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Alternative to sulfur for silver oxidation?


#1

I’ve seen some mass produced items that have been oxidized with
something NOT the standard sulfur solution. It looks like it could be
some sort of paint or wood varnish or something, but I can’t be sure
what it is. Does anyone have any idea, what, other than the standard
stuff, can be used to create a darker look in the crevasses of a mass
produced item?


#2
I've seen some mass produced items that have been oxidized with
something NOT the standard sulfur solution. It looks like it could
be some sort of paint or wood varnish or something, but I can't be
sure what it is. Does anyone have any idea, what, other than the
standard stuff, can be used to create a darker look in the
crevasses of a mass produced item? 

do you mean antiquing ink? it goes on as a thick black liquid, you
let it set for a bit and then wipe it off the top surface and it is
left in the recesses. it can be found at most suppliers and in Rio,
i believe.


#3
i've seen some mass produced items that have been oxidized with
something NOT the standard sulfur solution. It looks like it could
be some sort of paint 

It could very well be black paint. It is frequently used on the
cheaper, “southwestern” nickel silver jewelry.

Lee


#4

A place I used to work for used black nail polish behind stones like
moonstones and opal to bring out the flash. It lasted better than
the standard black max or liver of sulfur.


#5

There is an oxidization liquid that I buy from my local Jewelry
Supply Store. It produces a totally black surface on silver instantly
upon application. It replaces a product called Win-Ox. Bob Winston
the producer is no longer with us.

Its not a very friendly chemical. It is best to wear latex gloves
and wear a vapor mask.

I can send a picture of what it looks like as it was painted on part
of a buckle.

A company by the name of Horizon Tool Co produces it. No address on
the label.

The local supply house is:

Lonnie's
1436 N 44 Th. St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008
602-0220-0494
www.lonniesinc.com

I am not connected in any way.

Lee Epperson


#6

Hi Tiffany,

A place I used to work for used black nail polish behind stones
like moonstones and opal to bring out the flash. It lasted better
than the standard black max or liver of sulfur 

Did the black nail polish flake off ever? Sounds like an interesting
idea, and worth a try.

Thanks for responding!


#7

I’ve been considering using permanent black marker. I’ve made a test
piece, which I’ve had sitting on my bench for several months and
regularly abuse, to see how it wears over time. So far, so good.

Janet Kofoed


#8
A place I used to work for used black nail polish behind stones
like moonstones and opal to bring out the flash. It lasted better
than the standard black max or liver of sulfur 

I gotta say, I can’t accept this statement. Left to itself, silver
eventually turns black, and never turns back to any other color, so
how can the black “not last”, especially behind a moonstone?
Personally, I think it is a bad idea to use a product that is not
meant to be permanent (nail polish) for a permanent application.

For behind stones, when you want a bright reflection, polished fine
silver is good, or a piece of mylar from a candy wrapper-- that stuff
will never rot! For black, I like chemical blackeners like Black
Max, or for deepest black, I have cut a piece of black plastic from
one of those little envelopes stones sometimes come in.

I guess I could see using black oil paint, since we know oil paint
lasts for centuries, but not nail polish.

Noel


#9
Did the black nail polish flake off ever? Sounds like an
interesting idea, and worth a try. 

It only came off if I was too impatient to wait until it dried and in
that case it stuck to the stone where if I had left it in it might
have held the stone in place :wink: (lol). Also it is important for the
surface to be pretty smooth so solder blobs should be sanded away
before application(but that is a given). The jeweler I worked for
was in business for 25 years and never was there a complaint about
it. It is pretty protected by the stone once in place.


#10
I've been considering using permanent black marker. I've made a
test piece, which I've had sitting on my bench for several months
and regularly abuse, to see how it wears over time. So far, so
good. 

That is what I use on my gold-plated stuff, to get the contrast that
I am accustomed to seeing in my patinated silver work. Wipe off the
surface with alcohol to clean the high spots.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#11
I've been considering using permanent black marker. 

The first time they clean their hands with an alcohol wipe at the
Dr.'s office, there goes the black. Really not a good idea.


#12

All in all we all have had many different experiences with different
products. I have tried many and some worked, some didn’t. Even the
best tried and true chemical treatments turn over time it is just
the nature of metal. In the piddly 12 years I have been a teacher,
goldsmith, bench worker, and designer I have seen even the best
chemical treatments on the most ideal finished pieces turn uneven
and discolor over time due to the wearer. Any treatment will be
affected over time so whether you try what my old employer used or
any of the other treatments, I say experiment with all of the
wonderful suggestions and choose what works best for you. Good luck
and keep us posted!


#13
I've been considering using permanent black marker. 

I use the permanent markers (Sharpies) a lot just for marking/layout,
etc, while making jewelry, rather than as a permanent color on the
work. Frankly, I don’t find it all that durable. While it’s water
proof, handling the metal rubs it off quickly enough. It’s a lot less
durable than, say, the oxidiation on silver from sulphur compounds.
I’d suggest paying some actual money on a product, and getting the
commercially made antiquing paints sold for darkening gold. Commonly
used on things like class rings, etc. Several dark shades of color
are available (black, dark brown, dark green, etc.) These paints put
down a thicker, much more durable deposit. I think it’s an epoxy
based paint (solvent based, though, not a two part epoxy or anything
like that). Put it on, let it dry somewhat, or all the way, then
highlight with the solvent made for it, or with plain zylene. You’ll
find this stuff performs a lot better than magic marker in this use.
And testing such a product by just sitting it on the bench tells you
nothing other than that it doesn’t fade in the light. Instead, put
the item in use, wear it, for example. If the surface is porous, or
deeply textured (sandblast), then perhaps marker might be able to
hold on fairly well. But on normally finished metal? Not as well as
I’d like, at least. Your needs may vary, of course, but that’s my
take on it…

Peter


#14
If the surface is porous, or deeply textured (sandblast), then
perhaps marker might be able to hold on fairly well. But on
normally finished metal? Not as well as I'd like, at least. Your
needs may vary, of course, but that's my take on it... 

I agree. I only use the black marker on narrow, deep indentations.
It is not appropriate for areas that could be touched by a finger. I
don’t think it looks nice on wide areas, either, due to a purpleish
cast that it has. And it would not be right for rings, as someone
else pointed out, due to its ease of removal with alcohol. I think
that many bug repellant sprays would remove it. too. I only use it
for pendants and earrings, those with narrow, deep recesses.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#15

I am having a difficult time understanding how people are using a
"permanent" marker to darken their metal. My experience is that
markers come off very easily with regular rubbing alcohol, even in a
recessed area. How would you ever proceed to maintain the piece?
Wouldn’t it also come off with Tarnex or other silver cleaners? It
hardly seems permanent if it is on an exposed part of the piece. Am
I misunderstanding?


#16
The first time they clean their hands with an alcohol wipe at the
Dr.'s office, there goes the black. Really not a good idea. 

I wasn’t thinking of it so much for rings as for pendants, which
generally don’t come into contact with alcohol.

Janet Kofoed


#17

The first time they clean their hands with an alcohol wipe at the
Dr.'s office, there goes the black. Really not a good idea.

I wasn't thinking of it so much for rings as for pendants, which
generally don't come into contact with alcohol. 

Alcohol is more prevalent than just in wipes, my teen daughter use
{overuse?} body mist and spray perfumes which are alcohol based. An
overspray in P.E. or elsewhere could cause an stain and embaresment
on pendants, necklaces, or pins/broaches.

I’ve not tried using the felt tipped paint sticks, of course paint
thinner or acetone would be needed to deal with excesses. I’m not
sure that they are not worse than liver of sulfer to deal with? I
personally have no problem with LOS! With ventilation.

Ed


#18

I only use it on gold-plated earrings and pendants that have narrow,
deep recesses. It would not be appropriate, in my opinion, for
silver, which can be done much better with LOS or Black Max, or with
gold which can be done with LOS hot with a steel applicator. It does
not work on broad areas, as it could be rubbed off. But in the cracks
that one cannot touch the bottom of with a finger, it stays very
well. I don’t particularly like gold-plating, anyhow, so this seems
to me to be of the right quality for the material. But one must be
careful to use it only where it will stay put. The customer should be
able to wipe the surface of the piece clean without touching the
marker ink at all. Solvents and cleaners are not used on gold-plated
work, so that’s not a problem. If anyone is considering using this
for silver, I’d say NO! It would cheapen your work to try to take
such a shortcut. Use a proper patina. But it sure does solve a
problem I had with coloring some of my plated pieces. You don’t want
to be polishing the plating off when you try to remove a patina from
the top surfaces of a piece!

I have used the heavier, thicker paint-on products for this in the
past, but I prefer the marker.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#19

Black markers fade drastically in UV light over time (weeks or
months, depending on exposure). If you’re going to go the marker
route, at least use a black paint pen. The surface is hard and much
more durable. Dries quickly, removes or cleans up with mineral
spirits. Available in art supply stores.

Rene Roberts
Little River, CA


#20

Hi there- I just worked on a head piece with a 10x18 bezel on it
where I used the black nail polish inside the bezel,and tested it
through sanding an polishing and a week of the abuse of fitting,
brass brushing…

I painted it on last wednesday and it lasted without a scratch,
flake or discoloration. I polished it a few times through tripoli,
white diamond and then a few final rouge polishings. Cleaned it off
by soaking it in warm ammonia and dish soap probably six times for at
least 20 mins. each time and even sometime used a toohbrush and set
the stone. The $1.00 black nail polish did not budge. I did not
polosh directly on the nail polish but the buffs did hit it slightly
a few times…no changes, never had to reapply it. So for what it is
worth, I think this was a good test for the black nail polish. But
again, I always suggest testing it on your own to absolutely sure.