PorringerI entered the elegant world of sterling silver when I became a bride in my mid-twenties.  We were given his grandmother’s heavy box of sterling, but there was a problem.  Over the years, many pieces had disappeared.  With the help and guidance of a woman who was like my second mother, I began the search for pieces of this obsolete pattern.My first stop was Jean’s Silversmiths in New York City.  I had no idea what to expect so I arrived when they opened.  I wanted to have plenty of time to look around before going to an matinee on Broadway.

Silver tarnished flippedWhen they buzzed me into the shop, I learned my first important lesson about sterling.  Every piece I saw on the shelves and tucked into drawers was tarnished.  Why?  Traffic is heavy in Manhattan.  All the pollution can damage the surface and patina of a silver piece.  That thin level of tarnish helped to protect the pieces during their short layover in the shop.  Of course, everything is polished to perfection before it’s delivered to a buyer.

I wish I had known.  You see, I was wearing a beautiful white linen suit.  I’m afraid I had to sprint back to the hotel to change before I went to the theater.

It was a funny beginning to a lifelong adventure with silver.  Its beauty, history and romance captured my imagination so there was no question what the unifying theme of my cozy mystery series:  Sterling Silver.  

To feature it in the stories, there might be an elegant dining experience, discovery of an unusual piece, an appraisal… or a murder!

TarnishedSilver Cover Book 1  EBook Cover Final Cover Front

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