renaissance wax,
but Trewax will work as well.