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Blackening engravings on gold

Could someone please let me know what paint/chemical is used to
oxidise/blacken into engravings on gold to make them stand out?

G’day Lyn; There are several things you can use.

  1. If the gold is below 18 carat - contains copper - then you can
    immerse it in ‘liver of sulphur solution’, or ‘lime sulphur’ from
    gardening shops which will blacken the whole ring. The blackening is
    easily polished off in places where you don’t want it. If the gold is
    18 carat or higher, then you will need to copper plate

it first by immersing it in used pickle together with a bit of iron,
then immerse in the sulphide solution. Polish off. Fine gold (the
pure metal) does not react with many chemicals other than aqua regia
which dissolves it. Which is why gold is found as the metal
(alloyed with other metals) and not as an ore.

2.Paint the engraving with good quality black enamel paint, allow to
harden thoroughly then sand and polish off.

3.Coat the engraving with mixed 2 part epoxy resin coloured with
black or other colour of powder paint medium, sand and polish off.

  1. Heat the item and flow niello into the engraving. Sand when cool
    and polish off.

  2. Paint the item with gunmakers black and polish off.

The most durable of all these is niello; (difficult to get) next in
line is the epoxy resin.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

I’d also recommend black barbcue paint, used to paint barbecues.
Apply and wipe off, leaving it in the recessed areas. This stuff id
heat resisitant and very, very tough, you’ll need a strong paint
stripper to remove it once it dries. Available in flat black and
glossy, and some colors.


This one is a lot easier than it seems. Apply Black Max (available
from Rio Grande and other suppliers) to the gold object with a piece
of fine (00 to 000) steel wool, or any other piece of steel that is
suited for the job. The result is a nice, rich black. Seems to be
fairly durable, also.

-Tom Murray

Lyn Cameron writes=85

 Could someone please let me know what paint/chemical is used to
oxidise/blacken into engravings on gold to make them stand out? 

Lyn, I have always used a solution that is commericially available
from most any of the jewelry supply houses. Some places call it
Silver-Black, and others call it Win-Ox or something like that.
Indian Jewelry Supply (Gallup, New Mexico) has a good selection of
oxidizing agents in their catalog. BTW, I have no affiliation with
them; I just happen to have their catalog sitting in front of me. The
solution is a mixture of “stuff”, but the primary agent in it is
hydro-chloric acid so use it in a well ventilated area. When
oxidizing gold, I have usually applied the solution, and then heated
the piece a little to get the best results. Good luck