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stubnib, I recently received my stingray leather pen with a steel broad nib and it is a beautiful pen which is well made and writes very nicely. I want to make this statement in support of both your workmanship and the Bock nibs. I do have a question regarding those of your pens which have a great deal of silver. I have not ordered a silver pen because I am concerned about whether the silver will tarnish and what maintenance will the silver require. Could you comment on what we can expect from the long-term experience with such beautiful silver? Thanks, again.
Hello, sorry for my late reply but your message come overnight here in Italy.Thank you for your positive words on our craftman made pen! We are glad you enjoy it.
About silver and silver care: First the real silver will tarnish. No discussion about. Be aware from silver that not tarnish since could be also fake. There is many feeling about in the world. I could say that in Latin counties like Latin America or Spaign but also in Italy and Greece the people like natural silver and it MUST tarnish for a double reason, first is a warranty that it is real silver, second there is the saying that silver must become old as it owner and with its owner.
There is also some thing we usually do as rhodium plating the silver bodies of the pens, with the rhodium protection silver never became tarnish but also the color of the pens change slightly becaming "steely". Also under the rhodium plating there could be any kind of metal (brass,copper) and since it is covered with rhodium plating you will never know if it is indeed silver or not what you purchase. At this point you have to ask to see the hallmarks and take note of the number stamped on the hallmarks and make a search to see if these numbers are or not registered in silversmith lists of the country of production (for example we have hallmark number 28 AO and in the European Union comunity only our silversmith company have the right to stamp with that number and grant you customer that the object came from real silversmith people).
Last: tarnished silver isn't difficult to take clean: if you use daily the pen it will remain clean due to the use, but if you leave it in some place and months will pass it will tarnish and at that point you could purchase in stores special clothes to clean it (we too sell them on our website) but be aware that the chemical substances on the cloth clean the silver but corrode the gold plated pen parts (if any) so avoid to clean these yellow parts. A very usefull and easy way is use baking soda powder. Put a spoon of it on a cloth and on it put some drops of water just to get a paste, then polish the pen with it and just after wash it under tap, the silver will shine again. Note that backing soda too is slightly abrasive so do not do it every day!
Last note: Tarnish process isn't the same in all the world, it is related to air pollution since is the sulfure oxide in the air that make tarnish, less sulfure less tarnish. Sulfure oxide came from engines expecially diesel engines. So if you silver pen became fast and easely tarnished be aware that the air you breath isn't the best for silver but in special way for your health...
An our wholesaler customer in Mexico City (one of the most polluted city of the world) could not purchase silver pens without rhodium plating otherwise within 2 weeks only all the pens became near black. A nightmare... Hooping my rough english was enough good to understand what I mean!
Regards from Italy
Thank you for such a detailed answer! It is so obvious how passiona you are about your work and customers.