After reading the posts from the much admired Orchidians, John
Burgess and Peter W. Rowe on Silver Tarnishing, I thought I would
post my questions.
I recently started making fine silver chains. I put them in the
tumbler with mixed shot to finish them and I am truly amazed at how
bright and shiny and beautiful they are when finished. After awhile
of wear they appear a little dingy, so I’ve been using an
ammonia-based dip to clean them and they do come out looking much
better, but not exactly like new. When I make a new chain, I compare
it to mine, and the difference is obvious. A friend of mine visited
recently with a chain on that I had made her that looked very grey,
so I dipped it for her, and it only came out looking slightly better.
I ususally only use a quick dip in the solution, so I figured I
would leave it in a little longer. It came out the same. I know
people have different body chemistries that effect metal differently.
Maybe that’s the problem? Anyway, I was hoping that something would
bring the chains back to that like new appearance. I don’t know if
it’s the silver oxides that I’m dealing with - on my friend’s chain
it’s more pronounced. It’s very grayish, not like the typical
sterling tarnishing that I’m used to that comes out easy with the
silver dip. Is silver oxide harder to remove than silver sulphide?
Not sure if I have the definitions exactly correct, but I figure that
I’m dealing with silver oxide with my fine silver chains and silver
sulphide with sterling. Well whatever it is that’s making my chains
dull, I’d like to find a way to get them looking like new again - or
as close to it as possible.
I was considering investing in a Speed Brite. Will a Speed Brite
bring back the chains to that like new appearance? Will anything? I
gravitate more towards the Speed Brite than an ultrasonic because I
use many sensitive stones.
Sorry for being so long-winded. Thanks in advance for your help.