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Thread: Silver tarnishing problem

  1. #1
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    Default Silver tarnishing problem

    Hi,

    I use your sterling and fine silver, which I mill, dome or hammer and solder and then quenched in a safe pickle.
    I repeat the last procedure a few times to receive a nice white satin finish and then polish any edges and clean it in the ultrasound and silver dip. Looks great for 5 min or if it is kept sealed but as soon it is exposed the jewellery tarnishes, especially when open in a showroom or showcase exposed to spotlight, sunlight and air.

    Any tricks or ideas please? I guess polishing will help but that changes the look. Silver plating? Any info on this solution from Cookson: Silver Anti Tarnish Solution Crfs By Heimerle Meule 1 Litre
    I appreciate any helpful feedback urgently. Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by britta; 31-01-2018 at 02:14 PM.

  2. #2
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    You don't say you are polishing or finishing the silver in any way other than pickle which only removes the soldering residue.
    I understand why you like the white finish after pickling but it can't be maintained, you just need to look at it and it'll mark. If you don't want to polish it then a matt finish is your only other option. All the silver dip will do is clean an already finished surface which has tarnished or further brighten an already polished one. You have to get a desired finish before either the the ultrasonic or dip will be necessary. The ultrasonic will only clean off dirt it won't give it a finish.

    Is there also tarnish or firestain/firescale which seems probable if seen in bright light?
    Plating will just give you a high finish which you could do by polishing. I've found that my fine silver pieces don't generally tarnish as much as Sterling.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    You don't say you are polishing or finishing the silver in any way other than pickle which only removes the soldering residue.
    I understand why you like the white finish after pickling but it can't be maintained, you just need to look at it and it'll mark. If you don't want to polish it then a matt finish is your only other option. All the silver dip will do is clean an already finished surface which has tarnished or further brighten an already polished one. You have to get a desired finish before either the the ultrasonic or dip will be necessary. The ultrasonic will only clean off dirt it won't give it a finish.

    Is there also tarnish or firestain/firescale which seems probable if seen in bright light?
    Plating will just give you a high finish which you could do by polishing. I've found that my fine silver pieces don't generally tarnish as much as Sterling.
    Hello Caroline,

    thank you very much for getting back to me so quickly.

    Sorry, I should have been more precise; I do use pumice powder with a silk brush after pickling and either a stainless steel brush or a small scotch brite pendant wheel. I don't tend to highly polish my surfaces (only the edges to contrast) though as it often has a milled linen texture on it.... so no other trick then? :-) PS Have you ever tried this solution from Cookson: Silver Anti Tarnish Solution Crfs By Heimerle Meule 1 Litre
    Thank you.
    Last edited by britta; 31-01-2018 at 02:15 PM.

  4. #4
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    No sorry Britta I haven't, mainly because I've never had the problem you describe. Is it definitely tarnish or is it a shadow from fire scale just because it seems worse in bright light? I've had a scotchbrite pendant look awful but only after the customer had probably sprayed perfume and she was generally pretty dirty in her treatment of her jewellery. Scotchbrite pieces I've had in stock have seemed to tarnish a little more quickly. It might be the scotchbrite finish.
    I use the soft sponge sanding pads from Cookson, sold for clay but I like the finish they provide on silver. That doesn't seem to tarnish except normally. I can't think why your pieces should do it so quickly. Sorry I'm not really helping

  5. #5
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    Sterling silver tarhnishes and it's a well known fact. The rate of tarnish depends on pollutants in the air where you are and the degree of finish.

    All those beautiful matte and satin finishes will tarnish faster, due to the increase of surface area, as will repeated use of dip, because it is acidic and leaves the surface less glossy.

    You can keep stock in better condition in closed boxes with anti tarnish strips. There is also expensive equipment for anti tarnish treatment, but I have not met anyone with experience of it.

    The real answer is to convert to Argentium Silver bullion and solder, which not only starts off looking whiter, but stays so even in harsh conditions. It is a whole new learning curve and a little more tricky. Dennis.

  6. #6
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    Thank you. I will look into the pads you mentioned! I will check out your website too. Thank you so much. Greetings from the south

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by britta View Post
    Thank you. I will look into the pads you mentioned! I will check out your website too. Thank you so much. Greetings from the south
    This is the link, not too expensive to try. http://www.cooksongold.com/category_...anding+sponges I was going to say as Dennis did that I don't use dip in the process but just for refreshing work that is a bit dirtier.
    We should have said hello and welcome Britta. If you want to introduce yourself in another post

  8. #8
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    Hello again and thank you. I have ordered pads and solution and yes I do apologise - new to this but will introduce myself of course Thank you!

  9. #9
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    Thank you for the tip - I will look into Argentium!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by britta View Post
    Thank you for the tip - I will look into Argentium!
    Here is a start for you Britta: http://www.cooksongold.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8988

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