Some of us may remember relatives having old household silver cutlery that used to get polished before being bought out on special occasions. Nowadays, it would seem a little old fashioned perhaps, but it wasn’t uncommon to own silver spoons and other precious silver around the house. The process of polishing silver remains the same, and if you have a private silver collection, occasionally you may want to spruce it all up with a little polish. But this isn’t applicable to all silver.
Gold doesn’t tarnish at all but can get a bit mucky over the years if not looked after. Silver is renowned for tarnishing. There are several steps we can take to keep our silver in tip-top condition, both to re-sell or to pass onto family members as part of an estate. But this needs to be done carefully. This article explores our best-practice and shows you some tips on how to polish your silver correctly.
Polishing Silver Bars
The types of silver bars that can and should be polished are generally cast bars.
Polishing Silver Coins
As for silver bullion coins, collectors would generally advise against cleaning as almost all collectors will pay significantly more for a rare coin if its surface is unscratched and the tarnish is left as-is. This is less of an issue for the non-collectible bullion coins as their worth is determined by the silver content, rather than any other factor. A bullion dealer would expect to pay less for coins that are tarnished and don’t look nice so make sure you look after your silver carefully.
Top Tips for Polishing and Cleaning Your Silver Bullion (if you feel you need to):
- Handle as little as possible, holding everything by the edge
- Wear lint free cotton gloves (rubber gloves will suffice) to stop the transfer of oils found naturally in the skin
- Do not scratch the surface of your coins
- Cleaning a coin incorrectly can lower its value, making it worth less, so avoid this if possible
Keeping them in sealed capsules or tubes is advised because if you leave them out in the air for long periods they will tarnish.
There are a few ways to remove the worst of the dirt without damaging the silver. If you feel the need to get cleaning here are some tips and at a time when the evenings are long and the tree is twinkling, what a perfect time to pop on some carols and settle down to an evening of polishing the silver stacks.
The one concern, of course, is the introduction of a high level of moisture and the need to dry the coins incredibly well before re-storing. Much of the great storage on offer through Bleyer involves semi-air tight plastic tubes or capsules, so ensuring as little moisture as possible remains around the coins over long periods of time is essential.
Silver Polishing Cloth
However, one of the most straight-forward methods to gently keep one’s Silver Coins and Bars in beautiful condition is to occasionally use a well made Silver Cleaning Cloth.
Bleyer sell a high quality cloth produced by the company Town Talk, an anti-tarnish silver polishing cloth made from high quality cotton, impregnated with a silver cleaner and anti-tarnish agent.
If the method of cleaning is too complex we are likely not to clean the Silver at all. So this straight-forward method strikes a good balance between convenience and effectiveness, without being too harsh on the surface of the coins and bars.
A word of advice, always wear gloves if you can, especially if you are cleaning a number of coins or bars. Over time the cloth will dry your hands and in this cold weather, our British hands take a pummelling as it is.
To add a Silver Polishing Cloth to your order, click here or simply mention to one of team over the phone with your order. You can also add Cotton Coin Gloves to your order by clicking here.
Another reason to polish the Silver is that Chanukah is upon us; Silver coins are traditionally given and used in tabletop games during this time of year. So, a very Happy Chanukah for the next week if you and your loved ones are celebrating this festival, while consuming copious dough-nuts and lighting the Chanukiah.
And we wish all our readers a safe and happy week. We didn’t quite get snow down here in Devon, so are trying not to covet those readers who did!