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Antique Dealers Guide

Protection, Displaying and Storing Antique Silver…

Silver antique guide,silver storage solutions,care of silver

Chemical dips and Galvanic reduction are two methods that are commonly applied for getting rid of tarnish from silver antiques. However, moisture and tarnish-producing gases still remain strong enemies. This problem can be resolved with the usage of 3M Anti-Tarnish Strips. These strips are nothing but 45-lb paper containing activated charcoal. Whatever harmful substances are present in the atmosphere, they become food for the Anti-Tarnish Strips! Both sides of each Strip are active in preventing discoloration, tarnish and corrosion. Think your silver items are safe from oxidation?

Now, how much protection is afforded by this method is entirely dependent on the level of pollution, the type of container used for storing the silver pieces and how air-tight each container is. A flatware chest for example, can be adequately guarded with the aid of a 2” x 7” Strip. Anyway, use these guidelines to figure out how to keep your artifacts safe—a tightly-sealed container will remain safe for 24 months; moderately-sealed polybag, 12 months; and loosely-sealed cardboard boxes, China cabinets, flatware chests, 6 months.

Okay, coming to the display of your precious antiques. You would like to show them off at their best, naturally! Do not go in for waxing or lacquering your pieces as far as possible.

Unevenly-applied coating is going to result in streaks and tiny holes. As soon as the tarnish returns, you will have a very difficult job in trying to make the object look as good as new! Yes, if you feel that your items are out in the open and some sort of superficial protection is required, then you can go in for something like micro-crystalline wax. You will have to accept that the original sheen will be reduced a bit, though.

As far as enclosed cabinets or display cases are concerned, place some activated charcoal (in a sealed bag) or a water-absorbing desiccated silica gel inside. They will get rid of tarnishing gases and moisture. Additionally, polyurethane or lacquer coatings on the interior wooden surface will not allow the oils and paints inside the case to form tarnish. Finally, if you prefer latex paint as an interior coating, then please wait for four months (to help it dry) before placing any objects inside the cabinet.

You may not wish to keep every object on display; some might require storing. Well, let each piece be wrapped up in non-buffered tissue paper or tarnish-inhibiting cloth first. This is protection against humidity and harmful substances. Now, place each wrapped item in a polyethylene bag and seal it. If you are still apprehensive, then push in some Anti-Tarnish Strips or containers with desiccated silica gel and activated charcoal inside each bag before sealing it. There, your silver is perfectly safe!


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