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Topics: Tarnish

Q.
I have three solitaire freshwater pearls, approx. 15mm, and 12mm and will be using them for a pendant and earring set. I have read that sterling silver has (in one user's experience) caused blackening of the pearls. Should I use gold or gold filled instead? Or simply apply a fixative to the silver? Will it wear off?
- Lynn
A.
The tarnishing can be caused by several factors, the environment it is stored in, the environment it is subjected to, humidity and skin acidity. To prevent sterling silver eyepins and headpins from turning your pearl holes black, coat the sterling silver before use with a fixative. Both brush-on, such as Mona Lisa™ Metal Leaf™ top coat sealant, and spray-on, such as SpectraFix™ fixative, versions will work. Do not coat the pearls as this can permanently damage the nacre and luster of the pearls.

- Michelle Wood, Jewelry-Making Expert

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