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Depletion Gilding 22 karat gold

Greetings to the fine folks of Orchid,

I have read all the archives but still have a question.

In my workshop we work in 22 karat gold which we alloy ourselves.
A woman taking my workshop wanted to bring a richer, deeper yellow to the surface of a thick 22 karat gold chain.

We heated and pickled three times and the gold got whiter rather than yellower. My student was not happy. :0/ What did I do wrong? Looks like all the silver came to the surface rather than the gold. How can this be reversed?

Maybe it happened because;
We didn’t use the soft brass brush between each heating.
We didn’t heat the gold enough.
We used strong Pro-Craft Pickle which I believe is sodium bisulfate.

Trying to avoid using toxic chemicals.

When I studied at Jewelry Arts in NYC we did this all the time with the regular pickle and my notes say … heat and pickle three times.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Warm regards,

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