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22K gold antique look


Hello to all

Here in India, most of the goldsmiths do not use liver of sulphur to
oxidise gold. The chemist says that liver of sulphur ( potassium sulphide
) is a highly explosive substance when it is heated to a certain high

I would be very grateful to anyone who could give more details regarding
the use of liver of sulphur for colouring 22K gold to give an antique look.

Thank you



Try using tincture of iodine in the recesses, it is very adherant. Ferric
chloride etchant solution left on to dry and then a buffed (with a soft
cotton buff with no compound on it) off the high spots is an interesting
rusty color. You can deliberately copper flash the object by copper brush
plating or dabbing the surface with some medium steel wool while the
object is in a little container of used pickle from the pickle pot. This
will plate copper as well. Once you have copper plated you can then use
liver of sulfur. There are also various solutions available that will
blacken golds. Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada


Hi Dominic, my experience is this: 22K might be altered by liver of sulphur
only when the piece is heated and thrown into the solution. A definitely
better and longer lasting effect is using what chemists here call
Di-Ethyl-Ether. More expensive, toxic, too, of course, but gives the gold a
darker finish that can be altered by slightly polishing. It can also be
used for giving silver a black tone that lasts longer than other chemicals.
Good luck!


Regarding changing the color of metals, a teacher at Palomar Community
College in San Marcos, California, Ron Young has designed a kit to change
colors. I take my Jewelry Class at the College and a co-student (MA Fine
Arts Jewelry) has just purchased it. Tomorrow at class I will get the
from her and post it to this list. I believe it can be found in
the back section of Lapidary Journal. Teresa


All, Here is the on coloration and patina of metals.

Ron and Debbie Young’s company is:

Sculpt Noveau Products
PO Box 460459
Escondido, Ca. 92046
(800) 728-5787
(760) 741-1074 FAX

The is extensive, there is a kit available and to quote my
classmate who bought it, “there is no way I can use all of this in two

Briefly the kit contains both cold and hot metal coating colors, solvent
dyes, Patinas among others.

Ron Young has a series of two day workshops, some I remember are in
Colorado, New Jersey and New York.

For additional please contact them directly.



Hi Michael, I Just got back from a weeks vacation in Orlando. I use
NOVACAN BLACK Patina… I obtain it from the stained glass store.
People who do stained glass use it to blacked the lead Solder and it
works really great on Silver. I Dip my pieces, wait a moment or two
for them to achieved the shade of black that I like. (You can also
dilute it with a little water to get some nice rainbow colors.) Then I
wash them really well in soapy water, then I rub them with 0000 steel
wool to bring up the highlights. I pay about $3.00 for 8 fl oz. If you
don’t have a stained glass store near you look them up on the web and
order it there. This stuff has poison and all the other warnings on
the bottle so be careful with it. Use it outside and don’t get any on
you. The bottle says it contains nitric acid and selenium compounds (
What ever they are) a little help, John Burgess from Down Under,
Please. Susan Chastain

    I use NOVACAN BLACK Patina..   from the stained glass store...
The bottle says it contains nitric acid and selenium compounds
(What ever > they are)  a little help, John Burgess from Down
Under, Please. 

You rang, modom? G’day; I’m not a great deal of help here, I’m
afraid. Except that all selenium compounds are extremely poisonous.
The element selenium is in may ways similar to sulphur, though not so
abundant in nature. It forms very similar compounds to those of
sulphur; for instance selenic acid is selenium trioxide dissolved in
water and analogous to sulphuric acid which is formed from sulphur
trioxide dissolved in water. Selenic acid forms salts called
selenates with metals, just as sulphuric acid forms metal sulphates
(e.g., copper sulphate and selenate). Selenides are similar to
sulphides (e.g… potassium sulphide, and selenide) You all know how
awful hydrogen sulphide smells? Rotten eggs. And it is also rather
poisonous. Well hydrogen selenide smells positively ghastly. Rotten
eggs plus rotten fish, plus rotten cabbage plus rotten garlic… and
very poisonous indeed.

Many of the compounds of selenium are black, and I suspect that
silver, copper, and lead selenides are harder than the sulphide -
though I am not too certain of that. Selenic acid and selenides are
part of the ingredients of ‘gun blueing’ solutions, but I don’t really
know exactly how they work.

One strange thing is that although selenium compounds are extremely
poisonous, traces of selenium are essential for many plants and
animals, and in certain places in NZ, sheep didn’t do well; their wool
was poor. Until tiny amounts of selenium were added to the top
dressing given to grass paddocks, and that sorted out that problem!
It all gets down to the definition of poison, just: TOO MUCH! Not a
whole lot of practical help, but I do my best. Modom. Cheers,

        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /    
     / /__|\
    (_______)   It's springtime in Mapua Nelson NZ But today

it’s cold rainy and nasty.