Years ago I was given this formula for depletion gilding 18K gold:
2 parts potassium nitrate
1 part alum
1 part table salt
10 parts water
Heat until steaming (not boiling) and use gold wire to suspend piece until desired effect is reached.
I’ve experimented with this once or twice to no definitive effect and after searching through the forums, it would seem that this mix would just perhaps remove copper oxides from the piece, but still leave the silver behind creating a greener look rather than richer yellow. So far, I haven’t been able to find any concoction for depletion gilding gold that doesn’t involve nitric acid. So my question is this:
- Does anyone have any experience with this recipe (or something similar) that can perhaps speak to its effectiveness or if I have perhaps misunderstood it in some fashion?
- Does anyone otherwise have a recipe for not just removing copper oxides (which any pickle will do anyway), but also silver to raise the surface karat without using nitric acid? (Franky, I’m a bit nervous about messing around with that in my shop)
Thanks for any insight/help you can offer!