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Do Silver wires tarnish when used with pearls?

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  • Do Silver wires tarnish when used with pearls?

    Hello,

    I used argentium silver with my pearls and I noticed black colour at the holes of the pearls. I was given to understand that argentium silver is tarnish resistant to a high degree. The wire I used is really old.
    I found some old silver wire but it is already black in some places so don't think that would be a good option. And I have some sterling silver wire too.

    Does any one have any experience on using any of the above types of silver wire? Which wire would be a better option?

    Thank you and stay safe.

    Cheers,
    ShashiRatna
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 08-05-2020, 03:17 AM. Reason: fixed typo in title

  • #2
    Dear ShashiRatna, I have a long necklace from Lagos full of tiny pearls and another from Stephen Dweck also with pearls both on sterling silver, and the pearls have started to stain on both ends,so I will say yes, they will tarnish with time!

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    • #3
      In my experience even Argentium silver eventually tarnishes. And of course sterling silver will tarnish, being only 925 out of 1000 parts silver (hence the mark 925.)

      Fine silver wouldn't tarnish-- it's .999. Rio Grande has some that is dead soft. I have not tried this.

      https://www.riogrande.com/product/99...-soft/105310gp

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      • #4
        Silver always tarnishes. Even fine silver. Argentium silver takes longer to tarnish, but it does tarnish. Even "gold" beads that aren't actually gold will also cause pearls to turn black. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to polish the silver that won't damage the pearls.

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        • #5
          But surely fine silver would tarnish much more slowly.

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          • #6
            Yes, fine silver will tarnish more slowly, but so does Argentium silver. But they still both tarnish.

            Rhodium plated silver usually will not tarnish. Well, at least until the Rhodium wears off the surface of the silver, which should be a good long time.

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            • #7
              Thank you for all your responses. Now I have lot to think about. I just undid 2 wrap bracelets and cleaned all the pearls and don't think I want to do that ever again! And I was only wearing it for a few days!
              Cheers.

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              • #8
                If you want to wrap your pearls, I would recommend sticking with real gold or good gold plated wire.
                Last edited by BWeaves; 08-04-2020, 08:14 PM.

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                • #9
                  To be tarnish resistant, Argentium needs to be heat treated, to create the germanium coating. Any wire that is sold as dead soft hasn't been heat treated.

                  But a few days sounds very fast for any silver to tarnish. You mentioned it being around the holes. Do you have any pictures? Was the wire fitting snugly?
                  Contemporary Jewelry by Beatriz Fortes
                  My blog

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                  • #10
                    Thank you for the technical information.

                    Yes the wire fits snuggly as I am trying to crochet the pearls. And yes I used soft Argentium silver and was not aware that I needed to heat treat it. How do I heat treat it? Can I take it through a candle flame? After hearing it, do I have to wait a while before using it?

                    Any tips on the silver wire?
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      TYPO: The headline should read "Do silver wireS".

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ShashiRatna View Post
                        TYPO: The headline should read "Do silver wireS".
                        Fixed it.

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                        • #13
                          Thank you! You have the power!

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                          • #14
                            I don't think the wire fits snuggly. The wire is fine and there is lots of space in the pearl's hole. I think fitting snuggly means the wire fills up the hole and there is no gap.

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                            • #15
                              The darkness may be from the pearl rubbing on the silver.
                              Contemporary Jewelry by Beatriz Fortes
                              My blog

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