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View Full Version : Silver Tarnishing - design alternatives?


BeadBraker
03-31-2004, 02:28 PM
Hi!

I make lampwork beads.....and some finished jewelry.

On one hand, I feel that "expensive" pieces warrant real sterling silver, etc. but on the other hand....I hate the high maintenance of polishing. Many times I have grabbed an "expensive" bracelet to put on then I change my mind because it looks grubby from tarnish.

I am considering buying other metals that look nice but don't tarnish.....any ideas? Pewter? Are there stainless steel findings anywhere?

Why isn't there some clear compound that you can put over silver to prevent tarnish? Or is there already one and I just don't know it?

THANKS in advance!
Nancy Braker in IL

Wire Mania
03-31-2004, 02:43 PM
Hi Nancy - Do you keep your sterling in zip-lock bags when your not wearing? I keep mine sealed in bag with anti-tarnish strip and I have no tarnish build up at all...Vicki

Charlee
03-31-2004, 03:07 PM
I'm one of those Sterling Silver people - love it and don't care to work in anything else...unless I can talk someone into buying me some high karat gold. :evil: :D :evil: I keep mine in ziplock baggies with the anti-tarnish paper - what I don't wear everyday - and it keep just fine. Otherwise, I hit the high spots with the sunshine cloth, or just buff it on my jeans. :D I like the patina silver acquires after some wear and tarnish. Don't know of any way to treat it to prevent that.

I do know that some folks swear by pewter - the good-quality, lead-free kind. I haven't used it myself, so can't vouch for it. They get it from Quest (http://www.questbeads.com).

HTH,
Charlee

glitterbead
03-31-2004, 04:33 PM
Actually - I keep my sterling in plastic zip-lock bags with as much of the air removed as humanly possible and it keeps just fine (and I don't use anti-tarnish strips). Tarnish occurs due to exposure to the air (oxidation).

DonnaBee
03-31-2004, 06:11 PM
I keep mine sealed in bag with anti-tarnish strip and I have no tarnish build up at all

I also do this. With finished pieces, and with findings and beads that aren't used yet.

I take the anti-tarnish strips and snip them into 1" squares. I find one or two of my 1" squares works as well as the entire 6" strip. (It costs less to do this than to buy the 1" squares.) There is a little tight-wad tip for you! And we need all those tips we can get with the rising price of silver, don't we...

I wish someone would market a line of white gold-fill findings, beads and wire.... if anyone knows good sources I would love to hear it, I haven't been able to find any.

But, with the cost of silver and gold rising... I am thinking I will be moving over to copper, found objects and glass. :) Copper tarnishes too. (Ketchup and salt works well for this.)

Wire Mania
03-31-2004, 07:11 PM
Donna - I also cut my strips into 1" squares..(I always put a little square in ziplock jewelry bag along with a 1" square and a little card explaining to keep jewelry in plastic bag when not wearing with my customers orders.)

DonnaBee
03-31-2004, 07:13 PM
I always put a little square in ziplock jewelry bag along with a 1" square and a little card explaining to keep jewelry in plastic bag when not wearing with my customers orders

I have been doing this too, for the few local people I have made things for recently. Great minds truly do think alike! heh! :D (only I haven't put the little card in explaining. perhaps I should do that)

BeadBraker
03-31-2004, 08:13 PM
Keep my jewelry in bags?? LOL I don't even make my bed!! I can't see me keeping my jewelry neat and tidy....but no tarnish might be worth it.

I looked up Quest...I love them. I want their catalog but their order site is not secure....so will call them instead.

THANKS a bunch!!!
Nancy Braker in IL

DonnaBee
03-31-2004, 09:45 PM
I don't make my bed, are you kidding? I am only going to be back for a nap in two hours anyway! :p

Anyway, I just read in a bead magazine, you can put a small piece of chalk in a plastic bag with silver to prevent tarnish!

Makes sense, I guess... does anyone actually do this? What if the silver got all chalky? Then if I tried to polish away this chalk dust, would it scratch? Any thoughts appreciated.

Then I read the next tip in this magazine, and it said to rub car wax into the silver, and when it dries wipe it off. :confused: I don't know... if anyone knows if these are good practices please comment, because I haven't heard of these things before and maybe it is a good idea, but maybe not?

Kerensamere
03-31-2004, 09:51 PM
...Then I read the next tip in this magazine, and it said to rub car wax into the silver, and when it dries wipe it off. :confused: I don't know... if anyone knows if these are good practices please comment, because I haven't heard of these things before and maybe it is a good idea, but maybe not?

Well, I know car wax is good for keeping your shower walls clean...but on silver I would worry about a white build-up of wax in any detail work. If it's a smooth silver piece I can't imagine that it would be a problem. Getting car wax out of the cracks and crevices on my car is hard enough, I can't imagine getting it out of a textured piece of silver!

Anyone have any great resources for the anti-tarnish paper mentioned earlier?

Wire Mania
03-31-2004, 10:15 PM
I buy mine at Rio Grande - Small package of 10 sheets - but you can cut them and get about 20 out of a sheet.

Kerensamere
03-31-2004, 11:05 PM
I buy mine at Rio Grande - Small package of 10 sheets - but you can cut them and get about 20 out of a sheet.


Cool, thanks! Gotta dig out my copy and look through it again. Been meaning to get a copy of the tools catalog too. ** note to sell, call Rio Grande tomorrow**

DonnaBee
03-31-2004, 11:27 PM
Thanks Jennifer for the car wax comments, the more I ponder this, well, I am not going to be doing either one of these "tips" I think! (The chalk or the car wax.) Hmph!

I get my little 3M anti tarnish strips from Rio Grande as well. Well it sounds like everyone cuts theirs up! Another example of great minds thinking alike!

I am getting a little silly now, G'nite!

DonnaBee
03-31-2004, 11:29 PM
Now I am picturing the chalk dust sticking to the car wax on my silver! (Someone stop me...)

Kerensamere
03-31-2004, 11:33 PM
Now I am picturing the chalk dust sticking to the car wax on my silver! (Someone stop me...)


Don't worry Donna, I was invisioning Charlee buffing silver on her jeans after storing it in a bag with a piece of chalk and having all kinds of wonderful marks on the jeans. Definately time to go to bed! :D

beadyeyedgirls
04-01-2004, 11:59 PM
i saw that mag tip list w/the chalk & wax tips, too, & had wondered about them. still think i might yet try the chalk...if i ever get around to putting my silver into bags, lol!!! i think if the piece of chalk is really small, it'd probably just be a matter of blowing off any dust.

& i bet charlee isn't fazed at all by chalk marks on her jeans, lol!!! :p

DonnaBee
04-02-2004, 09:58 AM
I'm thinking that too, a small piece of chalk.

I have some silver pieces I keep in my jewelry box, and not in bags, they haven't tarnished yet. And I've begun thinking, a small piece of chalk in the jewelry box-drawer might be good.

jacy
04-02-2004, 06:55 PM
Got a Chem 101 question here:

Is there is a benefit or detriment to storing sterling silver in aluminum? What about including one of those 3M anti-tarnish tabs -- would that emit something that could have either an adverse or prohibitive effect on tarnish, on sterling that's stored in aluminum?

TIA

Aislyn
04-02-2004, 07:21 PM
Is there is a benefit or detriment to storing sterling silver in aluminum? What about including one of those 3M anti-tarnish tabs -- would that emit something that could have either an adverse or prohibitive effect on tarnish, on sterling that's stored in aluminum?

I store everything in those same aluminum tins we use to package our rings and there have been no adverse effects. Tarnish appears only very slowly, as long as I don't leave the lids off. I haven't used anti tarnish paper with them, though.

Charlee
04-02-2004, 11:52 PM
...& i bet charlee isn't fazed at all by chalk marks on her jeans, lol!!! :p

Not one bit - but I'm a little concerned by the salt & ketchup and not a french fry one present. :confused:

Charlee :evil:

sassybird
04-03-2004, 03:23 PM
I love copper. It gets such a nice patina to it the more it is worn. I hate high maintenace jewelry also. That is why I prefer surgical steel hoops rather than silver.

GardensOnGlass
04-03-2004, 09:38 PM
Rio Grande also sells a product called Midas Tarnish Shield (page 443 & 470 of the current Tools & Equipment catalog). It's $19.99 per gallon. This product is recommended in the Fiber-Wire Jewelry book that I have to really help retard tarnish. I'm planning on ordering some.