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Frequently Asked Questions

 

My Business

Do you remove monograms?
Can you give me a price on a repair?
If I'm going to bid on a piece on an auction site, can I get a repair quote?
What do I insure my silver for that I'm shipping to you?
Do you perform appraisals?
Can you remove gilding on sterling flatware?
Do you replace broken blades in stainless knives?
You do major repairs; can I send something that just needs polishing?
Can you repair a baby spoon that's been down the garbage disposal?
Can you convert a tablespoon spoon into an ice cream fork?

Restoration

What's the difference between, repair, restoration, conservation & preservation?
Why won't polishing remove turquoise-colored corrosion?
What are the rough spots on my sterling that I can't remove with silver polish?
Can I add a patina to silver or does it have to be done professionally?
How do I remove nicks from my carving knives?

Preservation

Does silica gel serve the same purpose as 3M Anti-Tarnish strips, or should I use both?
What will prevent rust on carbon steel blades?
Should I lacquer silver so it won't tarnish?
How can I protect my silver tray from being scratched?
Can silver go directly into a Ziploc bag without wrapping it in tissue first?

Cleaning

No matter what polish I use, I can't remove the tarnish. Why? NEW
How do I clean ivory insulators and handles?
Why can't remove a stain on my silver salver after serving a roast?
Can I use powered chalk and water to polish silver?

Plated Ware

Can plated carbon steel blades be replated?
What are the white spots I see on my plated piece?
Can scratches on silverplate be removed?
Some of the gilding has worn off my fish slice, can it be replated?
Short of replating, how can I hide the copper showing on the bottom of my tray?
If I see copper showing inside my coffeepot, is it safe to drink from?

History

When was electroplating invented?
When was stainless first used in table knives?
Who was America's first silversmith?
Is it true about a smith's reflection in The Bible's Malachi 3:3?

Identification

How can I tell if a piece is solid silver or silverplate?
Is 1847 Rogers Bros. flatware sterling?
Identification links

Health

Does silver have health benefits?
Can acidic liquids in silverplate or sterling be a hazardous combination? 
Why is there a metallic taste when I drink coffee or tea?
Will tarnish protectant in silver polish harm me when eating off of flatware?

Selling

Who should I contact if I want to sell my silver?
I have about 70 pounds of silver coins. Where should I sell them?

Miscellaneous

What's the difference between machine engraving and hand engraving?
What is weighted sterling?
Does stainless steel corrode?
Where can I learn silversmithing or jewelry making?
I have just started collecting. Are there any silver magazines?
I have a Mexican candelabra stamped "sterling" on the bottom. Are the arms sterling?
Where can I get glass liners made for my open salts?
What's the correct way to set a table?
Can I use my plated meat tray to cook chicken or beef in the oven?
Will a crystal salt lamp tarnish silver in its vicinity?
How should I ship flatware in a chest?


Q. Do you remove monograms?

A. Monograms on silver are part of the object's history and should not be removed for this reason. Museums use monograms to help trace an object's provenance. Beautiful engraving is a work of art—an art form quickly disappearing. Sadly, most antique dealers indiscriminately remove monograms to make the object more saleable.

Having said this, if you insist on having the engraving removed, I will agree to eradicate it. I would rather remove the monogram than have the object brought to someone less skilled. I have no reservations in removing machine engraving from mass-produced flatware. Keep in mind that if a monogram is deeply engraved on the bottom of a thin tray, for example, the results may not be desirable, for any weight placed on that area could possibly produce a dent. You will be consulted before I remove engraving from any object in question.

Q. If I'm going to bid on a piece on an auction site, can I get a repair quote?

A. If you're considering a silver purchase from an auction site, e-mail an image of the object in need of repair and I'll be happy e-mail you an estimate.

Q. What do I insure my silver for that I'm shipping to you?

A. Your homeowner's insurance may state what your piece is worth and if it's covered off premises.  If the policy isn't that specific, try the following:

Identify the OBJECT: Coffeepot, Sardine Server, Caviar Server, etc.
Identify the COUNTRY in which it was created: America, England, Germany, etc.
Identify the MAKER: Gorham, Tiffany, Georg Jensen, Arthur J. Stone, Paul Storr, etc.  If you can't identify the maker, go here.
Identify the METAL STANDARD: Sterling, .925, Coin, Standard, 800, 840, EPNS (Electro Plated Nickel Silver), etc.
Type the above information in your browser's search feature and see if your piece is found.

Q. What's the difference between, repair, restoration, conservation & preservation?

A. The definitions below, in many instances, can be combined for the desired outcome.

• Repair: To fix (best possible outcome) a damaged or worn area on an object.
• Restoration: To either make an object or damaged area on that object look new, or to make it look its age without any noticeable damage or repairs.
• Conservation: Primarily dealing with cleaning an object, doing the least amount of harm to its original finish.
• Preservation: To stabilize an object from further deterioration. This may entail using an archival wax to maintain the surface finish.

Q. How can I tell if a piece is solid silver or silverplate?

A. Normally, if an object is solid silver it will be indicated on the piece. Examples are: Sterling, 925, 925/1000, 900, Coin, Standard, 9584 (English Britannia), 800 (Germany), 84 (Russia), etc. Most American-made objects are marked on the bottoms of holloware and on the reverse on flatware. Foreign-made objects can be marked most anywhere and are sometimes accompanied by additional marks applied in the country's assay office which tests the quality of the precious metal during its manufacture. Using a 10x loupe may be required as some stamps are incredibly small.

Rarely will you find a piece made of solid silver that isn't stamped. If an object isn't stamped, a non-invasive identification method is by judging tarnish color. Silverplate will exhibit a blue-purple hue, where solid silver will exhibit grey-black. If you cannot determine if an object is solid silver empirically, please contact me.

A rare earth magnet is a handy tool and can be used to identify iron in an object, such as carbon steel knife blades, or plated ware that has nickel underneath. Yes, nickel is slightly magnetic.

Q. Can scratches on silverplate be removed?

A. Unfortunately, scratches cannot be removed on silver-plated objects – here's why: Good quality silver is plated with 40 microns (.0015") of fine silver. After plating, the object is given a final polish which removes some of this silver. The piece will then be left with no more silver than the thickness of a plastic grocery bag. A scratch is generally deeper than the thickness of the silver plating, so only a quick polishing with a very fine polishing compound is possible which will brighten the object. Attempting to remove scratches will only cut through the plate and expose the base metal.

Q. Do you perform appraisals?

A. I'm sorry, I don't. Please contact a professional at one of the following organizations:

Q. Do you replace broken blades in stainless knives?

A. No. The blades that are fitted and ground to the shape of the handle are specific to that design. I'm afraid you'll have to look for a replacement.

Q. Can you remove gilding on sterling flatware?

A. Yes I do. I have found that many collectors are looking to also have vermeil (gilding) removed from recently purchased sterling flatware. I will then patinate the pieces and give them a light buffing for an entirely new look.

Q. You do major repairs; can I send something that just needs polishing?

A. Though it looks as though I perform only complicated repairs or work on rare pieces, I most certainly take on (and enjoy) polishing all types of silver.

Q. Can you give me a price on a repair?

A. If you can e-mail me images of the pieces, along with the makers marks (usually illustrated on the bottoms of the objects), I will be able to give you ballpark pricing.

Q. Some of the gilding has worn off my fish slice, can it be replated?

A. Yes, the worn area can be sponge plated and blended into the surrounding gilding.

Q. Can you convert a tablespoon spoon into an ice cream fork?

A. Unfortunately, I do not alter flatware designs to something that was never made in that pattern. If I were to do that, a collector in the future may assume that the company made that piece when they didn't. I would suggest contacting a silver dealer to see if the piece you would like created exists in your pattern.

Q. Can you repair a baby spoon that's been down the garbage disposal?

A. Ninety-nine percent of the time it can! The bowl can be rounded and gouges removed, splits can be brazed, handles can be unwrapped and straightened, and most of all, the piece can be made useful again. I repaired a disposal-damaged baby spoon from a collector in California. His wife was livid. He loved the results upon return...it gets better. I received the same spoon a couple of months later after it had again been down the disposal. There was actually enough material left for me to make the baby spoon functional without any sharp edges!

Q. Why won't polishing remove turquoise-colored corrosion?

A. This color indicates that the piece is probably plated and not a solid silver alloy. If this is the case, the area that is corroded would have to be selectively plated or the entire piece re-plated. Do not try to remove the corrosion yourself as it may harm the value of the object.

Q. What are the rough spots on my sterling that I can't remove with silver polish?

A. Those black rough spots you feel on sterling (or other solid silver alloys) and can't remove with silver polish is most likely corrosion. Place an ammonia-soaked cotton ball on the corrosion spot and it should be dissolved within 10 minutes. If not, do it again for ten minutes at a time until the corrosion is removed. You may need to use some silver polish on a Q-tip or cotton ball and "massage" the area very lightly until you bring up the shine to blend in with the surrounding area. There will probably be a shallow etched spot that remains under the corroded area.

Q. Can I add a patina to silver or does it have to be done professionally?

A. I would not advise anyone but a silver conservationist to perform this application. Unfortunately, these chemicals are very toxic and difficult to apply and highlight which is why it should only be attempted by a professional.

Q.  What's the difference between machine engraving and hand engraving?

A. Machine engraving isn't true engraving in a sense that metal isn't removed, it's actually burnished. That's why you'll feel a slight ridge when you run your finger over it. It's not unlike when you draw a picture in the sand. Hand engraving is the process of cutting shallow lines into metal with a sharp graver, reproducing artwork which has been drawn on a metal article. Unlike machine engraving, hand engraving removes metal when cutting. Bright cutting is another form of engraving which is very reflective because of its flat, angled cut.

Q. Can acidic liquids in silverplate or sterling be a hazardous combination? 

A. It's true that acetic liquids that come in contact with silverplate and solid silver alloys  will eventually leach into the liquid, though, it would be unusual for it to happen at an accelerated rate. For this reason, I generally recommend to my customers to empty these liquids from their whisky flasks and punchbowls after use. If an object is plated, there may be some base metal (copper, brass, or leaded white metal) showing through and may also give the liquid a nasty taste. Acidic liquids can also leach out microscopic amounts of copper in silver alloys such as sterling and coin. This same phenomenon holds true when leaving acidic liquids in leaded crystal.

Q. Should I lacquer silver so it won't tarnish?

A. Lacquering silver and silverplate is generally not recommended because of the difficulties in obtaining a uniform coating, even when applied by a professional refinisher. If the coating has not been applied well, it may even have streaks and small holes, so that when the object retarnishes, it could look worse than if no coating had been applied. Lacquer will also eventually yellow and crack, allowing tarnish to form within the fissures and eventually under the protective coating. Lacquer can easily chip or wear off of contact points on objects that have individual parts, such as covers on sugar bowls, coffee and teapots, boxes, salt shakers, and the like. Strong solvents must then be used to remove the lacquer and the piece refinished, not always successfully.

If an object is placed in an open display where surface protection is necessary, an archival micro-crystalline wax such as Renaissance is recommended. Renaissance will not yellow and will last for years if handled properly. Since Renaissance wax is not as durable as lacquer, the object should be handled with cotton gloves since acid from your fingers may eventually remove it. Renaissance wax can be purchased from Cutlery Specialties (restorationproduct.com).

Does silica gel serve the same purpose as 3M Anti-Tarnish strips, or should I use both?

A. The strips absorb tarnish-producing pollutants; the gel controls the humidity that contributes to the acceleration of tarnish. I always advise using both.

Q. Does silver have health benefits?

A. Yes. If you’re a silver lover, here’s something else you’ll appreciate about this lustrous metal: it can kill or suppress the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, and fungus. Silver ions have a toxic effect on these organisms without harm to humans. Its germicidal properties have been well documented through its use in wound dressings to stop infection and promote healing. These properties have the same effect in silver objects. Stainless steel doesn’t offer these benefits nor does it retain its value. Why not buy something that has been staving off illnesses naturally for centuries? Consider drinking from a silver goblet or eating from flatware an elegant way to stay healthier. And when it's time to pass down your silver to the next generation, you can extol silver's health benefits as well.

• Spread the word! If you're a silver dealer selling your wares from your shop or at shows, print this poster: 8x10, 8.5x11.

Q. I have a set of 1847 Rogers Bros. flatware.  Is it sterling?

A. Unfortunately, it isn't. The "1847" does not indicate the date the company was founded or a design number. It refers to the date they perfected the electroplating process and went on to produce an extensive line of plated holloware and flatware.

Q. When was stainless first used in table knives?

A. Though American Elwood Haynes discovered stainless steel and patented it in 1919, it wasn't until 1924 when a stainless steel table knife blade was invented by Englishman Dr. William Herbert Hatfield. It was called 18/8 stainless steel (18% chromium, 8% nickel), an alloy which is still used today. Prior to this development, carbon steel was used which was then replaced with plated carbon steel.

Q. What will prevent rust on carbon steel blades?

A. Flatware containing unplated carbon steel knife blades require protection, or rust will develop. After dinner, hand wash the knives in warm water, then dry immediately. Apply a very thin layer of Burt's Bees Lip Balm on the blade and wipe with a paper towel until there is no residue left behind. This will keep the blades from rusting. Since this product is non-toxic, you won't have to wash them prior to use. If these knives become to taxing to care for, new stainless steel replacement blades are available.

Q. Can plated carbon steel blades be replated?

A. Carbon steel blades can indeed be replated, though, the plating will eventually wear off if used regularly. This will lead to the blade rusting and possibly pitting. If the blade becomes too corroded, its refinishing may render it too thin to be used after re-plating, though, the knife could be used for display purposes only. The most practical alternative for a carbon blade that has outlived its usefulness at the table is to replace it with a stainless steel blade.

Q. What are the white spots I see on my plated piece?

A. This phenomenon usually occurs on a freshly plated piece with moisture migrating to the surface. Even if the piece was properly dried after plating, some spots may still appear over a short period of time. This is especially true if the base metal is a lead alloy or pewter that was not nickel plated before being plated with fine silver. The nickel would normally keep any moisture from migrating to the surface. Polishing usually makes these spots disappear, but often only on a temporary basis. To achieve a more permanent fix, after polishing, heat the piece with a hair dryer (do not do this if your piece is weighted) until it is warm to the touch. You may have to repeat this procedure a few times until the white spots no longer appear.

Q. What is weighted sterling?

A. Weighted sterling is made in two forms: structurally-weighted (for structural stability throughout) and stability-weighted (so they won't tip over). There are also objects that don't require structural or stability weighting, but may be used in other ways, as in a removable leather-covered lead bottom of a cigarette box.

Structurally-weighted objects have been made since the late 19th century. They are generally marked "Weighted," indicating they have pitch or plaster throughout hollow areas. This may include steel-reinforced candelabra arms that would sag if not supported. The rolled rims may be the only exception with any reinforcement. Weighted creamers and sugars, for example, would be easily dented if not filled. Candlesticks weighing one pound may weigh less than one-tenth their weight in actual sterling content when empty. Structurally-weighted objects, sometimes made with sterling as thin as .003" (thinner than 20-pound copy paper), has been used to save on the cost of the precious metal.

Stability-weighted objects are normally taller or broader pieces that require weighted bases so they won't tip over. They are generally more valuable since they are made of thick enough sterling to support themselves without any filler. The bases can be filled with pitch, plaster, or lead, and have been produced for centuries.

 More on weighted sterling can be found here.

Q. Does stainless steel corrode?

A. Stainless generates a passive film of chromium oxide on its surface, that is what makes it stainless. As long as that film is not damaged it will not corrode, however, put it in the right environment and it will definitely be subject to such corrosion. This corrosion may show as pitting on your sterling dinner knives with stainless blades. If you constantly clean your knives in a dishwasher a galvanic reaction will occur by the introduction of hot water with cleaning agents.

Q.  Who should I contact if I want to sell my silver?

A. Before you send your silver to a refiner, contact a reputable antique silver dealer or auction house; you may find its worth more than you think! Try any of the following businesses I have dealt with:

A.B. Levy
211 Worth Ave.
Palm Beach, FL 33480
561/835-9139

Greenwald Antiques
3096 Mayfield Rd.
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
216/932-5535

As You Like It Silver Shop
3033 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
800/828-2311

Heritage Auction Galleries
1518 Slocum St.
Dallas, TX 75207
800/872-6467

Beverly Bremer Silver Shop
3164 Peachtree Rd. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30305
800/270-4009 

M. Ford Creech Antiques
581 South Perkins Rd.
Memphis, TN 38117
901/761-1163 

• Carman's Collectables
PO Box 258
Levittown, PA 19059
215/946-9315 

Marsh & Ackerman Antiques
PO Box 373
Swansea, MA 02777
508/675-4889, Cell: 508/277-9942

Christie's
20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
212/636-2000

Online Sterling
2075 S. University Blvd.  #280
Denver, CO 80210
720/445-6222

Drucker Antiques, Inc.
487 East Main Street, Ste. 197
Mount Kisco, NY 10549
914/923-4560

Reliable Gold
81 Wayland Ave.
Providence, RI 02906
401/861-1414 

Firestone & Parson
8 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116
617/266-1858

Sotheby's
1334 York Ave.
New York, NY 10021
800/813-5968

Q. Where can I learn silversmithing or jewelry making?

A. Try the resources on these pages:

U.S. Schools Offering Degree Programs in Silversmithing & Related Fields
Silversmithing & Related Workshops

Q. I have just started collecting. Are there any silver magazines?

A. I would recommend subscribing to Silver Magazine, PO Box 10246, Greensboro NC 27404, 866/841-0112.

Q. I have about 70 pounds of silver coins. Where should I sell them?

A. It sounds like you need a reliable coin dealer. You may want to search the American Numismatic Association member locator.

Q. I have a Mexican candelabra stamped "sterling" on the bottom. Are the arms sterling?

A. Though there are no quality marks on the arms, I am confident that they are sterling. Unlike Great Britain, Germany, and other countries that must hallmark all removable pieces on an object, Mexico has no such standard.

Q. Why is there a metallic taste when I drink coffee or tea?

A. When I get this question, it usually leads to a plated pot that has the plating worn off inside the object revealing the base metal underneath. You should discontinue using these pieces until you can get their interiors replated.

Q. Will tarnish protectant in silver polish harm me when eating off of flatware?

A. That depends on how sensitive you are to chemicals and natural ingredients. The thickness of the tarnish protectant left behind after polishing probably isn't more than .0002" (comparatively, the thickness of a human hair generally ranges between .0007" - .002"). So, if you feel uncomfortable digesting tarnish protectant that may a fraction of the thickness of a human hair, it's best to wash your flatware before using it.

Q. Who was America's first silversmith?

A. That's a tricky question that can only be answered as follows:

America's first foreign-born silversmith was John Mansfield who arrived from London in 1635, and settled in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

America's first foreign-born & American-trained silversmith was John Hull of London who immigrated to Boston, completing his apprenticeship in 1645.

America's first American-born & American-trained silversmith was Jeremiah Dummer from Quincy, Massachusetts, who completed his apprenticeship in 1666.

Q. Is it true about a smith's reflection in The Bible's Malachi 3:3?

A. Yes, it is true that if a silversmith sees his/her reflection in a crucible of molten silver that is ready to "pour."  Normally, charcoal or flux is added over the silver to absorb any oxygen away from the silver.  When the impurities have been absorbed, and the silversmith can see his/her reflection (and providing the metal hasn't been overheated), it's ready to pour.

Please keep in mind that safety glasses and proper ventilation are an absolute MUST when working with molten metal.

If you've forgotten the entire story, here it is:

"There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi.  As they were studying chapter three they came across verse three which says, "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week the woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that, in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"  He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's the easy part – when I see my image reflected in it."

Q. How do I remove nicks from my carving knives?

A. Murray Carter, a master bladesmith , will guide you through the steps on this page.

Q. How can I protect my silver tray from being scratched?

A. Always be conscious as to what you will be setting down onto your tray. If you are looking to maintain its pristine appearance, you may want to consider the following:  Have a piece of acrylic cut to the same size and shape as the tray bottom (make sure to have the plastic's edge polished), then you'll never have to worry about what is set on top.

Q. Can silver go directly into a Ziploc bag without wrapping it in tissue first?

A. You don't have to wrap the piece in tissue first, but be aware that plastic – any type of plastic – will produce very fine scratches on silver. These scratches will of course be more visible on highly polished silver.

Q. Short of replating, how can I hide the copper showing on the bottom of my tray?

A. I would suggest having a flat or beveled mirror made to cover the entire tray bottom. Spray the underside of the mirror with polyurethane. Doing this will prevent any liquids spilled on the mirror from creeping underneath and deteriorating the mirror's reflective coating.

Q. If I see copper showing inside my coffeepot, is it safe to drink from?

A. Vessels should not be used if you see exposed copper or any other base metal on the inside. These base metals can be toxic – the object should be sent to a reputable plater for resilvering.

Q. Where can I get glass liners made for my open salts?

A. Pairpoint Glassworks will hand blow liners in any color for open salts, ice buckets, casseroles, etc. They do excellent work and prices are very reasonable.

Q. No matter what polish I use, I can't remove the tarnish. Why?

A. Your piece is more than likely coated with lacquer. The lacquer must first be removed before polishing is possible. This should be done by a professional metal conservator.

Q. How do I clean ivory insulators and handles?

A. Hand sanitizer does a fantastic job cleaning off years of grime. Use a toothbrush with short bristles to get into detail areas and finish by wiping with a cotton towel. Use Renaissance wax to then protect the surface from future stains. If you have any questions, consult a restoration specialist BEFORE you start.

Q. Why can't remove a stain on my silver salver after serving a roast?

A. Obviously, there must have been an ingredient that discolored the salver. Did you use a cellulose sponge with the polish? If so, you may want to try a cotton ball since it will condense the polishing ingredients. That's what I do here. If that doesn't remove the stain, you may need something a bit more abrasive, like Wright's. I'm sure you know to stay away from Tarn-X!

Q. Can I use powered chalk and water to polish silver?

A. The short answer is it's not recommended. Modern day chalk is made with either calcium carbonate or calcium sulfate. There are different grades of both these materials. Only laboratory-grade calcium carbonate is recommended; anything else is much too abrasive for your silver. Normally, the calcium carbonate is combined with denatured alcohol and worked into slurry. The slurry is then applied with a moist cellulose sponge. An excellent polish that contains laboratory-grade calcium carbonate is Earth Friendly Silver Polish.

Q. When was electroplating invented?

A. Italian Luigi V. Brugnatelli invented electroplating by electrolysis in 1805. But, it wasn't until the 1840s that John Wright of Birmingham, England, discovered a more commercial process of electroplating using potassium cyanide. George Richards Elkington and Henry Elkington of Birmingham England – two cousins who began their research during the industrial revolution – bought the patent rights from Wright and were given the first patent for electroplating in the 1840s.

Q. What's the correct way to set a table?

A. You can find that answer here.

Q. Can I use my plated meat tray to cook chicken or beef in the oven?

A. I wouldn't put any silverplate in the oven. Some objects may contain low-melting lead alloy parts (e.g. handles, applied rims, etc.) that may melt if the heat goes above 250 degrees. Plus, you wouldn't want to use an abrasive pad to remove food that was baked onto the piece. I would advise cooking only in oven-safe materials, then placing what was baked in the silver-plated piece.

Q. Will a crystal salt lamp tarnish silver in its vicinity?

A. Salt molecules in the air will corrode silver. I don't know if heat from the bulb accelerates the dispersal of the salt in the crystal. Regardless, I wouldn't place salt anywhere near silver. And remember to empty silver salt shakers when not in use.

Q. How should I ship flatware in a chest?

A.  When shipping flatware in a fitted chest, wrap the pieces in tissue paper so that they don't scratch each other during transport. Take two sheets of tissue paper and place a piece of flatware on the end closest to you. Roll the piece in the tissue paper until it is fully covered, and then place the next piece against the first and roll again until the second piece is covered. Continue in this fashion until you have reached the end of the tissue paper, and then continue with additional paper until all the flatware is wrapped. If you have any carving knives or forks, use some additional tissue paper to wrap their sharp tips. After placing the flatware back in the chest, fill any voids with additional paper to prevent movement of the pieces during shipping. If there are some pieces that won't fit without straining the hinges of the chest, wrap them with additional padding and place them in a polyethylene bag (such as a Ziploc).  If you will be storing the chest and its contents for more than two weeks, use acid-free tissue paper and place half a sheet of a 3M or Intercept Anti-Tarnish Strip in each bag. This should keep your flatware tarnish-free for over a year.


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