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MFA Acc. #: 02.211


A discoloration or dulling of a metal surface due oxidation or other chemical reactions. Atmospheric pollutants, such as oxide sulfur oxides, react with silver to form a black sulfide silver sulfide tarnish. Addition of indium to the silver alloy will increase its tarnish resistance (Lewis 1993). Copper, brass, and aluminum are also susceptible to tarnishing.


Synonyms and Related Terms

silver tarnish

Additional Images


  • Ralph Mayer, Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Richard S. Lewis, Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982

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