Blackening problems!

S> .Has anyone out there had this
S> problem.Could it be a conbination of the hard water in my area
S> or do I need to “wax” the peices to keep the black ffrom
S> greying?

G’day, Sonja; Blackened or sulphided (wrongly called
’oxidised’) silver (or low-carat gold) is a surface phenomenon no
more than a thou-inch or so deep and in any piece of jewellery
which is going to be subjected to day-to-day wear, I cannot see
but that it must soon rub off. However, if the piece is very
thoroughly and completely cleaned, rinsed well, given a quick dip
in dilute nitric acid etch then placed in the warm sulphide for
a minute or two, washed thoroughly and dried carefully, it might
last a bit longer than a few months, if not subjected to much
wear, and shouldn’t go grey: silver sulphide is fairly stable.
To remove the blackening easily, clean the piece with a brush and
dilute ammonia, rinse and put it in your usual pickle which will
dissolve the sulphide in a very short while, though you might
need to use an old toothbrush to get into those tight spots.
Beware splashing though; wear eye protection. My own preference
when blackening deep incisions is to use a good epoxy containing
a tiny amount of black pigment. Spread it on, wipe off carefully
with a tissue moistened with acetone (nail polish remover). Let
it harden for 24 hours (I know it says 5 minutes on the packet
but…!) then sand gently and re-polish. Care is needed when
buffing to avoid overheating and pulling part of the epoxy out.
Waxing might help a little, but don’t laquer the work; it will
Cheers, –

   / /    John Burgess, 
  / /
 / //\    @John_Burgess2
/ / \ \

/ (___)