Very good question and one that few people think about when they get ready to go on the road
I was at a big show in Oklahoma and was speaking to a lady who traveled all over selling all kinds of jewelry. And during the conversation she mentioned: "I had so much trouble keeping my silver jewelry clean I finally took it all and put it in a big iron pot and melted it!!!!!!! Yes true story that's how bad it was to keep it all bright and shiny!
What makes silver tarnish? and some things your customers might want to know
Sterling silver contains 92.5% slver and 7.5% cpper. Copper is added to pure silver in order to enhance durability, since pure silver is very soft and can therefore be easily damaged or scratched. The added copper has no ill effects on silver color or luster, it simply makes the life of a jewelry designer a bit easier!
The addition of copper does not, however, lessen silver's tendency to tarnish. Tarnish is a product of oxidation and this oxidation is caused by the interaction of silver with sulfides in the air. Common tarnish-causing agents are"
VARIOUS HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
HAND CLEANERS ETC.
Tarnishing occurs less on silver jewelry that is worn on a regular basis, as contact with oils on the skin combined with the gentle friction that occurs with everyday wear tends to thwart oxidation. It is those pieces that are stored and worn mainly on special occasions that will likely tarnish and therefore require periodic polishing. (Note: there are some medications that cause changes in acidity levels of the skin that, in turn, may cause silver jewelry to tarnish).
To reduce the likelihood of tarnish in your life, regularly clean all of your silver jewelry with mild dish washing liquid diluted with water. Then be sure to dry the pieces thoroughly with a soft cloth, since moisture will promote the reappearance of tarnish. Store your silver in a dry container or, better yet, in a plastic, zip-lock baggie with a piece of anti-tarnish paper. Exposure to air will promote the reappearance of tarnish. And if you can't afford the anti tarnish paper get a big stick of normal chalk! Yea just like the kind they use in school and keep it in the bag or the box and your tarnish problem will be reduced about 75%
A few more notes in regard to storing your silver jewelry . . despite the addition of copper to increase durability, sterling silver is still a rather soft metal and is therefore susceptible to scratching. This makes storing your silver pieces individually especially important. Also, be sure not to place pieces up against each other in whatever storage device you chose to use for your jewelry.
If you store your sterling silver jewelry in a wood jewelry box or drawer, do not place the jewelry directly on the wood surface, as some woods contain acid, which could damage the finish.
TIP: When you are on the road selling a lot of jewelry you really need a good ionic jewelry cleaner if you can afford it. I like the one by SPEED BRITE it was the best thing that ever happen to use and cut down our silver jewelry cleaning by two days! It's a great machine. I did not like the battery operated one, the small one it was just not powerful enough to use on a commercial basis. The medium and large plug in ones were best and they both had the same size motor.
Here is a demo video on the Speed Brite: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfxAeTAhugM
Preston P.S Please don't forget we are adding more stuff to our liquidation so check it out today: http://stores.ebay.com/Antique-Cameos?_trksid=p2047675.l2563
Master Wire Sculptor