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"When Did Silver First Start Tarnishing?"





March 22, 2010

My father, a life-long coin collector, used to say that silver didn't first start tarnishing until the 13th century when the burning of coal finally reached a point where there was enough sulphur in the air to start reacting with the silver. Just recently, I've tried to verify that theory with no results, one way of another. Any ideas?

Keith Lavender
Interested Observer - Helena, Montana, USA
^


First of two simultaneous responses -- March 22, 2010

Hard to believe. Sulphur dioxide not only comes from human produced pollutants (coal and oil burning) but from volcano eruptions as well.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
^


Second of two simultaneous responses -- March 22, 2010

It is probably accurate to say that it used to tarnish slower before industrial sources started emitting sulfides, but there are still natural sources that would lead to tarnishing.

Jon Barrows
Jon Barrows, MSF, EHSSC
Independence, Missouri
^


March 25, 2010

In the bible, Jeremiah records the need to polish helmets, swords and armour. Wonder if it was silver?

geoff_crowley
Geoff Crowley
Crithwood Ltd.
Westfield, Scotland, UK
crithwood logo
^

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