Silver Care can be quite simple, if handled and cleaned properly.
What Is Weighted Silver
Weighted Sterling Silver is a thin sheet of sterling silver formed to make the shape and is filled with various materials to provide weight and strength. The most common material is pitch, similar to tar. This material is heated to a liquid state and pour inside the piece and allowed to cool to provide a solid foundation. However, this material can become brittle and break over time. Also a sharp impact could cause it to break or crack. The weight of the filling may be 80% to 90% of its total weight depending on the thickness of the silver. Making weighted pieces allows companies to produce Sterling Silver items at a price which is more affordable to the mass market.
Extra care must be used with weighted items. You force a candle into the cup of a candelabra arm and it rips the arm from the stem, or bends downward. You are polishing your candle and hear a rattling noise. You are polishing your candle in a circular motion where the stem meets the base and the base develops wrinkles or tears. All of these are signs the filling has lost its support and need professional repair, which in some cases can be quite difficult. Many repairs also involve reattaching the tops of the candle cups. The most common reason they became detached is from allowing the candles to burn too far down into the cup. The heat softens the pitch, which then expands, pushing the cup up and away from the body. If you try to push the top back into place you may end up bending the body.
Care of Weighted Sterling
· When cleaning, use gentle pressure and support the pieces, especially the arms of a candle.
· Use only slightly warm water to rinse the polish from the piece.
· Never place weighted items (or ANY STERLING) in the dishwasher.
· Do not over tighten the threaded components.
· Never submerge weighted pieces in water as any void or hollow areas may fill with water.
· Never expose brushes, mirrors or similar object to liquids.
· Do not place items near a heat source, such as a fireplace, oven or close to a heating duct.
· Do not display your items in a window with direct sunlight as it may soften the filling.
· If you hear a rattling sound, have a professional rest the filling before it becomes damaged and torn. It will save you a great deal in repair cost later.
Lacquering or Clear Coating Silver
As a general rule we not recommend lacquering or clear coating silver as it not suitable of general use. Also extra care must be given to ensure to coating is not damaged, scratched, subject to spills or wax. Poor quality lacquers will tend to yellow over time. We do not use lacquer for this reasons. The finish we apply is a special clear coat that does not yellow and with proper care will last many years, by simply dusting it with a clean soft cloth from time to time.
I you have a article that you do not use, don't want to polish it, want it as nice display piece that will be place on a shelf, somewhere where it will not handled by quest or inside a cabinet, then clear coating may the answer. The cost to clear coat varies by the size of the piece and how complex it is.
General Care of Sterling and Silver Plate
Use the above information and review the Silver Maintenance Page