Amber Set in Silver: How Do I Clean It?

by Joanna.
(United Kingdom)

jmj-question-mark-green-on-lavendar-500x500-jI would really appreciate your advise on how to clean tarnished silver in silver with amber jewellery.

I really would like to keep amber from contact with silver cleaning liquids but cannot clean silver properly with just a silver cleaning cloth.

What to do?

Any suggestions?

Joanna

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Comments

  1. Veronica Rausch says:

    Toothpaste and a soft toothbrush work well to clean silver. Rinse with warm water. I just wouldn’t scrub the amber. My grandmother taught me this when I was very little and I still clean my silver this way.

  2. I absolutely love the Pro-Polishing pads that Rio Grande carries. They are a real lifesaver – making quick work of cleaning silver. I wouldn’t rub the amber with the pads because they’re basically extremely, extremely fine sandpaper. However, it’s a real charm for getting scratches out of pearls!

  3. Thank you ladies for your advise. I’ve heard about the toothpaste method but I didn’t think “modern” toothpaste is right for the job. I found a good solution too. I bought Town Talk Silver Sparkle which comes with a little brush and applied liquid just on the silver, avoiding contact with amber and it worked well. All my jewellery looks stunning now!

  4. Thanks for the question. I have a necklace with an amber pendant that I haven’t worn because it needs cleaning.

  5. Thomas Hammett says:

    Tarnished silver can be easily cleaned by soaking it in a solution of baking soda and water in an aluminum container. Sulfide ions in tarnish (silver sulfide) have a greater affinity for aluminum than for silver. Just make sure that the silver is in actual contact with the aluminum (pot, foil, etc.). It works faster if the solution is heated, but don’t heat it too much or you may damage the amber.

  6. Leslie K says:

    I tried Thomas’s method just now and it worked well. Remembering Chem class I put a piece of aluminum foil in a Pyrex measuring cup, added a bunch of blackened silver & Amber jewelry, and poured on hot water. Most of the crud came right off. I had to rub some pieces with baking soda and soak again. One drawback – rotten egg smell!

  7. Leslie, thanks for letting us know about your results with that technique! 🙂

  8. NO!! Toothpaste is horrible for amber! Use it on the silver only if you must. Never get chemical, hair spray, perfume etc on the amber- clean with oil and a soft cloth and if you can – take to a get the stone tumbled or buffed.

  9. I make jewelry pieces with crystals and silver. The silver tarnishes. I will try the tooth paste!! Thank you!

  10. Thomas Hammett says:

    As a general rule, using toothpaste on silver is a bad idea, due to its abrasiveness. If you use a “non-abrasive” toothpaste, what’s the point; just brush with soap and water. On a newly made piece, abrasives are acceptable in order to produce a matte finish on the silver. Crystals may or may not be affected, based on their hardness. Be VERY careful when using any abrasive on any polished surface. You will probably spend more on the time and effort to re-polish the piece.

  11. Thank you for the baking soda process. I also have not been wearing my amber/silver jewellery because it was so dirty/tarnished but now I can wear it with pride again.

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