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Blackening agent beside sulphur


#1

Was: Black rhodium plating in FL

Hey Guys,

This brings up something I’ve been meaning to ask. if you can’t
tolerate sulphur due to allergies, is there another blackening
agent?

Regards Charles A.


#2

I use this stuff. It works great!

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep800p

Paf Dvorak


#3

Hi Charles,

You could try Jax, which is a commercial jewellery blackener
available at most jewellery supply stores. There’s a variety of types
depending on the metal that you want to blacken–there’s one for
sterling silver and ferrous metals for sure.

It is a liquid that comes in a bottle and applying it is similar to
LOS except heat is not required and it doesn’t smell like rotten eggs
as LOS does :slight_smile:

Hopefully that helps you out.
Kind wishes,
Caroline


#4
This brings up something I've been meaning to ask. if you can't
tolerate sulphur due to allergies, is there another blackening
agent? 

Selenium in the form of selenium toner for photography will darken
metals in s similar way to sulfur. But watch out, selenium is fairly
toxic and mutagenic.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#5

Selenious acid is often a part of silver blackening agents. It has
its own hazards. You may find a solution that works for you at a
local gun shop. Bill

Bill
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc


#6
Selenious acid is often a part of silver blackening agents. It has
its own hazards. You may find a solution that works for you at a
local gun shop.

There is “one” local gun shop, and it’s not really that local. They
have tumblers, so I will be paying them a visit, I can ask them if
they have the blackening agents in stock.

It’s like Fort Knox :slight_smile:
Regards Charles A.


#7

I seem to remember being told that ordinary Clorox will oxidize
silver. Anyone have any experience with it?

Sandra
Elegant Insects jewlery


#8

Hello Sandra,

Chlorine bleach will darken sterling, but the surface is damaged and
solder joints suffer. Not the best.

Judy in Kansas


#9

I can not find the original question, but I can share how I oxidize
silver.

I have a small bottle of something I ordered from a jewelry supplier
called Griffins Silver Black. It does not do the range of colors
that you get from liver of sulfer; it is only black and works on gold
with heat. I apply with a paint brush and wear a disposable glove, if
there is risk of getting on my skin.

My second alternative for turning things black is my torch. I use
it, gently. After heating, I let it cool slowly and do not pickle.

Melissa


#10

Hello,

Just in case you didn’t notice, all of the patinating agents
mentioned can be dangerous to extremely hazardous to use, if you
don’t protect yourself while using them (with acid/chemical resistant
gloves and very active, efficient ventilation AND for some products a
respirator as well). Even our old friend LOS requires adequate
venting, though it is much safer to use than the other products
suggested.

But, the original poster to this thread was asking about an
alternative to LOS. It is possible to use a hard-boiled egg, removed
from its shell (it’s really the yoke, I believe that is useful). The
older the better, since older eggs release more sulfur fumes, and
it’s the sulfur fumes that will patinate your pieces. Here’s how to
do this: Place the egg in a sealable container large enough to hold
the piece being patinated (a glass jar with a lid, for example);
Place the jewel in the container (it should be suspended in the jar
to allow the fumes to circulate around it); Screw on the cap of the
jar; Wait until the piece is patinated sufficiently; Remove the jewel
and discard the egg (ewwww). This is a slower process than with LOS
or other patinators, but it is a safe method and it does work. I know
it sounds kinda wonky and it’s definitely low tech, but it might be
the method you are looking for.

If it is the sulfur fumes to which you have been sensitized, using
an egg MAY offer an alternative, since the fumes are not as intense
as with LOS. Even so, you ought to provide strong ventilation when
using this method, just to avoid exposure. If you are extremely
sensitive (I almost typed “eggstremely” instead. Oy!), invest in a
good respirator with fume cartridges AND ventilate.

Hope this is useful,
Linda Kaye-Moses


#11

I’ve heard of using hydrochloric acid. I’ve never used it myself and
was thinking about trying it, even though it seems a little 'scary’
to use. Does anyone out there use it for patination? I’ve always
used Liver of Sulphur but never can seem to get it dark enough. I too
would like to hear what others are using.

Carol


#12

I was going to use gun bluing solution to darken a stainless steel
bracelet, but when I saw selenium on the label, I thought better of
it. I considered clear-coating it with automotive clear coat, but was
still a bit concerned that if the clear coat wore off, there still
might be a way to absorb the selenium. I gave up the ideal Any
thoughts about how safe this might be?

Linda


#13
I can ask them if they have the blackening agents in stock. 

They call it bluing.

Paf Dvorak


#14
I've heard of using hydrochloric acid. I've never used it myself
and was thinking about trying it, even though it seems a little
'scary' to use. Does anyone out there use it for patination? I've
always used Liver of Sulphur but never can seem to get it dark
enough. I too would like to hear what others are using. 

There used to be a silver and gold darkening agent called Win-Ox
made by Bob Winston that had hydrochloric acid in it if I remember
correctly but that was only part of the formula as HCL by itself
will not darken silver. I don’t know if it is still being made.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#15
I seem to remember being told that ordinary Clorox will oxidize
silver. Anyone have any experience with it? 

It is a grey tone not black.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#16
I was going to use gun bluing solution to darken a stainless steel
bracelet, but when I saw selenium on the label, I thought better
of it. I considered clear-coating it with automotive clear coat,
but was still a bit concerned that if the clear coat wore off,
there still might be a way to absorb the selenium. I gave up the
ideal Any thoughts about how safe this might be? 

I believe that it is not a huge problem on the surface of a piece but
rather in the exposure to the artist to the selenium on an ongoing
basis. That said I have not found gun bluing to have a good adhesion
to 300 series stainless.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#17

Selenium is an absolutely necessary element for life. It is the
high, toxic levels that are a problem. I think you are in the San
Francisco area or north/central California from your comment as
there is a big selenium problem/contamination in that area from
agricultural irrigation tailing water being directed to large
evaporation ponds and wildlife contamination from same. I used to
live in N CA and when I was farming, we had to GIVE our sheep
selenium, as there was little int he soils and the lambs would
suffer/mostly die of lack of the element. I now am in NW Washington
and the soil around the Olympic Peninsula are mostly glacial and
have little/no selenium, so I take supplements. It is a very
important micro nutrient for humans to enable proper thyroid
function.

Yes, selenium is toxic in excess amounts, but so is water or
oxygen!!!

I was going to suggest contacting Berchwood Casey Co. and see if any
of their materials would be good on sterling silver. I am sure some
of their products would be, as we use them on cast bronzes we
produce, for some blacks and browns (2 different formulas).

as to the selenium being a “contamination problem” that too
could/would be a question, but I doubt that it would be. Copper in
high doses is poisonous and for some folks sterling or lower kt gold
alloys cannot be worn because of the copper content.

There are clear coats (mostly catalyzed products) that are tougher
than nails but I would be a bit concerned with chemical transfer
to/thru the skin from the clear coat. Again a call to the
magus/suppliers might/would be in order if one is concerned, as
they/we all should be. With that said, no clear coat is going to
last very long, but some far longer than others.

john dach


#18

Linda, I think you could use some wooden matches to the same effect
and still light a warm and cozy winter fire after they had done their
work. Bill

Bill
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc


#19

harbor freight sells “ultrasonic cleaning powder” for around 3 or 4
bucks. It contains sodium Thiossulphate/thiosulfite (the same thing
depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on). Not only will
it blacken silver rapidly, but dechlorinates water and fixes dyes,
and makes a good substitute developer for negatives in the
darkroom!!.It is also biodegradeable with rid-x so disposal is easy
no matter what your water treatment system involves.

A small amount is all that is necessary- I found out the hard way! I
used about a half teaspoon in a small ultrasonic machine (PC3) and
everything turned permanently black until I pumiced it. It will
blacken white gold and palladium too. 1/8 tsp. is all that is
supposed to go into a quart of water. so you can experiment with the
shade of black you want ( yes there are different blacks!) - just
write down your formulations until you arrive at the one you like
best. A bottle of the dry powder will last years. You can immerse or
paint on to specific areas- stop out those you don’t want blackened
particularly with sterling or argentium…

Jax Black brand I think uses sodium thiosulphate in its formula- but
Jax brand is around $16-20 bucks per bottle compared to the 2.99-4.99
USDollars from harbour freight tools and frequently goes on sale at
20% off or more. I keep it on hand for its various uses and stores
well in it’s heavy plastic container for long periods with no adverse
effects as long as you keep it dry. If mixed up in solution store it
in a glass bottle with a cap that has a chemical proof lining in it.
Glass stoppered bottles and alcohol cups allow too rapid evaporation
unless they are very tight fitting or aren’t chipped at all- even
then a couple of months is as long as it lasts as far as the colour
remaining true to the colour you desired when you arrived at an
acceptable concentration/black hue. rer


#20
It is a very important micro nutrient for humans to enable proper
thyroid function. Yes, selenium is toxic in excess amounts, but so
is water or oxygen!!!!!!! 

Emphasis on micro, selenium dioxide which is the chemical in the gun
bluing solution has a lethal dose (LD50) of 23mg/kg That is not
something to be treated lightly. Just for comparison sodium cyanide
has a LD50 of 6mg/kg so I would definitely class selenium dioxide as
highly toxic and not something to be classed with water or oxygen.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts