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Antiquing Gold

I need help finding a more permanent matt black antiquing for gold.
I have used the paint on stuff (bad around stones), a black nickel
plating from Stuller (comes off easy), and a copperplate/oxidized
finish (hard to get the copper to plate thick enough in grooves).
Whaty wisdom might you all offer?


Allan Beck
Simmons Fine Jewelry
Boise, ID

    I need help finding a more permanent matt black antiquing for
gold. I have used the paint on stuff (bad around stones), 

I have used a product called WinOx (talked about in the last month or
so on Orchid). You need to heat the piece for it to be effective and
the fumes are bad. One other thing that helps is to apply it with a
steel brush.


Atten.–Allan… Greetings; The MOST important thing in platting is that
the item MUST be ‘surgical’ Clean-(steam, -it’s BEST to clean
chemically).Have the parts you wish NOT to plate-masked off.
(fingernail polish) Copper plate–at your LOWEST Voltage,(at least
20min.-agitated-) If item is this clean, everything will plate. I also
suggest using: non-cyanide TIVIAN Ind.(TivaGlo-)They also have
’antiquing solutions’(best)… purchased through,
(-‘fact sheet’) Take care—Do Enjoy… Dave.(18k)

We have been using a solution of iodine and alcohol to antique 14
karat gold for many years. It gives a gray-black color. Since it is on
the surface of the metal it can rub off but works well in grooves and
recessed areas. It will remind you of liver of sulpher on silver in
it’s look and durability. I know this does not work on all gold since
the iodine is reacting with the copper in the alloy. We are using
United Precious Metal’s 14KYCG3 and we would be intrested in knowing
in knowing how other brands and alloys do. Here are a few hints to get
started. A clean, consistent surface is required. A warm solution
works faster. The more concentrated the solution the faster it works.
Do not clean with ammonia when the antiquing is new, however, as it
ages the ammonia doesn’t affect it. Be sure to use iodine crystals and
not one of it’s salts. This is fairly bad stuff, so take care. It
evaporates from the solid so keep the lid on. I am surprised this
hasn’t been brought before on this forum.


The way I’ve antiqued 14k gold for the past 12 yrs or so is to use
liver of sulfur. Unlike silver, the piece has to be heated with a
torch for it to work. I mix a strong solution with the solid chunks
of liver of sulfur because I’ve never had much luck when trying the
premixed solutions. I clean the piece really well, apply the liver
of sulfur with a brush, then heat with a torch to maybe 800 to 1000
degree f. Most of the time I do two or three applications, pulling
the piece away from the flame for it to cool enough where I can wet
it again. It takes something fairly aggressive to take the black off
of the higher surfaces, tripoli, bobbing compound, fine cratex. This
puts a medium black antiquing on the piece that an ultrasonic or a
steamer won’t take off. Putting batterns flux on it and heating it
to 1300 or 1400 degree won’t even take it all off, just lessen the
darkness. Matter of fact, I’ve never found a way of getting it to
come off short of using a bur. The last time I posted this antiquing
method there was a response basically saying it was irresponsible of
me to post mislike this. Hey, I’m not a chemist, but I’ve
done this process hundreds of times and it works for me. Rick Barnes
Gainesville, FL