As we already know, silver tarnishes when it is exposed to corrosive gases in the air. Our surrounding environment, however, is becoming increasingly more polluted. Increased pollution leads to greater amounts of tarnish. So, what effect will this have on your jewelry and metal valuables?

While our environment in the U.S. certainly has its share of air pollution, Asia is quickly becoming an alarmingly more corrosive environment and this is of concern to us for several reasons. First, jewelry that is being produced, sold, or stored there is exposed to extremely high levels of sulfur, H2S and other atmospheric corrosive gases. For jewelry manufacturers who make their items there, jewelry tarnish and corrosion is going to be an increasingly challenging issue as Asia continues to grow economically and industrially. They have not only become a leader in business but in pollution as well. One of the main reasons for this is Asia's exorbitant coal consumption. This, of course, heavily pollutes the air.

While you may think of Asia as a far away place that doesn't affect us over here, think again. Take Mount Hood in Oregon, for example. Evidence has been found on Mount Hood proving that air pollutants emitted from industrial plants in Asia have traveled in our direction. On the mountain's east side, the snow is white. On its west side, however, the snow is brown as a result of pollution. This means that as air pollution continues and worsens in Asia, we are going to feel the repercussions and need to take preventative measures.

Manufacturers are going to need to step up their protection efforts or they will be delivering tarnished merchandise to their retailers and distributors. Also, cutomers who purchase jewelry that has been made in Asia have reason to be concerned. Adequate anti-tarnish protection is crucial in such a corrosive environment in order to maintain the lustrous condition of your silver during storage, shipping, or retail display.