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Antique Dealers Guide

Your Silverware Dreams of a Long Stay with Your Family!

Antique silverware,antique sterling silver silverware,cleaning silverware

Many individuals lose valuable antiques due to sheer carelessness! If you are a collector of fine antiques, especially silverware, then do remember that they expect a lot of love and care too (just as humans do). Silver-plated stuff needs the same care that is given to objects crafted from solid silver. As a matter of fact, even modern silver objects need proper maintenance, since they will become “antiques” over time!

Your silverware collection can get tarnished when continuously exposed to air. While some of the displayed/stored items can be removed for cleaning only once in a while, others such as regularly-used silver cutlery will require frequent cleaning.

The cleaning material has to be non-abrasive, for buffing and polishing does get rid of a minute amount of silver at each cleaning. Museum curators make use of a harmless and easy electrolytic process to destroy tarnish within seconds. This method is suitable for domestic use too. Request them for guidance, if possible.

While cleaning, you neither want the elements in the tarnish to hurt you nor your fingerprints to get stamped on your precious pieces. Get cotton inspection gloves; they are disposable, heavyweight, and untreated.

Where silver cutlery is concerned, a combination of hot water and liquid detergent should do the trick. Dry the utensils immediately with a cotton dish towel. Now, wrap them in a cloth and store them in an air-tight drawer. Yes, such detailed maintenance is required if you are fond of eating from silver plates everyday! Remember to use only your hands; the dishwasher has to keep away!

Do you want to polish your silverware and restore their original luster? Go in for non-abrasive, liquid polishes. Remove the dirt (use a cotton ball to go into the nooks and crannies), clean the object, and apply polish. Always use a minimal amount. When the polish is dry, get rid of it with the aid of a cotton dish towel. You can also go in for an untreated, lint-free, 100% cotton wiping cloth. In the rare case that something requires a second coat of polish, use a horsehair brush to dig out dirt and dried polish from crevices beforehand.

Now, there might be some pieces that you wish to keep stored and take out only rarely. Newspapers are not to be used for wrapping them, only acid-free paper. Ordinary paper rots and leaves stains. Do not try to bind several items with the aid of elastic bands. Elastic deteriorates and rots over time. It will get attached to your antiques and leave marks on them.

Once wrapped, your silver can go into air-tight boxes, display cases or jewelry boxes. As an added precaution, place a sachet containing activated charcoal (prevents sulphur in air from harming your silver) in each one. Even if there is a little air around, your items can get tarnished. These sachets are to be replaced once a year, for the charcoal will lose its efficacy over time. Keep the storage containers in damp-free places.


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