Dear Shane, The range of "oxidation" colors you describe on silver
(deep purple to violet) are not unusual, using "Liver of Sulfur"
slowly and carefully applied. The chemical is sold as "Potash
Sufurated", with the formulaK2Sn, meaning various Potassium Sufides.
I've had some truly marvelous results ranging from blue through pink,
purple, red, orange, yellow, and blue to black. It's hard to give
you the exact concentration, but many old source books quote a
"pea-sized chunk added to 1 liter (approx. 1 quart) warm water. I
find that it should be fresh (doesn't seem to last long, either), and
warm,and your silver piece should also be a little warm. It will be a
pale yellow color. (The solution.). If it cools, warm it in a
microwave for a minute or so; you'll smell the Sulfurous smell of
rotten eggs, which I kind of like. Go very slowly. Dip your silver
piece for about a second. Pull it out. Let it set, and LOOK at it for
a few minutes. You'll see these colors develop as they want to.
Later, you can "paint" with the Liver of Sufur, by using a "Q"-tip
(cotton on a stick) or a small brush to accentuate the color in
various areas. Again, brush lightly, then WAIT for a few minutes
before proceeding. Surprisingly, it's one of the few things in life
in which I can be patient! But the results are really, really, worth
it. I use it especially on reticulated silver, and get marvelous
colors, looking like topographical maps from outer space. To preserve
these colors, I use automobile lacquer applied full strength with a
small brush. My pieces have held their colors for several years now.
Good luck. I love the fact that your piece (and its colors are
related to you and your actions, but somewhat independent, as well).
You "helped", but the end result is more than just you.
Gary Strickland, GJG