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Jefferey Herman Silver -
Before & After; American Sterling Trophy

Before photo of trophy that has yellowed over the years.This trophy illustrates the result of lacquering. It's not known when this piece was coated, but you can certainly see that over time, lacquer will yellow, degrade, and allow tarnish to form underneath. For these reasons, I don't recommend lacquering. Instead, I prefer the use of archival micro-crystalline Renaissance wax which won't yellow or crack.


Dumond SmartStrip applied to a trophy.

I used Dumond Smart Strip, a 100% biodegradable, water-based paint stripper with no V.O.Cs. This gel-type stripper adheres to the surface on which it's applied. After approximately 18 hours, the still wet stripper and loosened lacquer were removed with cotton balls and saved for a proper disposal. The surface was then rinsed, resulting in the pre-finished surface below.


After photo of trophy using SmartStrip to remove yellowed lacquer.The image on the left shows the lacquer removed and the surface not yet polished. Though a collector could have successfully removed the lacquer, the resulting surface (below) required much more than simple hand polishing.








Trophy with final finish.This is the trophy with its final finish. Two major dents were removed and the interior surfaces (which contained no lacquer) were cleaned and hand polished. This piece was polished to remove all tarnish and any micro-etching that resulted from the tarnish. The age of the piece is still evident with its minute scratches and "dimples" left intact. Many collectors will turn to a mass-finishing service which may over polish silver that has been stripped, possibly ruining the crisp engraving.


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