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Topic: Tarnished Silver Jewelry  (Read 2644 times)
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« on: March 19, 2009 07:27:48 AM »

I make jewelery with silver beads/clasps/earring-hooks and they are starting to tarnish really bad.
Is there any way I can store them safely without them tarnishing?
And how would I go about cleaning the ones that are already tarnished (The beads are primarily all natural materials-wood, stone, shell)

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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009 07:54:51 AM »

There are a number of ways I care for my sterling. Some, only the experienced should consider!  Grin

A tumbler is great to have, for not only when you are making head pins or ear wires, but for a quick polishing. However, you can't tumble pearls or wood. Crystals are iffie, but if only for a little time, crystals can be tumbled too.

Tarnex is great, the clear liquid type. Of course, don't put your pearls or seed beads in Tarnex!!!! If you want to clean the sterling around them, then use a Q-Tip!

An Ionic Cleaner is a great all around sterling clearner to have in your shop. It cleans very softly, with just a bit of work with the tooth brush, but 'anything' can be put in...even pearls!

Then there is an Ultrasonic cleaner...which may be more for larger use.

Finally, as a jeweler to help clean some pieces. They love the business and you'll know for sure your work is in good hands!

When storing, I would consider air tight containers or zip lock bags. You can even purchase the 'treated' felt pads which when stored with the sterling in an air tight container, they won't tarnish as quickly!

Hey, I am a seed beader........go figure!  Cool


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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2009 10:32:01 PM »

Thanks Erin!
I will try some of the things you mentioned.

-See my photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/traceylheureux/
-Visit my blog here: http://tinystarcreations.blogspot.com/
-Check out my zazzle site here:
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2009 07:04:00 PM »

Erin made a lot of really useful suggestions but I would caution against polishing any of your silver unless you know its sterling or fine silver. When silver reacts with air it becomes silver oxide, and polishing simply removes the outer layer of silver. If it is plated, however, you will be left with pewter or some other base metal.

Today I shall do my utmost to promote evil and misery, cause harm to others, and generally promote the dark side of the force.
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009 10:09:33 AM »

Keep all your sterling silver and silver-plate in ziplock bags. As an extra measure you can buy a special anti-tarnish tissue paper and put a small (about 1/2 inch) square inside the bag. You can also buy anti-tarnish strips to use in display cases, boxes etc. These really do work and I use them in my store all the time.

Hope this helps.


Wherever you are, you are supposed to be, well, usually. Smiley)
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009 07:16:46 PM »

Hi there,

Try this item from my store. It works wonders! I use it all the time on my sterling silver jewelry!

« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2009 01:49:12 PM »

I would recommend using plastic bags, or anything air tight.
I would put it in a dark place as well.

Silver that tarnishes really quickly usually is of poorer quality but if you store them well it should last at least a few years.

Silver cleaner is pretty efficient since I wouldn't recommend scrubbing it or buffing it. I usually rub it with my fingers.. I try not to scratch it because sometimes it actually scratches the silver. To get the cleaner in the nooks and crannies, I just use a small tub and roll the pieces around. I usually use Hagerty Silver Dip and just drop my pieces in there.

I live in Toronto so I get my silver cleaner from Lacys at 55 Queen Street. That building has 14 floors worth of jewelry appraisers, gem workers and silver suppliers.
This might be an information overload, but hopefully I was of some help!

- Michelle
« Last Edit: June 19, 2009 08:46:41 AM by jungrrl - Reason: edited to comply with Craftster guidelines. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2009 11:14:57 PM »

Sterling silver is more likely to tarnish than fine silver. Don't bother cleaning silver plate except carefully by hand with a soft polishing cloth.

You can make your own silver cleaner from home products: http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/ht/silverdip.htm

And as that link says, keep your pieces dry, such as in a ziploc bag with some chalk or charcoal to absorb humidity. (Oh man, the tropical climate I moved to is a killer on jewellery.)

For copper items, just dip it in a bit of acid like vinegar or lemon juice, plus salt, til the oxide comes off, then buff it til it's shiny.

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