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  1. #1
    Charter Member
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Yarnell,AZ and Titusville,FL
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    Silver tarnishes because...

    Here is a bit of trivia that I have some doubt about. I will check further. According to the Web page "Wikipedia", silver tarnishes because of the sulfer that is introduced into the atmosphere by human pollutants. That means that, before humans "discovered" and isolated the element sulfer, about 500BC, silver did not tarnish. Hmmm. More reading is required. Interesting, though. TTC
    At home the ground was covered with snow, and I was covered with sweat. My younger brother called me a killer and my daddy called me a vet. Still in Saigon. Charlie Daniels Band

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  3. #2
    mx
    Nov 2011
    143
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    none
    This is a good question since it is very relevant to preserving out metal detecting finds.

    Wikipedia most often it is simply an opinion on a subject as posted by a layman.

    Here's the deal with silver tarnishing. Anything that gives off Hydrogen Sulfide (not Sulfur per Se') will cause silver to tarnish. Things like oil from your hands, ammonia, fossil fuels, wool, rubber as well as foods like eggs, salad dressing, table salt and onions. Humidity also plays a roll in how fast the silver tarnishes. There are literally thousands of things that will react with silver and cause it to tarnish that have always existed in nature. Hydrogen Sulfide is released as a natural breakdown occurs in these items.

  4. #3

    Aug 2012
    190
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    Ag+O2 > AGO2 Silver plus a diatomic molecule of oxygen yields or produces Silver Oxide(tarnish). Since the stuff first formed on earth to today.

  5. #4
    us
    Jan 2011
    Dalton,Ga.
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    Interesting ? I kinda want to go with TreasureWriter on this one. Like he say's It occurs in nature If you've ever drank the water in South Ga. that smell of rotten eggs, It's Hydrogen Sulfide.


    If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
    -Samuel Adams-

  6. #5
    us
    Apr 2012
    Left coast
    New Garret AT PRO - I am pretty poor with this device. Too much for me! Nothing significant found. yet! garrett 150 - starting 4/20/20120 - found 30 cents, all clad.
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    Wikipedia generally has a anti-human tone

  7. #6

    Oct 2005
    XLT, Whites D.F., Treasure Baron, Deepstar, Goldquest, Beachscan, T.D.I., Sovereign, 2x Nautilus, various Arado's, Ixcus Diver, Altek Quadtone, T2, Beach Hunter I.D, GS 5 pulse, Searchman 2 ,V3i
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    Take two identical silver coins with patina (if you like it) or tarnish if you don't. Clean one but leave the other untouched and see how your detector reacts "depth" wise, especially in discrim. mode.

  8. #7

    Aug 2012
    190
    39 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunrunner61 View Post
    Interesting ? I kinda want to go with TreasureWriter on this one. Like he say's It occurs in nature If you've ever drank the water in South Ga. that smell of rotten eggs, It's Hydrogen Sulfide.
    I stand corrected. Thanks.

  9. #8
    us
    what hath god wrought

    Feb 2009
    Gateway to the 1000 Islands
    Sometime(s)
    3,814
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    tectin crap
    Silver is stable in oxygen and water, but tarnishes when exposed to sulfur compounds. Black is not the only color result of sulpher. Nice old silver coins in collections for decades take on the greens and blues and gold colors from sulfur compounds found in the paper of the holders. There has been discussion that a light dusting of powdered sulfur within the coin holders or folders will rather rapidly (years, not decades) force these colors.
    Federal Bureau of Governmental Redundancy Reduction Agency

  10. #9
    us
    May 2008
    Wisconsin
    GARRETT GTI 2500, Garrett Infinium
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    Sulfur is a frequent component of volcanoes and enters the earth's atmosphere upon eruption. Geologists tell us that volcanoes have been erupting since the earth was formed, billions of years ago. In fact, more of this occurred then than now.

    Of course, one has to believe in volcanoes, geologic time, and atmospheres. For those that don't, it probably is a source of confusion and denial.
    "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Friedrich Nietzsche

    "You ask where I live. I cannot tell you. I am a Voyageur, a Chicot, sir. I live everywhere. My grandfather was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. My father was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. I will also die while en route, and another Chicot will take my place. Such is our course of life."

  11. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Yarnell,AZ and Titusville,FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by U.K. Brian View Post
    Take two identical silver coins with patina (if you like it) or tarnish if you don't. Clean one but leave the other untouched and see how your detector reacts "depth" wise, especially in discrim. mode.
    Brian, You should have a "first row seat" on this subject. Roman coins (silver) that have been buried (hence, not subjected to pollution) for centuries come out of the ground UNTARNISHED. Right? That fact could be verification of this fact. Right, Brian? Tnx. TTC
    At home the ground was covered with snow, and I was covered with sweat. My younger brother called me a killer and my daddy called me a vet. Still in Saigon. Charlie Daniels Band

  12. #11
    us
    Oct 2009
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    Complete garbage! Sulfer has been present since the dawn of the earth. The article you read was pure BS.

  13. #12
    us
    May 2008
    Wisconsin
    GARRETT GTI 2500, Garrett Infinium
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    None of this subject is simple.

    Sulfur is the seventh to eighth most present chemical in the human body by weight.

    Silver tarnishes primarily with sulfur compounds, but also with nitrogen and oxygen.

    Sulfur is present in large quantities in the earth, and it cycles through the atmosphere like many other chemicals, associated with water which I mention here so you have a foundation for the variability.

    The vectors for this happening are volcanoes, biological processes, geologic erosion, and human combustion of sulfur-bearing materials; coal and oil are the major ones.

    It's called the Sulfur cycle. Google it up; I did and learned a lot. I hung out with a chemical genius in grade school, took chemistry in high school and college, and I kept with it to a degree, not the least of reasons which is my love of fireworks. That helped to understand it.

    So, Terry, if the article said that, it was incorrect. Sulfur has been present in the atmosphere for about 3 ga, easily older than minted coins - har! Actually, it can only happen if oxygen is present since sulfur needs it to oxidize into sulfuric and sulfurous acids. That's also when oxygen was produced by photosynthesis in significant amounts.

    Anthropogenic perturbation to the natural atmospheric sulfur cycle, or the impact from human activity, has accounted for a significant increase, and that increase is unevenly distributed, mostly in latitudes 35 to 50 North - hardly surprising.

    Here's a paper on it, done by real scientists, not Wiki authors:
    Bates et al -- Sulfur Emissions to the Atmosphere from Natural Sources

    Quiz on Tuesday.
    "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Friedrich Nietzsche

    "You ask where I live. I cannot tell you. I am a Voyageur, a Chicot, sir. I live everywhere. My grandfather was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. My father was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. I will also die while en route, and another Chicot will take my place. Such is our course of life."

  14. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Yarnell,AZ and Titusville,FL
    Right now: Garrett GTA 500, ACE 250, Fisher Impulse 8, Gold Bug 2, Whites GMT, Vibraprobe 570, and Falcon MD20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bum Luck View Post
    None of this subject is simple.

    Sulfur is the seventh to eighth most present chemical in the human body by weight.

    Silver tarnishes primarily with sulfur compounds, but also with nitrogen and oxygen.

    Sulfur is present in large quantities in the earth, and it cycles through the atmosphere like many other chemicals, associated with water which I mention here so you have a foundation for the variability.

    The vectors for this happening are volcanoes, biological processes, geologic erosion, and human combustion of sulfur-bearing materials; coal and oil are the major ones.

    It's called the Sulfur cycle. Google it up; I did and learned a lot. I hung out with a chemical genius in grade school, took chemistry in high school and college, and I kept with it to a degree, not the least of reasons which is my love of fireworks. That helped to understand it.

    So, Terry, if the article said that, it was incorrect. Sulfur has been present in the atmosphere for about 3 ga, easily older than minted coins - har! Actually, it can only happen if oxygen is present since sulfur needs it to oxidize into sulfuric and sulfurous acids. That's also when oxygen was produced by photosynthesis in significant amounts.

    Anthropogenic perturbation to the natural atmospheric sulfur cycle, or the impact from human activity, has accounted for a significant increase, and that increase is unevenly distributed, mostly in latitudes 35 to 50 North - hardly surprising.

    Here's a paper on it, done by real scientists, not Wiki authors:
    Bates et al -- Sulfur Emissions to the Atmosphere from Natural Sources

    Quiz on Tuesday.
    Tnx, Bum Luck... and others. I tried to re-find the statements in Wikipedia. Couldn't find it. I'm sure it's still there, just got to find it. I'm sure it's a slanted view anyway. Thanks for the replies. Good to see others are interested. TTC
    At home the ground was covered with snow, and I was covered with sweat. My younger brother called me a killer and my daddy called me a vet. Still in Saigon. Charlie Daniels Band

  15. #14
    us
    May 2008
    Wisconsin
    GARRETT GTI 2500, Garrett Infinium
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerryC View Post
    Tnx, Bum Luck... and others. I tried to re-find the statements in Wikipedia. Couldn't find it. I'm sure it's still there, just got to find it. I'm sure it's a slanted view anyway. Thanks for the replies. Good to see others are interested. TTC
    Thank you Terry, for bringing it up - I learned a lot. Always like that.

    To get to your original post, I think that some silver coins don't corrode because those chemical processes aren't present - first, it needs water, and then the sulfur and the pH is also a factor.
    Last edited by Bum Luck; Sep 10, 2012 at 06:10 PM.
    "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." Friedrich Nietzsche

    "You ask where I live. I cannot tell you. I am a Voyageur, a Chicot, sir. I live everywhere. My grandfather was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. My father was a voyageur; he died while on a voyage. I will also die while en route, and another Chicot will take my place. Such is our course of life."

  16. #15
    us
    Feb 2008
    SE Missouri
    garage sale oldie
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    TH'ing, fishing, reading, cooking
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    dancing in the fire!

 

 

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