Polishing a squash blossom necklace

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Several years ago I bought a Navajo squash blossom necklace. It is, of course, silver with turquoise settings in it. I have neglected it and allowed it to become very tarnished. Is there an easy way to polish the silver without damaging the turquoise? The silver work is so intricate that the thought of polishing it makes me weary already! Thanks.

-- Green (ratdogs10@yahoo.com), March 16, 2000


Try this method -

Make a solution of baking soda in water. Put this into a aluminum pot, not anodized on the inside. Put the silver items into the pot with the solutionn.

In a short time the tarnish (silver sulfide) will be removed. This will not hurt the silver nor should it hurt the turquoise setting. Wash in water when done.

-- Rich (pntbeldyk@wirefire.com), March 16, 2000.

Your silver might be turning black, but man, I am turning green (with envy!) (Or maybe just thinking about St. Paddy's Day tomorrow...) Wish I had a necklace like that.

My grandfather made a really beautiful squash blossom necklace for my grandmother about 40 years ago. I have always admired them, and whenever I am in the Southwest, I am always checking them out. I love Navajo, and also Zuni jewelry.

Good luck with the cleaning!

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), March 16, 2000.

Just boiling (or even heating, for a while) silver in water in an aluminium pot will remove tarnish.

I do not know what heat and water might do to turquoise, or the setting, though.

-- Don Armstrong (darmst@yahoo.com.au), March 17, 2000.

I have used toothpaste( not the Gel type) and an old toothbrush. The mild abrasive takes the tarnish off very well. Then just rinse with cold water. Chris

-- Chris Dehne (mdehne@ccpl.carr.org), March 17, 2000.

Years ago I had a friend who did silver jewelry & she just soaked silver anything, stones or not in dishsoap & water (about 50/50) for a few days & off the nasty stuff came. Result was sparkling like new. Polish, etc, does take some of the silver off & change the patina some, but this never did. I have earrings that are miniature squash blossom necklaces & it works great on them. Good luck!kt.

-- kate hankins (yarnspinnerkt@hotmail.com), March 22, 2000.

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