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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

tuesday's table a day late {silver}

hi. i know. i'm a day late on the tuesday's table. really sorry. i have a new computer and the photo editing software i had was just giving me a fit {making me nuts is more like it} but i'm all okay now and ready to go. i'm still not sure if my computer is calibrated properly so if these photos look wonkified to you, let me know. lol

so let's get started.

today's tuesday's table is about silver.

 as i've mentioned a gazillion times before, silver has been on the rise for several years but in the last year it's really gone up. for we jewelry makers it has presented a huge problem simply because we don't want to raise our prices but we're feeling pushed against the wall with the increase in our silver costs.

we want to take care of the silver we do have and one way to do that is to store it properly. about three weeks ago while planning for this post i did a simple experiment with some of my silver wire. originally it was shiny and beautiful so i wrapped the shiny and new wire in a bounty paper towel. see above.

when i removed the once beautiful wire, it was nearly brown. yuck. it can really destroy silver. sure, you can clean it but if it's been sitting about or inside a paper towel, it will be extremely difficult to get it back to its sparkling newness.

so what are the best ways for storing silver?

there is only one true way {in my opinion} and that's with plastic zippie bags. you must keep it away from air and the acid that's naturally in the air. it will speed up the tarnishing process.

{i actually have many of these, but the brand i like are where the bead sides are sloped so you can grab beads easily--this one is just an example}

there's another way too, but i recommend it ONLY if your silver is constantly on the move. what do you mean by that? well, for me i use a LOT of 3mm seamless rounds and i keep them in a plastic bead storage container (you know, the kind with the snappy tops that you can buy at hobby lobby?). these are constantly on the move. in. out. in. out. constantly being used so there's little time for them to get tarnished. i use them for tiny things like crimps, crimp covers, my byLGD tags, tiny rounds and jump rings. these things are my everyday use items so there's no need to put them into zippie bags since i'm always working with them.

look closely. ::sigh:: my pandora bracelet which has been kept in a simple zippie for at least two years is sunshine bright in comparison to the silver wire that was shiny but after being wrapped in a paper towel for three weeks is now all brown. ugh.

what happens if my silver beads are tarnished?

about six or seven years ago i purchased a rock tumbler and bought shot from connie fox. it is the best thing you can do for yourself if this is more than a hobby for you. actually, if it is a hobby you might want to invest in one too because honestly they're not terribly expensive in the scheme of things. you can purchase a tumbler from harbour freight for roughly 30 bucks. you just need to get stainless steel shot and connie can supply that to you, i think it's about 30 or 40 dollars. she also carries single and double tumblers but they're a little more expensive than the ones at HF and work the same.

one thing you should NEVER do is clean your silver with liquid silver cleaner.


in my earlier years i did that and within a few seconds my slightly tarnished silver went to dull and ruined silver. ::sigh:: the best method is to buy a polishing cloth and many online companies have them. all your typicals (artbeads, fusion, etc) have the cloths and you can keep several on hand. i use mine all the time but my main method of cleaning is tumbling silver.

so. in short. let's review:

1. keep your silver in any sort of air-tight packaging. ie: zippie bags

2. never wrap silver in paper towels, silk or any other fabric that might contain chemicals
or cleaning agents

3. to clean silver, use a rock tumbler (along with shot) or use a polishing cloth

4. absolutely never use a liquid cleaner to clean sterling silver {that's used for jewelry}

* * *

i have a big spring break sale coming up, however this little darling will be on the site tomorrow. i actually have to already made and available. :) see them below? aren't they just so sweet?!

again, i'm really sorry for being so late and thank you for your patience. it's always tough to get all your programs onto a new computer. i'm up and running now. :)

have a great day tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work, I love it!
Kisses and greetings Laura.