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Thread: Discolour when oxidising sterling silver

  1. #1
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    May 2014
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    Default Discolour when oxidising sterling silver

    Hi everyone

    I'm trying to oxidise some sterling silver but the result isn't very pretty. The silver become a strange colour of black, green and brown.
    I use sterling silver in a mixture of L water, 7g. sulfur liver and 2g. carbamate. I followed the prescription on the product I bought to the purpose (sulfur liver)
    And I'm sure that I have been working with the exact same product on a jewelry workshop.
    I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. Maybe you have?

    Kind regards
    Bine from Denmark

  2. #2
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    Hi Bine, the colours you mention will be the intermediate colours, on the way to the final dark grey and then black. You could wait longer, or add more LOS. Most of us now use the ready made solution Platinol, which avoids the smelly fumes. It's still best to slow the process for a more even result. Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Be very careful with platinol Bine. It does stink of rotten eggs when you wash it off but it will also take your skin off . Wear gloves and don't use bristle brushes if you are wanting to do small areas, they will just dissolve. I have been known to use it neat on a cotton bud if want a quick black but I know we all have different ways of working with it and diluted in water is fine. You can also quicken the process by rinsing off in hot water. Once you have the colour you want seal with wax, I use Renaissance wax but any beeswax will do the job
    There are already many post on the forum on oxidising , http://www.cooksongold.com/forum/sho...ight=Oxidising
    Last edited by CJ57; 22-05-2014 at 11:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Hi Bine, the colours you mention will be the intermediate colours, on the way to the final dark grey and then black. You could wait longer, or add more LOS. Most of us now use the ready made solution Platinol, which avoids the smelly fumes. It's still best to slow the process for a more even result. Dennis.
    Thank you for your advice!
    It's getting a little bit better when adding more sulfur liver. My retailer just told me that the jewelry needs to be degreased before oxidised, and I will try experimenting with that.
    I don't know what the laws are in the US, but in Denmark you need a gas certificate (I don't know if that's even a word in English ) from the police when you buy Platinol.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bine View Post
    Thank you for your advice!
    It's getting a little bit better when adding more sulfur liver. My retailer just told me that the jewelry needs to be degreased before oxidised, and I will try experimenting with that.
    I don't know what the laws are in the US, but in Denmark you need a gas certificate (I don't know if that's even a word in English ) from the police when you buy Platinol.
    Yes I was taking for granted that you are starting with clean silver Bine. Also note that solder does not darken as well, so solder spills will show up lighter.

    Now I hope you don't think we are in the USA. This forum is based in the United kingdom, otherwise known as Great Britain (until Scotland decide what to do, anyhow). No certificate is needed here for purchase or use of Platinol and we buy it from our jewellery supply companies, Such as Cookson Gold. Dennis.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bine View Post
    Thank you for your advice!
    It's getting a little bit better when adding more sulfur liver. My retailer just told me that the jewelry needs to be degreased before oxidised, and I will try experimenting with that.
    I don't know what the laws are in the US, but in Denmark you need a gas certificate (I don't know if that's even a word in English ) from the police when you buy Platinol.
    Degreasing or a rub with a fine grade of abrasive will help, if it a greasy it will be patchy. In the UK we buy Platinol quite freely, it has a hazard warning which means it has to be delivered by a courier and not through the postal service

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Yes I was taking for granted that you are starting with clean silver Bine. Also note that solder does not darken as well, so solder spills will show up lighter.

    Now I hope you don't think we are in the USA. This forum is based in the United kingdom, otherwise known as Great Britain (until Scotland decide what to do, anyhow). No certificate is needed here for purchase or use of Platinol and we buy it from our jewellery supply companies, Such as Cookson Gold. Dennis.
    Sorry about that mistake.. I'm new in here.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    Degreasing or a rub with a fine grade of abrasive will help, if it a greasy it will be patchy. In the UK we buy Platinol quite freely, it has a hazard warning which means it has to be delivered by a courier and not through the postal service
    Thank you. I will try abrasive paper

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