Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, January 2019, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman

Is Your Silver being Damaged or Respected? Part 1

I will be sharing, in the following several issues of the MBJ, the results of tests I have run in my workshop on products designed to remove tarnish. There are currently no silver polishes on the market that are non-abrasive, even though many proclaim to be. The basic message of this series? It is best to spend more time polishing with a mild polish than less time using an abrasive one!

For you certainly wouldn’t use an auto-body grinder to polish your silver, so why are use products that could result in similar damage?

It’s because they remove tarnish at light speed, right?

Well, maybe it’s time to stop ruining sterling and silver-plated objects and to start treating them with the love and respect they deserve.

For instance, below are hallmarks that were stamped on a 1760 Hester Bateman coffeepot. Notice how they have been worn down and are difficult to read because of the use of extremely abrasive polishes. Left to right: Maker’s mark (HB: Hester Bateman); quality mark (rampant lion signifying sterling); assay office (crowned leopard’s head: London); date mark (C: 1760). If this pot continues to be cared for so poorly, the marks may well become illegible within a short period of time.

Mr. Herman continues to offer his services to our readers for any questions you may have about the care of silver. Either contact him at (800) 339-0417 (USA) or via email jeff @


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