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I had a question I was hoping I could get answered here, but since I'm not as familiar with your site, I wanted to post it on meta first to make sure I'm posing it in a way that's on-topic.

My general situation is that my husband and I have identical tantalum wedding rings. His is still perfectly shiny and looks like new, whereas mine began to tarnish and discolor after about a month. The only difference in care was that he very careful not to wear his ring in the shower, when washing dishes, when applying lotion, etc. I figured most household products like that would not damage affect the tantalum, which is supposed to be very non-reactive.

The reason I am coming here rather than talking to the jeweler or searching online is that because tantalum is such a non-standard metal, it is very difficult to find any useful information online, and unfortunately the big-box jeweler we purchased them from has shown to be very unknowledgeable.

I have two questions that I'd like answered. The first I think will be easier, and that is whether it is safe to try and clean the ring using a standard at home cleaning method which uses foil, hot water, salt, and baking soda. I thought that since that was just asking about a chemical reaction, it should be appropriate on this site.

The second part of my question would be trying to figure out why my ring looks so different from my husband's, and if it's possible it's defective. This seems much more speculative, so I wasn't sure if there was a way to ask this in a way that is answerable here.

Any advice on how to proceed?

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    $\begingroup$ I think the question(s) will be on topic, the first one is quite obvious, the second might be a bit broad, but I do not see a problem here. I guess it would be best to ask separate questions, waiting a few days between, since the prior could contain the answer to the latter by accident. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Aug 6 '18 at 13:41
  • $\begingroup$ I concur that both questions are more or less on topic even though, as Martin mentioned, the second one is more broad than the first. Not sure I'd separate the queries; perhaps making the first the priority question and the second as a bonus section (i.e. more speculative but non-integral) but within the same thread. Be sure to add images with highest possible quality if you choose to do so. If nobody answers the bonus part, you may always edit this section out later, and post a second question as per Martin's suggestion, and add cross-referencing links where necessary. $\endgroup$ – Linear Christmas Aug 7 '18 at 10:23
  • $\begingroup$ A small link at the beginning/end of the question, or in the first comment might also be reasonable insofar as to demonstrate clearly that you have thought this through and done your due diligence. $\endgroup$ – Linear Christmas Aug 7 '18 at 10:27

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