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All about Tarnishing

 by hayley on 19 Dec 2017 |
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All about Tarnishing
We love silver jewellery but sadly as beautiful as it is, it is prone to tarnishing. This can be a real frustration for sellers and buyers alike. We have put together some guidance for you on ways to help prevent tarnishing.
We have sourced information directly from the Assay Office Birmingham, who are the experts in all matters of silver. We hope this helps!

What is tarnishing?
Ever picked up a piece of silver jewellery to notice a rather unsightly black coating on it? Or noticed that it looks grubby or dirty? Well unfortunately this is tarnishing and it can happen very easily. There are ways to prevent it but unfortunately, this is a known occurrence of silver jewellery.
What is the cause of it?
Tarnishing is caused by the reaction of silver to elements such as sulphur, moisture, oxygen and chlorides. The silver reacts to gases in the air that contain sulphur. This reaction can also happen when silver is exposed to deodorants, perfume or even body perspiration. This reaction results in tarnishing of the silver jewellery.
How can it be prevented?
The elements described above are always present in the environment so it can be a little tricky completely preventing tarnishing altogether. However, there are certain steps you can take to prevent it as much as possible. Anti-tarnish products that exist include:
A spray to go directly on the silver jewellery
 Strips that can be placed in boxes
A special cloth to line packaging
Tissue paper to wrap items in

Further suggestions are available from the Assay Office Birmingham at the below link.

Can new silver jewellery tarnish in new packaging?
As discussed above, the elements that cause tarnishing are present in the environment and this includes packaging too. Putting silver jewellery in a sealed environment may accelerate the tarnishing process due to the enclosed area. This can be accelerated again by storing the item in a warm and humid environment. So if you can, keep your item in the packaging ventilated and keep the environment they are stored in cool and dry.
For further information, please visit the Assay Office Birmingham’s website here:


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