Cleaning Antique Hallmarks

Questions on polishing, restoration, conservation + manufacturing techniques
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Cleaning Antique Hallmarks

Postby nickcox » Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:52 pm


I have an antique, French, silver cruet stand that has mucky hallmarks on it. Can anyone recommend a good way to clean the hallmarks?




Re: Cleaning Antique Hallmarks

Postby Francais » Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:00 pm

As a curator of a museum once said, I don't follow the museum's guidelines for the care and handling of silver. Having said that, I take a wooden tooth pick, chew and soften the end a bit, and dip it is some silver polish and move it around. It doesn't seem to hurt them although I would probably not recommend this method if were a piece of Paul Revere.

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Re: Cleaning Antique Hallmarks

Postby oel » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:37 pm

Another way to clean hallmarks, not recommended but……. And never used when any stones or other settings are involved. Clean hallmarks (only) with warm water and soap. Take cotton stick or tip of soft tooth brush with a little silver polish to clean hallmarks and after again clean with cotton/soft tooth brush, warm water and soap, dry with cotton towel. Please remember despite good advise always use own common sense. Good luck.
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Re: Cleaning Antique Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:05 pm

Hi Nick,

Always remember that silver is a very soft metal. Never be tempted, no matter how stubborn the gunk is to shift, to speed the process up by using a pin or similar.

This is the result:



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Re: Cleaning Antique Hallmarks

Postby JLDoggett » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:08 am

Ouch! Trev. I use the chewed toothpick with a drop of soap and water, just enough to fill the depression, and don't spin the toothpick... you will have little polished dots in the mark.

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Re: Cleaning Antique Hallmarks

Postby silverhammer » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:04 am

I use a Q-tip and Windex with vinegar. The Windex does a great job removing gunk.

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