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Old 06-22-2006, 12:31 PM   #1
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Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry

I have an amazing ring that I purchased on a local auction site several years ago. Its a large Tavalite stone set in sterling silver. I was going through my jewelry recently and came across it again. The sterling is very, very tarnished. I tried rubbing it with a polishing cloth but no luck. How do I clean sterling silver jewelry? I only have a few pieces of this metal.

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Old 06-22-2006, 12:35 PM   #2
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OK, I can't remember exact amounts but hopefully this will work for you. Fill a shallow dish with water. Put a piece of aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan. Add some Calgonite dishwasher detergent (couple tbsps) and dissolve. Then drop your tarnished silver on to the foil. There is apparently a chemical reaction that takes place that cleans your silver.

Note: my MIL says baking soda works too. I haven't tried that but I believe her.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:47 PM   #3
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Found you a recipe...here.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
I have an amazing ring that I purchased on a local auction site several years ago. Its a large Tavalite stone set in sterling silver. I was going through my jewelry recently and came across it again. The sterling is very, very tarnished. I tried rubbing it with a polishing cloth but no luck. How do I clean sterling silver jewelry? I only have a few pieces of this metal.
I picked up a sonic cleaner at a garage sale years ago. You put water and a little dish soap in it, put in your ring, turn it on, and in a minute or two the ring comes out looking as clean as the day it was made. Even if you can't find one at a garage sale, the new ones aren't all that expensive, and are good for cleaning anything small that is not electronic.

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Old 06-22-2006, 01:24 PM   #5
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Not sure what Tavalite is, but certain stones do not do well in water. Here are 2 sites that may be helpful.
http://www.floramex.com/li-care-of-silver.htm

http://www.silvergiftstore.com/silpolandsto.html
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your suggestions. Alix............I have to run to the store tonight and I'll grab some baking soda and see how it turns out.

Kelly M..........I'll keep my eye out for one of those cleaners as I have quite a lot of jewelry and it would get plently of use.
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Old 06-22-2006, 02:50 PM   #7
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Sizz...are you telling me you don't have any baking soda in the house??? That is one of my staples, I never run out. LOL. I use it for everything!
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:19 PM   #8
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I know I'm shocked too. But you know what I found instead when I opened that cabinet? Chocolate chips...........so of course I had to eat a few. Mental note to hide chocolate chips in the back of the cabinet for next time I go searching for baking soda.
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:22 PM   #9
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Heh heh heh...in my world that would be cause for celebration. Chocolate chips rule.

Let me know how the baking soda thing works. My MIL swears by it.
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Old 06-22-2006, 03:31 PM   #10
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Youngest had a heck of a celebration with them. Thankfully, there weren't very many left and I refrained from eating but a few.

I'll def. let you know on the baking soda. Thanks again!
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:10 PM   #11
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http://www.tavalite.com/category_s/27.htm

What an interesting stone Sizz.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Found you a recipe...here.
I just wanted to let you know this worked!!! Thanks so much!
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:36 PM   #13
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If you go into any jewelry store, they are happy to clean your jewelry. I think they offer it at BJs wholesale club, too.
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Old 07-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #14
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Buy some silver polish. Don't soak the stone in ANYthing. You can get polishat the supermarket.
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:16 PM   #15
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I just wanted to let you know this worked!!! Thanks so much!
WOOHOO!! MIL was right again. Glad to hear it worked. I should probably do my tea set.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:21 PM   #16
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Another thing you can do is keep your silver jewelry in a ziploc bag and squeeze the air out ,it keeps the air away that makes your silver turn black
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:49 AM   #17
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As some of you all may or may not know, my main hobby is using a metal detector looking for old coins and jewelry. I've recovered many, many, pieces of silver jewelry and silver coins that are tarnished to all heck.

For a quick cleaning, just make a paste with some baking soda and a little water. Rub this onto the piece with a finger and thumb. Once it's shined up, rinse and pat dry. Be careful, as this will scratch the piece, but so finely that you can not see it with the naked eye.

I also use my Dremel, with a couple different felt tips, and some jeweler's rouge.

For the really heavily tarnished pieces that I find, ones that are usually submerged in water or buried in a low-laying, wet, spot, I will get out my little homemade electrolysis unit. This is not really advisable to use all the time, as there is a fire danger and an electric shock danger.
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenMI
As some of you all may or may not know, my main hobby is using a metal detector looking for old coins and jewelry. I've recovered many, many, pieces of silver jewelry and silver coins that are tarnished to all heck.

For a quick cleaning, just make a paste with some baking soda and a little water. Rub this onto the piece with a finger and thumb. Once it's shined up, rinse and pat dry. Be careful, as this will scratch the piece, but so finely that you can not see it with the naked eye.

I also use my Dremel, with a couple different felt tips, and some jeweler's rouge.

For the really heavily tarnished pieces that I find, ones that are usually submerged in water or buried in a low-laying, wet, spot, I will get out my little homemade electrolysis unit. This is not really advisable to use all the time, as there is a fire danger and an electric shock danger.
I would love to get a metal detector. It'd be interesting to see what I find in my own yard since this house was built in the civil war era. Whats the most valuable thing you've found, the most interesting, and the strangest?
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Old 07-22-2006, 12:50 PM   #19
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Hey all. My ex-husband was a jewlery maker, primarily in silver. Here's the scoop:

Although lots of chemicals will clean silver, what they are in essence doing is removing the top layer of silver along with the tarnish - even baking soda. Certainly, doing that once for a deep cleaning isn't going to make much difference, but over the long haul, it will damage your jewelry (so, everyone - Tarnex= very bad). For instance, if you have delicate designs etched into your silver, it will be dulled and could even eventually disappear with repeated chemical cleanings. If you have a very delicate, thin layer of silver, it will be worn away.

The best cleaner for silver is a thing called "jeweler's rouge." You can get it at jeweler's supply stores and possibly some craft stores. Anywhere you would find supplies for making jewelry. I Googled it and even Amazon has it - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...lance&n=228013.

It comes in a stick, which you then rub onto a soft cloth (that will never be the same again, so make sure it's something you're willing to designate as your "rouge cloth"). It's kind of a dark red powdery substance. Use that spot to rub at the tarnished jewelry. If it is REALLY tarnished, it may take a little bit of work, but you'll be amazed how well it really works. For light tarnish, it'll come right off. One stick of rouge will last you for a long, long time.

Once you have cleaned the tarnish, then take a clean portion of the rag, without rouge on it, and polish the silver. You will get a gorgeous, high sheen. Much better than I've ever seen with chemical cleaners. I've done this many, many times myself and it has always worked.

It will work with other materials, too - brass, nickel, etc. But you often have to work a lot harder, especially with brass. But with silver, it works like a charm.

One note - your hands will get very dirty with red rouge and black tarnish, so either wear disposable gloves, or be prepared to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Also, be careful not to get it onto your clothes. I think it'll wash out, but it will make you dirty.

Cheers!
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Old 07-23-2006, 08:49 AM   #20
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Jeweler's Rouge is what I use with my Dremel. Unfortunately, the stuff I have right now is really, really, soft, and tends to just fly right off the felt pad I use.

As for most valuable, I would have to say, the jewelry that I've recovered.

Interesting, at least for me, is the coins I get. I primarily want to find old coins. Earlier this year, I found an 1873 Seated dime in extremely good condition. What's really weird, is it was practically laying on top of the ground. I found it out in the woods, in the center of a trail, a half-inch under the surface. As it is, this dime is worth between $35 and $130, depending on which variation of the "3" is in the date. To bad it isn't an 1873CC "with arrows" (CC is the mint mark for Carson City, and the "with arrows" denotes some arrows near the date, indicating a slight change in silver content). That dime starts out at $3K. Here's a picture:



The strangest thing I've found (and I've found several), is a fired bullet on school property. It always makes me nervous when I find one, as it means that somebodies kid could have been hit.
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