Sterling Silver Information

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Antiquing of Sterling Silver Jewelry

In general, to antique an item is to apply a finishing process that gives that item an appearance of age.  Many materials, silver and otherwise, can be antiqued.  Antiquing is very common in the sterling silver jewelry business. 

Antiquing accomplishes at least two goals.  First, it gives the jewelry a time-worn appearance.  In our culture, older things are often valued more.  Second, when a piece of jewelry has many surface details, produced by stamping or perhaps by soldering various patterns onto it, antiquing creates contrast that allows the details to be more visible. 

This is apparent when one examines the sterling silver focal bead above (image is complements of Beads of Bali). Antiquing essentially tarnishes this lovely bead, giving it a darkened appearance.  When the tarnish is wiped away from the protruding parts of the bead (the soldered wire spirals and granulations), they "pop out" to the eye, creating great visual impact.  This effect would not be possible if the entire bead were shiny. 

The irony is that people often think of tarnish as something that should be removed from their jewelry.  In fact, in some styles of jewelry-making, tarnish is strategically employed.  Many companies sell antiquing solutions for this purpose.



Index Of Articles

"Silver 101"
"Sources of Silver"

"Sterling Silver Defined'"
"Silver Standards"

"Silver Marks and Hallmarks"

"Silver Testing Kits"

"The Silversmith"
"Silver Coins"

Plating & Treatments

"Silver Plated Jewelry"
"Gold Vermeil Jewelry"
"Rhodium Plated Sterling"
"Antiqued Silver"

Fake Silver Jewelry

"Alpaca Silver Jewelry"
"German Silver Jewelry"

Silver Jewelry Styles

"Bali Silver"
"Indian Silver"
"Thai Hill Tribe Silver"
"Tibetan Silver"
"Turkish Silver"

Silver Allergies

"Silver/Nickel Sensitivities"
"Hypoallergenic Jewelry"

Recent Developments

"Argentium® Sterling Silver"

"Silver PMC®"

"The Origins of Tarnish"

"Tarnish Removal"

"Firescale (Firestain)"

"Proper Silver Storage"

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