If you have a silver jewelry item, such as a ring, chain or pendant, that has become tarnished, you can easily clean it with regular, non-gel toothpaste! If the toothpaste is opaque, it is OK--if it is clear, it won't work for polishing because it does not contain the microscopic particles which create the mild abrasion necessary for polishing.
Just put a little of the toothpaste on your fingers and wet the jewelry item under the faucet. Rub the item between your fingers and you will immediately notice that the toothpaste will begin to turn black--this is the tarnish being removed from your jewelry. After rubbing the entire item, rinse off the toothpaste and check to see that you have removed all of the tarnish--if not, just go over the problem area again. Rinse, and you are done!
Some silver items have a thin plating of rhodium metal applied, which is very white and similar to platinum--it will not tarnish, but when it wears off, it will expose the silver beneath, which will then begin to tarnish. If your item is rhodium-plated, it won't tarnish anyway--however, if some of the rhodium has worn off, you will see areas of tarnish. In this case, we recommend taking the item to a local jeweler who can strip off and re-plate your jewelry item, because you will not be able to effectively remove the rhodium by using toothpaste.
Also, sometimes the silver will be so tarnished--it will be completely dark black--that you just cannot remove the tarnish by using toothpaste, or any silver polish. Again, in this case, take the item to your local jeweler, and they can remove the tarnish with stronger chemicals and a polishing wheel.
William C. (Bill) Long