If you're looking at the photos above, you might ask: why do I have a regular toothbrush, a scary-looking toothbrush, an unidentifiable grey nugget, and sandpaper in my studio? For POLISHING of course!
How can you use these at home?
Fine Grade Steel wool (the grey nugget) is a jewelry collector's best friend. It's an affordable and easy option for removing any tarnishing that can build up on your silver pieces over time. Just gently brush a small chunk of steel wool over your piece (make sure to avoid the stones), and blow away any debris (or, find a clean, dry toothbrush to brush it off with).
The brass brush can also be used to brush away any polishing debris, but it is more likely to affect the finish/shine of the piece.
I also love these sandpaper polishing pads (I prefer 280 grade or finer) for removing tarnishing and achieving a brushed, matte finish! These are a little harder to come by, and considerably more expensive, but 3M and Rio Grande both sell 'em!
Quick Finish Guide:
Steel wool/brass brush = shinier finish
Sanding pad/regular toothbrush = matte finish
*It's always important to know if your jewelry is solid silver or silver-plated before polishing at home. Fear not, all Third Hand jewelry is solid silver, but it's never a bad idea to check on your other pieces!
Have any polishing questions for me? Let me know in the comments!