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Tiffany & Co. silver?


#1

Hello,

Recently a coworker asked my husband to show me a Sterling Key
holder. It is crafted in a U shape with a ball that screws off
the end to put the keys on and has a golf theme. She wants it
converted to a pin, I can easily solder a pin on but I am
concerned about it.

It is so shiny and I am finding it hard to believe it’s just
sterling and hasn’t had any tarnishing at all. I don’t know much
about coatings or how to detect Rhodium sp? plating.

Does anyone know if Tiffany & Co would do that to one of their
pieces? I have called to ask but they haven’t been cooperative. I
guess they don’t want someone mucking up their stuff, but hey, I
don’t want to be doing it either. This is a favor (if it were a
plain old customer I would just say no) so if anyone can advise
me I would greatly appreciate it.

Karen from beautiful Northern Illinois, where the fake spring
managed to kill off all my early flowers again!

@karenworks1


#2

Dear Karen,
In response to your question about the golf-ball key ring/plating
question: I put in a call to N.Y., to my best buddy John in
Tiffany’s design department. He assured me that the Rhodium plated
pieces produced by Tiffany & Co. are dull grey in color, and marked
as Rhodium plate. Most of these items are clocks. If the key ring
is sterling, it will be stamped on the piece. If the key-ring is
silver plate, it will be stamped on the piece. John insists that
all of Tiffany’s work is clearly marked, and commented that
Tiffany’s reputation was partially built on the high shine finish
found on most of the company’s work. Hope this helps. Lisa in
Topanga,CA


#3

sterling and hasn’t had any tarnishing at all. I don’t know much
about coatings or how to detect Rhodium sp? plating.

Karen,

usually sterling silver jewelry are nickel plated first then
rhodium plated. this will prevent any tarnish on silver end rhodium
will give it a bright white shine. But remember to always perfectly
polish the silver piece before plating.

FADY SAWAYA.
@Artemis

#4

I believe those Keyrings are made by MS Chain co. of
Massachusetts. I have seen them in their catalog, and I know for a
fact that they sell them to Rio Grande. Tiffany has become somewhat
of a retail “outlet” over the years, and I’ve found that the people
working behind the counter rarely understand what goes into
construction. If you want, you can call MS and ask them, they might
be of some help. 1-800-MS-Links. I hope I haven’t offended anyone
out there who does work for Tiffany & Co., No disrespect was meant,
as I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the Company on
a whole.

Tim Goodwin


#5

Karen o’ Illinois.

I bet its nickel plated, it will bubble and flake off when you
solder it. You will not be able to reproduce the finish and there
will be a generally unpleasant appearance to this item. Your friend
will think you suck and your husband, although I am sure he holds
you in very high esteem, will drop you down a peg or two in the
competency department. All this for a stupid little silver golf
thing. I beg of you Karen, just say no.

Mark P.
Wisconsin, its going to snow on my crocuses tonight


#6

Before I swore off silver, I sized many Tiffany & Co. sterling
bracelets (they use a lot of outside venders.) Some of the more
recent (this would have been in 1988) had beautiful finishes which
burned when heated. They had a chrome plating over the silver. This
became more common place in the jewelry industry. The chrome burns
and flakes off, and the piece would have an imperfect surface,
impossible to make attractive. Bucky

“If you wear cubic zirconia, God will know.” Maryanne Thorpe

@Bucky
Minutes off I-95 in sunny central SC, USA,
where the camellias are blooming.


#7

I make sterling giftware.Tarnishing is akways a longterm problem.I
do plate and then antitarnish certain items.

What would you think if I were to chrome plate my product??? I’d
flah chrome the plated item.Would it still qualify as sterling?What
would the antitarnish protection be like?

Thanks

Rajah.


#8
  What would you think if I were to chrome plate my product???
I'd flah chrome the plated item.Would it still qualify as
sterling?What would the antitarnish protection be like?

I think if I was to buy sterling silver plated with chrome, I
would not buy it. It’s kinda like brass plating gold. I believe
that the precious metal is what is important in a handcrafted item.
People appreciate that. Even if it takes a little more to keep it
nice, a real item is better to me. How about every one else?


#9

Thanks for all your very helpful replies and the trouble you went
throught to advise me.

I forwarded the friend/potential client your posts and let her
make the decision, she thankfully decided not to go for it.

Thanks for all your help…

Karen

@karenworks1


#10

Hi Folks,

I agree with Joy. I hate when you see sterling that is nickel
plated and then flashed with rhodium. It looks like it is chrome
plated. That fire on ice look of natural sterling just isn’t
there. Rhodium looks sterile.

Regards,

Skip

                                  Skip Meister
                                NRA Endowment and
                                   Instructor
                                @Skip_Meister
                                03/12/9818:25:52

#11
   I think if I was to buy sterling silver plated with chrome, I
would not buy it. It's kinda like brass plating gold.  I believe
that the precious metal is what is important in a handcrafted
>item. People appreciate that.  Even if it takes a little more to
keep it nice, a real item is better to me. How about every one
else?

I agree with you totally. Any supplementary plating will change
the color from silver to something similar, but not silver, To make
matters worse, years from now (not neccesarily a lot of years) the
plating will wear off unevenly, or worse flake off in spots leaving
a really bad looking piece that will have to be refinished. What is
wrong with silver ? Frequent use or an occasional swipe with a
polishing cloth work wonders at removing tarnish.

Sol K.


#12

Hi Joy, I totally agree with your comments about chrome over
silver. Ugh! A perverse plating process which destroys the
integrity of the original lovely metal, and causes lots of headaches
for the hapless repairer. Rex from Oz


#13

Okay? Just to change this a little but. What is that shinny stuff
they plate silver with, in this thread I have heard Rhodium,
nickol,chrome. What is the real answer Rhod. is kinda expensive to
put on silver. and once you burn this stuff it is a very tedious
process to make the piece prety again.

Rick


#14
   What is the real answer Rhod. is kinda expensive to put on
silver.  and once you burn this stuff it is a very tedious
process to make the piece prety again.

Reminds me of my first job. This was to put earring posts back on
earrings that were being sold for scrap silver. One post was cut
off of a pair and my job was to put them back on for resale.
Anyway, Here I was 1988, very unexperienced and soldering away and
lo and behold the surface of the metal was bubbling up. I was
baffled. Then when it was time to polish they looked TERRIBLE.
kinda gray and lumpy. Well, they were rhod. plated, every last
one of the stupid things. Well, I got pretty good after about the
50th pair. The jewelry store I was working for thought I did a
great job. What a paiN!