Antique Sterling Silver from Nelson and Nelson Antiques

Nelson & Nelson Antiques

Cleaning and Care Tips for Glass With Silver Overlay

June 21, 2022 10:13 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver

Cleaning and caring for silver can be tricky. The overlay is fragile, and you want to keep it looking as pristine as the day you bought it. Keep reading to discover a few excellent tips for cleaning and caring for glass with silver overlay.

The Best Way To Clean the Silver Overlay

The top way to clean glass with a silver overlay is to use a cream polish, water, and a soft cloth. Slowly clean the piece, then wipe it with a soft and dry cloth. Ensure it’s completely dry before storing the antique.

Why Does Silver Tarnish?

Most sterling silver collectors are familiar with seeing the brown or black tarnish. If you see silver marked with .925, that signifies that the silver piece meets the percentage for being standard silver, 92.5 percent. 100-percent pure silver would never tarnish, but the silver we buy is technically an alloy, which means the silver gets mixed with other metals, such as copper, to help stabilize it.

The other metals cause the piece to have a chemical reaction with the environment. These environmental factors include:

  • Humidity: The more moisture is in the air, the faster the silver will tarnish.
  • Chemicals: Any chemicals in your environment can speed up the tarnishing process. These chemicals include lotion, hairspray, and even food.

You can do your best to control the environment, but you’ll eventually need to clean the silver. You may not like the tarnished look, but it doesn’t harm your silver. Using appropriate cleaning techniques will keep your silver antiques sparkling for years.

You can rest assured that your glass with silver overlay will look great if you follow these care and cleaning tips. The next time you’re searching for a place to buy antique silver, try Nelson & Nelson Antiques. We have a vast antique selection ready for you to purchase.

The Difference Between Sterling Silver and Coin Silver

June 7, 2022 1:36 pm
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver

Most people don’t understand the difference between sterling silver and coin silver. If you’re about to sell any antique silver, knowing the differences is crucial. Let’s explore the distinct differences and a few factors that affect their value.

Let’s Look at Coin Silver

As the name suggests, coin silver is the material that creates silver dollars and other silver currency pieces. It’s a standardized composite comprised of a limited number of non-silver alloys such as nickel and copper. It’s more valuable than other alloys containing other metals in higher quantities. Silver coins in the United States have to be at least a .900 fine. In other words, it can’t contain less than 90 percent pure silver.

Let’s Explore Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is another heavily controlled metal. It’s more valuable than coin silver because it has a required purity of 92.5 percent. In some coins, you can find sterling silver, the most famous being the old British pound sterling. The modern British pound doesn’t contain sterling silver.

You’ll commonly find this material in various antique household items, such as goblets, serving platters, cutlery, and mirrors.

Factors That Affect Value

Coin silver and sterling silver have several factors that will affect their value.

Coin Silver

Coin silver wasn’t standardized in the same manner as today until 1868. That means it’s possible to find coin silver alloys with as little as 75 percent silver. Take these items in for appraisal by an expert if you find them. Stamps that read “dollar,” “standard,” “premium,” or “coin” are 900 silver.

Sterling Silver

The item’s worth typically determines the value of sterling silver. For example, a rare cutlery set could be worth more than the inherent value of silver.

Understanding the difference between coin silver and sterling silver will help you in the long run. If you’re looking for an antique silver dealer to appraise your items or are an antique silver collector looking for exquisite sterling silver pieces, shop at Nelson & Nelson Antiques. Feel free to browse our website or stop by our New York City storefront.

What Are the Common Reasons Why Silver Tarnishes?

November 4, 2021 10:23 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver

Sterling silver is a highly collectible precious metal. You want to keep your antiques pristine for your collection. Therefore, it’s wise to ask, “What are the common reasons why silver tarnishes?” When you know the answer, you can protect your possessions well.

Chemicals React to Silver

Your silver will tarnish because of several chemicals that react when they come in contact with the silver. Sulfur is the most common culprit known to tarnish silver. You’ll find sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide in the air particles floating around us. Hydrogen sulfide has a distinct rotting egg scent and will form silver sulfide when it reacts with silver. This substance is what creates tarnish.

You can discover sulfur in many day-to-day products, including foods, cleansers, shampoos, and perfumes. Therefore, if you consume or use any products that contain sulfur and then touch your silver, you’ll slowly tarnish it.

Moisture Is in the Air

Silver won’t tarnish in dry air. The moisture in the air will react with silver and cause an accelerated tarnishing process. Therefore, the higher the humidity, the quicker the rate of tarnishing. If you live in a highly humid climate, it’s best to store your silver with silica gel packets or pieces of chalk to help absorb the moisture and keep the air around your silver dry.

Copper Reacts to Oxygen

If your antiques are sterling silver, you must know that copper reacts with oxygen. Sterling silver is 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper. Copper is what reacts with oxygen to create red copper oxide. This reaction could also cause your sterling silver to tarnish.

Various Acids Affect Silver

Another common reason why silver tarnishes is that various acids affect it. People have reported that their sterling silver antiques will quickly blacken if they wrap them in tissue paper. This problem arises because tissue contains different acids.

You must be aware of the acidity levels in your skin as well. Different pH levels in a person’s skin will result in different rates of tarnishing.

It’s essential to handle your sterling silver with gloves and care consistently. This way, you can protect your silver from tarnish. You want to keep it pristine until it’s time to sell it, after all. Nelson and Nelson is the perfect place to visit when you’re ready to sell antique silver in NYC.

How To Clean Your Sterling Silver Antiques at Home

November 4, 2021 10:19 am
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver : Sterling

The most critical piece of information to remember about cleaning your sterling silver antiques at home is “easy does it.” You must proceed with caution, be extremely gentle with your antiques, and keep the cleaning to a minimum. Let’s get started with some simple guidelines to help you take care of your silver.

Cleaners To Use

It’s vital that you follow the instructions on the cleaners and only use the amount required. You can use more if needed. The following are silver cleaning products. You’ll find them listed from most abrasive to most gentle.

  • Silver wadding
  • Silver cleaning foam
  • Silver cleaning mitts or gloves
  • Silver paste polish

Expert Tips

Once you’ve cleaned the silver, a good dusting should be all it needs for a while. The best cleaning cloths for your silver are soft cloths such as microfiber towels or cotton dusters. Don’t wrap your antique sterling silver cutlery with elastic bands or store them in plastic bags because this will tarnish them quicker. One last tip for cleaning your sterling silver at home: don’t allow it to soak overnight in water.

How To Start Collecting Silver: Antique Dealer Tips

November 2, 2021 3:10 pm
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Silver

Antique silver is a tremendous and valuable collecting focus. The variety found in silver collecting makes it easy to want to get started. The following are a few antique dealer tips on how to get started collecting silver.

Pick a Focus for Your Collection

With numerous options available, it’s easy to want to collect everything. It’s helpful for collectors, especially those who are beginners, to decide which direction to take their collection. If you’re in search of a focus, a few ideas include:

  • Pick a specific object, such as sterling silver spoons.
  • Choose a favorite era to collect from, like Art Deco pieces.
  • Focus on a favorite motif, such as lilies or geometric designs.
  • Pick a specific manufacturer, like Unger Brothers or Wallace, or choose another famous name.
  • Focus on pieces you’ll use daily, such as serving platters.

Learn To Determine Age

When purchasing items to add to your collection, it’s crucial to get a sense of the piece’s age. If your item has a hallmark, compare it to other known marks from that manufacturer to narrow down a date. Hallmarked items make this simple because many silver manufacturers will change their mark every few years.

If you find a piece with no hallmark, you’re going to have to look at design clues. Gather knowledge on your favorite era to gain a better understanding of what styles and motifs were popular. If you’re still in doubt, take the piece to get appraised by a professional.

Become Familiar With Silver Content and Plating

Before making a single purchase, you must familiarize yourself with the various types of silver. Solid silver is far too soft to hold up, so it’s doubtful you’ll find any. You’re more likely to encounter silverplate or sterling silver.

It’s easy to see why many collectors choose to collect silver. You have so many options ranging from silver serving dishes to sterling silver wall hooks. Use these tips to start collecting silver today.