A decade ago, I cast and tumbled a LOT of jewelry (200 to 300 pieces
a week). Back then, I had very good success with steel shot and Ivory
dishwashing liquid and a 4-hour tumble. Just as I was getting out of
the business, Ivory changed their formula and it seemed to make the
pieces grey. As I was selling the business, it never mattered to me.
Now – ten years later – as I re-start my career, I am at a loss. I
purchased a new mini 3-pound tumbler, brand new steel shot, and some
Rio Grande Super Sunsheen Descaler. I am following the instructions
on the bottle and within 15 minutes, all of my silver pieces have a
beautiful gun-metal sheet to them; greenish blue in tint but
decidedly NOT silver. I tried it with just the Super Sunsheen and no
water and with water; three or four permutations and I still got the
gunmetal plating. Oh yes, and I am annealing these pieces each time
in between to assure that I am starting with a fine silver surface.
Just to experiment with an old dishwasher liquid stand-by, I tried
the Palmolive that was in my kitchen, and THAT plated my pieces a
beautiful golden yellow! They are awfully pretty, but still NOT
silver and not sellable in this format.