I just finished up a little project for my shul: having the silver items that decorate the Torah be polished and repaired. Not knowing anything about silver (except that it tarnishes and should therfore be avoided at almost all costs), this little project turned into quite the education.
Thanks to Yelp and their proximity to where I live, I ended up bringing the silver items to Lawrence Miller & Co in Old Town Alexandria. The process, driven by a committee wasn't the fastest one. It included one trip to get items quoted, another to get one piece cleaned and finally we got a whole batch of items serviced.
The folks at Lawrence Miller couldn't have been nicer to work with. They came across as wonderfully knowledgeable, patient and willing to go the extra mile to give us great service. And when they weren't the best fit for part of the job, they made that clear too (versus spending big bucks to have them do something another company could do for a much better price). Most importantly, the silver looks as shiny as can be.
I'm still planning to avoid silver at all costs, but now I have pros I can turn to when I've got questions or work needing to be done.