Is there ANY way to prevent, or at least slow down, the process of
sterling silver tarnish ? A lot of my stuff is exposed in a glass
case. I cover it up with a coton cloth at night most of the time
(but not always). I'm constantly polishing
If the glass case is an enclosed space (with closed doors, for
example), than get some 3M tarnish preveting/retarding paper. Looks
like black construction paper, it’s treated to absorb the compounds
that cause tarnish. Best in a small enclosed space, like a jewelry
box or while stored in ziplock bags, where you only then need a small
piece to offer almost complete protection. But even in a larger
showcase, if it’s a closed space (air doesn’t circulate with outside
of the case), then this stuff still works. You’ll just need a larger
piece of it.
You can also get some protection with some of the silver polishing
compounds, like Semichrome or some of the Haggerty’s creams, etc.
Many of these leave a thin semi protective coating that retards
tarnish. Of course, if you then clean the work in your ultrasonic or
with your steamer, that film is lost.
And there are some dip compounds intended for protecting against
tarnish while in storage, or more precisely in their original intent,
during the electroplating process if there will be a delay between
steps. These dips leave an invisible film that protects the metal,
but it cannot be handled without damage to that film. This can still
be useful for display pieces if they won’t be handled. Rio carries,
or used to, this product (who’s name I forget, darn it…), as well
as the tarnish preventative paper from 3M. Other suppliers also may
carry the paper.
And then of course, if you make the jewelry from Argentium or one of
the other firestain or tarnish preventing sterling alloys in the
first place, instead of standard sterling, your tarnish problems may
be significantly reduced. A number of refiners offer several such
alloys. United Precious Metals comes to mind as one with a good
selection of them for various manufacturing needs.