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Sterling Protection


#1

OK …my silver pieces really are tarnishing fast. Things that were
just at a Jury came back black! how can I slow this down ?I tried the
carnuba wax…those pieces seem the worst. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks in advance. Lisa


#2

You are picking up a lot of sulfur. You must be down wind of a big
air pollution problem a power plant ( Not in upstate NY with Canadian
hydro and the Falls) or a paper mill . 3-M makes a tarnish preventer
paper that I think Rio Grande sells . It has been recommended before
to store silver with pieces of chalk .Also the wax may not be what it
is represented to be and contain sulfur. Jesse


#3

You are picking up a lot of sulfur. You must be down wind of a big
air pollution problem a power plant ( Not in upstate NY with Canadian
hydro and the Falls) or a paper mill . 3-M makes a tarnish preventer
paper that I think Rio Grande sells . It has been recommended before
to store silver with pieces of chalk .Also the wax may not be what it
is represented to be and contain sulfur. Jesse —


#4

Hi Lisa,

I have found that coatings are not very practical on ‘real’ jewelry
that’s worn, although it might work out for display pieces. The
tarnish is a result of chemicals in the environment to which the
pieces are exposed. For example, chemicals used in processing the
paper used in this little cardboard jewelry boxes can actually promote
tarnish.

Consider how your pieces are stored and shipped. Air tight Ziploc
bags (available in jewelry sizes from many suppliers) are a helpful
barrier to prevent tarnish, although pretty unacceptable for display.

I have also seen some sort of anti-tarnish inserts you can include
with stored pieces, but I don’t have any experience with them and
don’t know how cost effective they are.

Also, if you’re doing casting, there are sterling silver formulations
that reduce susceptibility to tarnish by replacing part (or all?) of
the copper alloy with silicon.

I hope you find some of this to be helpful!

Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com mailto:dave@sebaste.com
http://www.CarolinaArtisans.com


#5

G’day; I don’t think you are doing anything wrong, Lisa. It is
simply the nature of the beast! Silver is avid for sulphur, and
silver sulphide is black. Any city atmosphere usually contains an
abundance of it, mainly from vehicle exhausts and from coal burning. I
made two identical silver and jade pieces one for my wife here in
Mapua NZ, - a little village - and the other for my brother’s wife in
Glasgow. He wrote me worried that in two weeks, his wife’s piece was
completely black, but my wife’s is still silver coloured - ten years
later! Here’s some remedies; place some aluminium foil in a pie
dish, cover well with a hot solution of sodium carbonate - washing
soda, NOT bicarbonate. All the blackening will be gone in a few
minutes. Many jewellers keep a jar of Goddard’s Silver Dip (a
solution of thiourea +)i in their back room, and use the dip on a
regular basis for silver on sale. Varnishes and laquers are all very
well, but wear easily, so what will the silverware look like in 6
months? Yuck! That is why the butler spent much of his time
polishing the family silver! Cheers, – John Burgess;
@John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#6

Hi all –

I recently visited the Society of American Silversmith’s website and
they have a really wonderful section of their site devoted to care of
silver, including one that deals with storage and display. Some of
the there was quite interesting, including the use of
desiccated silica gel in displays as a hindrance to tarnish.

Their homepage is: http://www.silversmithing.com/ . I think you
will find a lot of very useful there.

Laura.
@LWiesler


#7
Also, if you're doing casting, there are sterling silver formulations
that reduce susceptibility to tarnish by replacing part (or all?) of
the copper alloy with silicon.

Does this change the color of the silver in any way? Or affect its
ability to take a high polish?

I am considering getting some sterilite (sp?) non-tarnishing sterling
silver wire but I hesitate because I would have to buy 100 oz minimum
without having seen the product. Anybody have any experience with
this product? TIA

Carol


#8
   Does this change the color of the silver in any way? Or affect
its ability to take a high polish? 

I have only used the casting grain, not anything for fabrication. One
thing I noted right away is that the castings came out grayish, not
the usual black I find when I quench and break the casting out of the
investment. Easier cleanup.

The properties of the formulation seem very much like conventional
sterling. I soldered sterling fixtures to the pieces without
difficulty. In doing some modification to the castings, cutting with a
burr, it seemed that the formulation wasn’t as “smeary” as
conventional sterling.

At this point, with finished goods, I am unable to discern which
pieces were made with the silicon alloy sterling, so I’d have to say
the appearance, to me, is the same.

I agree, 100 oz. of sterling is a large commitment!

Hope this helps,

Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com mailto:dave@sebaste.com
http://www.CarolinaArtisans.com http://www.CarolinaArtisans.com