Getting the Best from Antique Silver

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Antique silverware is without a doubt one of the most beautiful aspects of antique collecting, a set of antique cutlery gleaming in their case is a wonderful and beautiful sight to behold. However in order to keep them looking that way great care and time has to be spent taking care of them and polishing them to perfection is without a doubt one sure way of achieving this.

To start with when it comes to buying antique silverware then there is a quick and easy tip that you can use to determine the secrets behind the silverware. Simply breath on the item and this can unfold a whole wealth of information.

Your breath will cause the piece to mist up and this will reveal a whole lot of secrets if any are to be found. Things to look for when using the breath test include repairs that have been made to the piece, joints and patches in the silver.

Say for instance new material has been added to the piece such as a coat of arms welded onto the piece, breathing on it can reveal this and is a dead give away if anything is not right.

Another good tip when buying is to rely on the use of your fingertips, running your fingertips all over the piece can reveal any minor imperfections and flaws within the piece that the naked eye cannot see. In particular pay attention to the bowls of spoons and notice how thick the silver is in this spot, this can tell you a lot about the condition of the silver in general.

When it comes to cleaning the silverware you should be aware that however careful you are when cleaning you will always remove a very slight layer from the silverware. This is why it is imperative that you use the least abrasive materials when cleaning and the very best quality silver polish. Items that are recommended when it comes to cleaning silverware included cotton wool, sponges, cotton buds, soft cloth and silver foam or liquid polish.

Once you have cleaned your silverware to shiny perfection then usually all that is needed to keep them looking good is a very light dusting with a soft clean cloth and the occasional rinse in hot soapy water. It is essential that after you have washed the items in hot water that you remove the soap residue and then ensure that the silver is dried thoroughly before storing away.

You should always be very careful when using a proprietary brand of silver dip, this is sold for cleaning silverware but it is mainly used for ornate pieces for getting into all the nooks and crannies. However continual use of silver dip can cause erosion of the silver and can also lead to softening the ornate designs on the silverware. If you must use it then use it with caution and only when really needed.

When it comes to buying antique silverware then always buy from a reputable dealer who has experience in silverware and learn as much as you possibly can about silverware in general before going in too deeply.
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