Do you use compounds in your polishing process? If so, which ones works for you. I am a newbie to working with metals and always looking for information for improvement. I used rouges, bobbins and white diamond. I did a pro polishings and the polish on some items about a month ago for a show. I place everything in non-tarnish bags after the show. This past Sunday I look at jewerly and they needed to be clean and polished ( only the brass and copper) So I proceeded and yesterday when I went to pack some of those pieces had to be cleaned again. So this time I use a pro-pad. What is going on!!!
I don't think there's a problem with your polishing techniques Dorothy, but rather the effects of weather/air/ humidity along with sweaty or oily hands and necks and/or some chemical residue like dry-cleaning or fabric softeners on clothes that come in contact with the jewelry. Combined with the natural air...well...that can reek havoc on the base metal stuff.
I remember polishing everything up to a brilliant shine, only to have the copper and brass jewelry and yes, sometimes even the silver, look dull and lackluster after a day or two at an outside show. Living here in humid central Florida and doing shows by the Gulf (or just wearing jewelry!) means a lot of time spent with a polishing cloth or running the tumbler for a quick clean-up.
Storing your jewelry in non-tarnish or zip-top style plastic bags will help slow the oxidization process down, but you'll still have to polish. Unless you use a protective coating on the metal which there are numerous pros and cons, if you're doing outside shows, your jewelry will need frequent touch ups.