Friday, November 12, 2010

Maintaining The Appearance Of Sterling Silver

By Alisa Mason

Sterling silver's beauty increases with wear, which induces a patina layer to form. Plated silver is silver that has been electroplated over another metal. Rusting occurs more quickly in damp and foggy weather, but is inevitable in any climate. Store in treated paper or cloth, or plastic film. Methods of cleaning silver should be determined firstly by the value placed on it, whether monetary or sentimental, and secondly, the intricacy or depth of the pattern. Silver with deeply carved designs that are enhanced by an oxide or French gray finish are most suitably and ideally hand-polished with a specialized or recommended silver cream or polish.

Hand rubbing develops what is commonly known as "patina on silver" which adds to its beauty. Ornamental silver pieces that are lacquered must be washed in lukewarm water rather than hot water, as hot water could remove the lacquer. Polishing silver while wearing rubber gloves is a cardinal sin!. Don't do it! Instead, choose plastic or cotton gloves.

Silver is vulnerable to certain reagents. Rubber is one material which can cause severe corrosion to silver. The damage can become so serious that only a silversmith can repair the damage, albeit with a severe wasteful loss of silver mass. Raised designs are beyond help, and will be lost permanently. Avoid using storage chests with rubber seals, rubber floor coverings, rubber bands, etc

Other deadly enemies of silver include table salt, olives, salad dressing, eggs, vinegar and fruit juices. Essentially anything which contains food acids. Serve these foods in china or glass containers rather than your precious silver tableware. Although flowers and fruit really do look lovely in silverware, the carbonic acids produced during the decay process can etch the containers and cause serious damage. If you really want to use silver containers, use glass liners.

Baking Soda and Toothpaste: Using toothpaste, smear the silverwith toothpaste, then run it under warm water, rub until foam develops, and rinse it off. For stubborn stains and intricate grooves inaccessible to the fingers, use an old soft-bristled toothbrush.

For Baking Soda, mix a paste of baking soda and water. Rub, rinse off, and polish dry with a soft cloth preferably cotton. To remove tarnish from silverware, sprinkle baking soda on a wet cloth and rub down the silverware until rust disappears. Rinse, then dry well.

For a comprehensive discourse of fakes & replicas, the writeup at the Skull pendant page will be very useful & informative.

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