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A Community For People Who Buy, Sell or Collect Antiques, Collectibles and Art

Silver Care & Restoration


Silver Care & Restoration

Post your questions and receive researched answers on the care, restoration, and conservation of silver holloware, flatware, and jewelry from silversmith Jeffrey Herman.

• All information published by Jeffrey Herman is © copyrighted.

Website: http://www.hermansilver.com
Location: Rhode Island
Members: 25
Latest Activity: Sep 2, 2019

Precious Metal Prices

[Most Recent Quotes from <a rel=nofollow href=

Discussion Forum

Restoration of Georg Jensen Tankard 1 Reply

Started by Jeffrey Herman. Last reply by AC Silver Antiques Aug 27, 2019.

old stainless steale 1 Reply

Started by Brend Clark. Last reply by Jeffrey Herman Jun 28, 2013.

Restoration of Sterling Ball, Black & Co. Coffeepot

Started by Jeffrey Herman Jan 21, 2013.

New Silver Polish Abrasion Ratings Guide!

Started by Jeffrey Herman Sep 18, 2012.

Repair of Cast Iron Match Safe 2 Replies

Started by Jeffrey Herman. Last reply by Jeffrey Herman Jul 14, 2012.

Don't Buy This Product!

Started by Jeffrey Herman Feb 3, 2012.

Precious Metal Fraud

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 28, 2011.

Buyers of Chinese "Sterling" Beware!

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 25, 2011.

Dangerous & Destructive Chemical Dips

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 23, 2011.

Keep Silver out of the Dishwasher!

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 22, 2011.

Candles and Weighted Silver

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 22, 2011.

Don't Trust all Silver Polishing Videos!

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 21, 2011.

Removing Dried Polish

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 21, 2011.

New Finding in Tarnish Removal

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 21, 2011.

Tarnish Formation

Started by Jeffrey Herman Nov 21, 2011.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Silver Care & Restoration to add comments!

Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 28, 2011 at 7:20am

Precious Metal Fraud

Did you just purchase a necklace advertised as being solid sterling, only to find out it's plated copper? Below are two resources for reporting fruad:

• Report complaints with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) about online and related transactions with foreign companies here. Non-English speaking forms can be found here.

• File a complaint with the FTC when dealing with an American company here.

Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 26, 2011 at 5:39pm

The Jewelers Vigilance Committee is aware of this problem. The problem with JVC is they don't want to make waves because it may harm sales for jewelers selling legitimate sterling. Pathetic, I know.

Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 26, 2011 at 10:49am

If you need advice cleaning or storing your silver after Thanksgiving, feel free to call me at 401/461-6840. I'm more than happy to help.

Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 25, 2011 at 5:25pm

Buyers of Chinese "Sterling" Beware!

Fake Chinese sterling jewelry and holloware is a growing problem on eBay and rapidly spreading throughout the world. Marketed as sterling or 925, this merchandise is actually PLATED BASE METAL, as illustrated by its unusually low pricing and free shipping. Selling these fraudulent pieces will cancer the market and, very possibly, turn the general public off to legitimate sterling entirely.

The sterling or 925 quality mark that is stamped directly on the object or attached as a tag indicates that the entire piece is sterling, even if the seller says it's plated. If you intend on buying these plated Chinese pieces with this quality mark, it MUST be removed to make it a legitimate plated piece. The law in the United States says that if a piece is marked or has an attached tag that says "sterling" or "925," it must be SOLID sterling.

If you're selling this fraudulent merchandise, you could be sanctioned by the Federal Trade Commission.

Above: Sterling chains rarely have this type of attached quality tag since it dramatically adds to the cost of the chain. You will more likely see an in-chain tag. These inexpensive chains may also have the quality mark on the clasp.

Above: Notice the copper showing through the plating of this new mint julep cup that was marked "sterling" on its  bottom.

If you cannot determine if an object is solid silver, consult a silversmith or jeweler who may use an acid test.

Buyer and seller beware!

Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 23, 2011 at 3:41pm

Polishing Silver

If you're getting your silver ready for your Thanksgiving table, don't forget to read my Silver Care Guide first! I would hate to hear any horror stories after the fact. And please feel free to contact me with any questions: 401/461-6840.

Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 23, 2011 at 9:00am

Dangerous & Destructive Chemical Dips


As a silver restoration and conservation specialist, I have many years of knowledge about chemical dips. I routinely receive objects for refinishing due to damage from these horribly destructive products.

Chemical dips, such as Tarn-X, work by dissolving the tarnish (and silver!) on an object at an accelerated rate. Dips are used by silver restorers when heavy black tarnish cannot be removed with liquid or paste polishes. Chemical dips are wiped over the object with a cellulose sponge or cotton ball, as submerging the piece for long periods will remove factory-applied patinas and cause pitting of the object's surface. These surface defects will act like a sponge and more readily absorb tarnish-producing gases and moisture. The object may then require professional polishing to restore the original finish.

Chemical dips are made up of an acid and a complexing agent. Acids are corrosive and will damage niello, bronze, stainless steel knife blades, and organic materials such as wood and ivory. The ingredients can also be harmful to the user, which is why silver restorers wear nitrile gloves and work in a well ventilated area. Chemical dips should never be used on objects that have sealed components, such as candlesticks and trophies with hollow feet, or teapots with hollow handles. Once the dip leaks into the cavity through small holes or imperfections in the joints, it becomes virtually impossible to wash the chemical out. If you're working on a baby cup with this type of rim, do you really want an infant drinking from it after using Tarn-X?

The following is from their own MSDS:

"Potential Health Effects...

Routes of Exposure: Eyes, Skin, Inhalation and Ingestion.

Target Organs: Blood, liver, bone marrow, thyroid, reproductive system. Probable carcinogen and mutagen: Thiourea causes cancer in rats. Wash hands thoroughly after use.

Eye Contact: Can cause blurred vision, redness, pain, severe tissue pain, and eye damage. Effects may vary depending on length of exposure, solution concentration, and first aid measures.

Skin Contact: Causes skin irritation.

Inhalation: May cause mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract irritation. Symptoms may include burning sensation, coughing, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

Ingestion: Harmful if swallowed. May cause gastrointestinal irritation with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. May cause burns to the digestive tract.

Chronic Effects: Prolonged or repeated exposure may cause reproductive and fetal effects. Laboratory experiments have resulted in mutagenic effects."

For all the above reasons, this cleaning technique should only be used by individuals with training in its proper use.


Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 22, 2011 at 1:44pm

Keep Silver out of the Dishwasher!

It's that simple. There are four major reasons for keeping your prized sterling and silverplate out of the "chamber of doom:" (1) Any factory-applied oxidation (the black patina in recessed areas) will eventually be removed. (2) The harsh detergent, combined with the washer's high cleaning temperature, is much too abrasive for silver—it will eventually turn it grey or white, with a dull, non-reflective surface. (3) Most older and some repaired hollow-handled knives are filled with pitch. This low-melting cement will expand with heat, possibly forcing open a thin solder seam, or exploding the knife blade out of the handle. (4) Silver that touches stainless in the dishwasher can create a chemical reaction, producing black spots or pitting on the stainless and possibly requiring the silver to be professionally refinished.

Sterling, like a fine automobile, must be handled with tender loving care. You certainly wouldn't drive your Rolls Royce through a car wash, would you?

Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 22, 2011 at 1:14pm

Hello Diane,

Glad the Wright's worked. Wright's works great on stainless flatware as well.

Comment by C. Dianne Zweig Editor's Desk on November 22, 2011 at 11:49am

Jeffrey, The Wrights polish did the job on the  stainless steel refrig issue. BIG THANK YOU..... 



Comment by Jeffrey Herman on November 22, 2011 at 11:10am

Hi Vicki,

I don't have a blog!?


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