elke_tanzer: Labyrinth crystal dreams (Labyrinth crystaldreams)
[personal profile] elke_tanzer posting in [community profile] magpie
Hi all! I'm so glad to have found this community!

I play with natural stone, glass and sometimes crystal beads, and I work with sterling or silverplate accents, findings and wire. Over time, especially if I've not worn my jewelry in a while, the silver tarnishes. I suspect that the pieces I've made for friends and family also have this tendency.

I get my beads at my local Michaels store, the San Gabriel Bead Company, the Santa Monica Gem & Mineral shows, and sometimes the bead shops in downtown Los Angeles. I'm a hobbyist (meaning don't have a wholesale number or anything fancy like that!) so I'm not sure where to look for cleaning supplies for the jewelry I'm making, and I'm hoping folks here can point me in the right direction.

A friend gave me some funky black papers that supposedly slow down the tarnishing process if I store them in the drawers of my jewelry box along with the jewelry, but I don't know where to get more of them. And I'm not 100% sure they're safe to store with my stone and glass necklaces.

I've also been told that I need to get myself some polishing cloths, and I suspect that's really necessary.

What do you fine folks recommend for this sort of thing? Where do I get them? Can I buy them in bunches so that when I give jewelry as gifts, I can also give the supplies to care for the jewelry?

And as far as the polishing cloths and anti-tarnish papers go, are they safe to store with non-silver, non-stone, non-glass jewelry? I wouldn't want to have gold or pearl or dichroic glass jewelry inadvertently damaged by trying to make the silver jewelry look nice!

Thanks for the help!

Date: 2010-03-20 06:42 pm (UTC)
weaverbird: (Jewelry)
From: [personal profile] weaverbird
I've never used the anti-tarnish strips myself (and think I may start!) but a look around jewelry supplier sites gave me this reassuring text: "Will not harm any metals or gemstones (not even opals, emeralds, or pearls)." And other sites all talk about how non-toxic these strips are and how they leave no residue and emit no gasses, so they sound safe for your stones and crystals to me.

You can get them - and polishing cloths - at Fire Mountain Gems. They can be found on this page - just scroll down a bit to the Cleaners and Polishers section.

Date: 2010-04-25 01:13 am (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Ultra modern white fabric interlaced to create strong weave (interdependence)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
I've been using the anti-tarnish strips for years with no problems, even with pieces that combine silver with pearls.

They work the best in an enclosed space, so I store all silver findings in baggies with slips of anti-tarnish paper (I cut the stuff up).

FMG and many other places are selling a slightly different alloy of sterling called Argentium: the 7.5% that's not silver has less copper and smidgen of germanium.

The good news about Argentium is that's it's almost the same price as standard sterling and claims any tarnish can be wiped off with a cloth. I haven't tried it yet, but I bet it would be particularly nice for silver beads mixed in with glass -- they're very hard to polish in there.


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