According to eHow, the tarnish you see on silver is silver sulfide, which is a product of silver reacting with sulfur in the air. Here’s the chemical formula: Ag2O + H2S —> Ag2S + H2O
Silver tarnishes as part of a reaction to sulfur dioxide in the air that are a result of air pollution from the combustion of fuels. Sulphides can also be found in ground water, epsom salt and eggs. The sulfur dioxide reacts with the silver to affect the luster of the silver and cause tarnishing or discoloration.
The time it takes for silver to tarnish varies depending on the amount of sulfur exposure, humidity, elevation and exposure to sunlight.
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