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Tarnish Formation


Above are images showing both sides of a silver-plated luncheon knife exposed to the open air for 14 months. The top image is the knife as it sat on a buffet, face up. The bottom image is of the side that was facing down and, therefore, not directly exposed to harmful tarnish-producing particulate. This is a clear illustration that silver will maintain its finish over a longer period when kept in a case or enclosed cabinet. (There should be no outgassing from the case or cabinet. If it is made of wood, the interior surface should be sealed, preferably with lacquer or water-based polyurethane. If latex paint is used, allow it to dry for at least four months.)