Pet Peeve: Sterling Silver

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carolee1945 wrote
on May 16, 2013 10:15 AM

Yesterday, I wanted to wear a necklace I beaded that has a sterling silver clasp in the front.  The silver was tarnished and looked very ugly.  It was hard to clean just the clasp part, and I did not do a good job.

Why does the sterling silver jewelry from the store not tarnish as fast?

Are there clasps that look as good as sterling silver that do not tarnish?

I do not want to keep my jewelry in a plastic bag, out of sight, out of mind.  I like having my necklaces and bracelets be a decoration in my bedroom and bead room.  All my items  with sterling silver components  look bad right now.  I have used the dipping method but only when the item is all sterling silver.  I have bracelets where every other bead is a little sterling silver ball.  These beads cost a lot, and now they look ugly. How can they be cleaned without damaging the beads around them?

Any ideas?

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D.M.Z wrote
on May 16, 2013 12:50 PM

Carol, as a past seller of vintage jewelry, I have some tricks for you. First though the reason sterling from the store doesn't tarnish is that it has most likely got a finish coat on it, ditto for the old 50's copper stuff. So, you can do the same thing with your clasps if you don't want them to acquire "patina" that comes with age. One of the best things to have is a "Sunshine Cloth" (I buy mine from B'Sue, but I am sure that now even Fire Mtn has them) which is like a gentle rouge/silver cloth but without the abrasives. They are pale yellow and will do the job well. Dipping is actually taking something away from the item, so better to use a more passive treatment. Also, probably not the best thing for the material you strung the beads on.........although some of the coated wires are really good about that sort of thing.

What you might think of for future reference is to take your silver beads before you make an item out of them, temporarily string them on something like sewing thread, spray them (outdoors) with something like Krylon matte or shiny finish. Let them dry thoroughly and when you space them apart with other beads they should stay silver and not turn black. By the way, using a sunshine cloth will not hurt those beads in between, it is very gentle. Once the sunshine cloth gets black, that is dirt and just use a new area of the cloth...........when the whole thing is black, toss it and get out a new one. Hope this helps you out. Donna

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SCB1 wrote
on May 17, 2013 2:08 PM

You can also buy these clothes at Walmart in the jewelry department., they are very inexpensive. 

Happy Beading!!


Small-town USA. 




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D.M.Z wrote
on May 17, 2013 2:28 PM

Thanks Sue, not having any stores like Wallie World or others.......I am pretty unaware of what you can purchase without using the net. I know our local bead shop carries almost everything I could want or need, but don't know about where others live.  Donna

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