subscribe: Posts | Comments

Does Silver Bullion Tarnish?

Does Silver Bullion Tarnish?

Anyone who’s invested in silver bullion may worry at some point whether the tarnish on the silver is a good sign or a bad sign. Thankfully, tarnish is to be expected on silver bars. Some people will even pay more for bars with a little sign of age. However, tarnish and rust are not the same thing. Let’s look at tarnish a little more in depth.

What Color is Tarnish?

The first characteristic of tarnish on a silver bar is the color. Tarnish is a slight green, pink or yellow tinge that makes the silver appear “smoky” or old. It is not a deep red with flaking pieces; this is rust, and if your silver is rusting, it is not pure silver. Beyond the color, testing the silver with a magnet will let you know if the bar is pure silver or a mixture; the magnet should not stick.

How Does Tarnish Occur?

When silver is exposed to air for a long period of time, it will begin to tarnish. This is especially true in high humidity areas, like kitchens and bathrooms. For this reason, pure silver silverware often tarnishes when left in the kitchen (or the bathroom, for that matter, if you are so inclined).

How do I Clean my Silver Bullion?

If your silver bars have tarnished and you are especially worried about the appearance, you may clean your silver just like you would with silverware. Silver polish works well, and a low-cost technique of using aluminum foil, boiling water, and baking soda to remove the tarnish is available. Simply place aluminum foil on the bottom and sides of a baking dish, shiny side up. Then add a cup of boiling water and a tablespoon of baking soda to the pan. Place your silver in the bottom and stir the water. In about a minute, you can flip the bar over to clean the opposite side.

Once the bar is clean, you can slow down or prevent future tarnish by placing the bar in a plastic bag. However, tarnish may be desirable, depending on your buyer. Tarnishing can also be called toning, and the beautiful patina on the bar helps to show its age. The right buyer may pay you more for this.

So if you have a tarnished silver bullion, you need not worry. This is not a sign that your silver will fetch you less on the market. The silver will be worth the same on the day’s market as an untarnished piece. In fact, it may be worth more to the right buyer. Even so, if you wish to clean your silver and prevent tarnish, there are some low-cost ways to do so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *