Value of stamp collection, white residue on silver jewelry, more

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Also, my husband used some silver cleaner to clean some .925 silver jewelry, but instead of shining it, the cleaner left a type of white residue on it. Does anyone know why this happened and can I get it back to the way it should be?

Also, I have some old costume jewelry and possibly real jewelry that I would like inspected to know the value. If you know where I could bring it, I would be very grateful. Thank you for all you do. — No Name, Bethel.

ANSWER: Have you checked out the Scott Postage Stamp Catalog that is available in many public libraries? The catalog contains stamp listings, with pictures. The stamp’s value depends on if the stamp is used or unused, or mint. The catalog lists the price you would pay to buy the stamp from a retail dealer. “In reality this price tends to be inflated, and you can almost always buy a stamp from a reputable dealer for less than this value. You can expect to get only a small percentage of this amount when selling,” according to Peter G. Aitken, a stamp collector.

Sun Spots found an article that was published in the Bangor Daily News a few years ago that answered your first question regarding your stamp collection. It stated, “How about donating or loaning the collection to a school or community library? I’ll bet budding collectors would find it interesting. If sale is a must, there’s always online auction. Check eBay to see how similar collections are presented and priced. Warning: There are sharks in any collecting area. Be smart about selling. Don’t let buyers pick out the best and leave the rest — unless it benefits you to do so.”

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In answer to your question about the white residue on your .925 silver after cleaning it: J.P. Cambert, owner of silver jewelry shops, wrote: “Sterling silver dips can be fast and easy but are not recommended by professional silversmiths and jewelers. If using a silver dip it is better to insert the item and remove it quickly, repeating after rinsing with water, rather than leaving the item in the dip for long periods of time. Follow up by buffing with a soft cotton cloth. If you leave the piece in too long, or don’t rinse it well enough with fresh water, a white residue will be left which can be difficult to remove.” You may want to have your .925 silver cleaned at a jewelers’ shop to get that residue removed. A jeweler would also be the best one to tell you the value of your costume and/or real jewelry. There are several reputable jewelers in the Bethel area.

HI SUN SPOTS: Just wanted to let you know that Best Buy recycles computers and printers, etc. — Evelyn via email.

ANSWER: Thank you for this information. Sun Spots is often asked where to dispose of old computers and other electronic equipment so this is good to know. There is a Best Buy on Turner Street in Auburn.

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