At a recent gem show, I overheard a vendor telling a customer she
could “oxidize” silver jewelry with Clorox instead of LOS, so I
experimented by applying some bleach with a swab to a piece of
sterling scrap, and yep, it turned the silver quite black. None of
the subtle colors I can get with a dilute LOS solution but it
definitely yields a velvety black color. My question is whether,
apart from the coloration, the bleach harms the silver or alters the
strength of the solder joints in any way? Good ventilation is
obviously important, but is there anything else I should beware of?
And by the way, we have sulfur-reducing bacteria in our well water
and apart from tasting like “beach water,” it really makes my
jewelry tarnish fast. One more reason to save pennies for that
water treatment system!
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and experience.
Walk in Beauty,
Jewels of the Spirit