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Copper plated silver

Dear Orchidians, I need a simple method to remove copper from a
sterling(?) piece that was soldered and sparexed. Buffing will not
get into recessed areas. Evidently there was steel somewhere other
than the clasp which was not in the sparex, possibly as a backing
spacer to keep the stone high in the bezel in this charming Bali
bracelet that was supposed to just be a simple solder of a broken
jumpring. Another in a long list of “jewelry from hell” projects I
have danced with. My feet hurt and I am once again humbled.

Richard in Denver

Add some hydrogen peroxide (yes, from the drugstore) to a dish of
sparex and put the item in it. This is a strong pickling solution
that will also etch solder so you need to watch. You should see
bubbles. I don’t measure the amounts. This solution decomposes
quickly and the liquid may be put back into the pickle pot without
harm. Marilyn Smith

To remove the copper plating from silver due to iron contaminated

Empty and clean out your pot and make up a new batch of pickle and
heat it. Drop in the item and add a little hydrogen peroxide. The
peroxide degrades very quickly to water and oxygen (it’s monovalent
oxygen in solution to begin with which is what will turn the copper
into copper oxides that are easily dissolved in the pickle)and the
pickle is immediately reusable in the normal way.

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

Hi Richard, I might also add that when using the peroxide/pickle
solution, mix it in a venthilated area. Or hold your breath while you
are directly next to it mixing it. I have had to use this solution
alot in the past. Worked for a designer who had us make alot of items
out of brass that would of course turn pink after soldering and
pickling. The peroxide/pickle solution works great. It just seems to
take my breath away if I accidentally inhale any of the fumes. Then I
am coughing and doing a little gasping. Seems to be most fumey when
first mixed, while the pickle is still warm and the mix is most
fresh. Just a thought. Hope your piece comes out clean.-Carrie Nunes
in hot n’ humid Tennessee