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  • Conservation and restoration of silver objects

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    An early 20th-century painting by Fritz Stotz depicting women polishing and cleaning household silver The conservation and restoration of silver objects is an activity dedicated to the preservation and protection of objects of historical and personal value made from silver. When applied to cultural heritage this activity is generally undertaken by a conservator-restorer. Historically, objects made from silver were created for religious, artistic, technical, and domestic uses. The act of conservation and restoration strives to prevent and slow the deterioration of the object as well as protecting the object for future use. The prevention and removal of surface tarnish is the primary concern of conservator-restorers when dealing with silver objects.

  • Wikibooks:Polishing silver

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  • Tarnish

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    Tungsten rods with evaporated crystals, partially oxidized with colorful tarnishTarnish is a thin layer of corrosion that forms over copper, brass, silver, aluminum, magnesium, neodymium and other similar metals as their outermost layer undergoes a chemical reaction. Tarnish does not always result from the sole effects of oxygen in the air. For example, silver needs hydrogen sulfide to tarnish, although it may tarnish with oxygen over time. It often appears as a dull, gray or black film or coating over metal. Tarnish is a surface phenomenon that is self-limiting, unlike rust. Only the top few layers of the metal react, and the layer of tarnish seals and protects the underlying layers from reacting. Tarnish actually preserves the underlying metal in outdoor use, and in this form is called patina. The formation of patina is necessary in applications such as copper roofing, and outdoor copper, bronze, and brass statues and fittings. Patina is the name given to tarnish on copper based metals.

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