Next I submerged the necklace in a hot solution of liver of sulfur, hoping that the solution wouldn't leak into the hand-blown glass beads I purchased years ago in Montreal (they are originally from Venice, Italy). Once the silver had darkened, I removed the necklace and rinsed it thoroughly, and after it had dried I polished it with 0000-steel wool from the hardware store.
At this point, usually I would tumble my jewelry in a Lorton tumbler with mixed stainless steel jewelry shot and Rio Grande's burnishing compound (I demonstrate this in detail on my DVD, Tribal Treasures Bracelet Workshop) to remove the last bits of 0000-steel wool from the jewelry and bring it to a high shine. But I was concerned about my beads, which are well made but might be fragile—I just didn't want to take the chance of breaking them in the tumbler.
So, instead I squirted Dawn dishwashing liquid on my jewelry and then ran some water over it. Then I scrubbed the necklace with a plastic mushroom brush, the type you buy in a kitchen store. I use this brush exclusively for jewelry, by the way! I demonstrate this alternative to using the tumbler on my brand-new DVD, Ethnic Style Jewelry Workshop, which will be available to purchase next month.
It's pretty amazing how clean and shiny you can make your jewelry by using this technique. And after rinsing the soap away and allowing your pieces to dry, you can use a yellow Sunshine cloth to polish it even further. I enjoyed making this necklace using beads purchased in various countries: Canada (Montreal), the Czech Republic (Prague) and Italy (Florence). Some of the silver components came from Bali and Thailand, two countries I have not visited yet, but hope to someday. By using different beads, you can completely change the look of your jewelry—from ethnic to elegant—it's that easy.