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Thread: Sterling Silver rings turning colours!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    49

    Default Sterling Silver rings turning colours!

    Hello, happy saturday..

    I wonder if somebody can help. I have made some rings that have tarnished in a couple of ways. First off, I made them using 2mm round wire and also 1mm silver sheet. The first batch were worn as toe rings and went a dull grey, they tumbled back up to as new condition. I spoke to Cooksons sales and they said that it could've been that they weren't pickled for long enough (we deduced that I had as they went to the customer as sparkly and gorgeous as anything) or that the jewellery is reacting with oils/products/skin..... Secondly, an unworn ring turned gold in colour, sheesh! That tumbled up to as new condition as well. Thing is, will this happen again and again? I have sold lots of silver pieces with no returns, it has just been these three toe rings....it's so confusing and also rubbish, as I have my reputation to think of. Please can anybody shine any light?

    Thank you muchly

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    8,420

    Default

    Hi Neve, tarnishing is a result of sulphides combining with silver to form silver sulphide. Sulphides are found as a pollutant in air, in foods such as eggs and onions, and in various substances used around the house. They are also found in sweat and show up for instance as dark finger prints. Feet are notoriously sweaty.
    The stages of tarnishing are pale yellow, gold, brown, blue, and finally very dark grey.

    You can either accept this as a normal property of silver, where the only the highlights remain shiny with use, or resort to silver dip which quickly restores the colour, or use an alloy made to resit tarnishing.

    To protect your reputation, you could enclose some notes to this effect with your work. For storage it helps to use anti tarnish strips in closed containers or in plastic bags. Dennis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    cotswolds
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    Default

    Completely agree with Dennis. It might be worth considering Argentium or Reflections as an alternative for toewear?

  4. #4
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
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    I'm sorry to contradict stjewe, but brushes, paste and polishing cloths are unlikely to reach the recesses of the designs on your site. Silver dip might have corrosive effects in the long term, but thirty seconds is all it takes.

    If you are averse to this, then the electrolytic method is for you. For a small item you just cram some crushed aluminium foil into the bottom of a mug, add a teaspoon of baking soda or soda crystals, then your item and some hottish water. After 3-4 minutes the dark sulphides will have been transferred to the foil, and the piece can be rinsed and dried. Dennis.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    cotswolds
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    I have a feeling that stjewe may not be an entirely genuine member. Apart from the spelling, grammar and link to the Chinese website that is.....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    5,087

    Default

    I think you're probably right - thank you for flagging it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brittany
    Posts
    776

    Default

    Indeed, particularly as the link occasioned the opening of multiple windows.

    Still I can only agree with Dennis about Silver dip, as I used it on a couple of marks on some ball chain just yesterday, which would have otherwise proved a pain to clean up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Hi, thanks all for your replies. I really appreciate it. It is a good idea to send a covering note with silver items, I do that with copper, but will now do the same for my silver pieces. Also, the reflections silver is a way forward too, I have used the reflections silver sheet before, I didn't realise that it came in wire too. I will keep you updated as to how I get on! Have a good day x

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Hi,

    Hi, I am new to this forum, so i want to say hi to all the members.

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