Holiday Memories

Hi gang,

Looking back on those “precious moments” from the past holiday,
I was wondering if anyone could tell me exactly what I did wrong
that caused the following scenario. I was rebuilding a clasp on
a somewhat expensive diamond bracelet and I needed to clean it
off, so I put it in the bowl of water that I keep next to my
pickle pot for rinsing off pieces I’ve pickled. A few minutes
later I looked and the bracelet was beautifully copper plated. I
put the bracelet in the pickle and it returned to its original
condition. I had dropped a pair of tweezers into the pickle prior
to this and had not changed out the solution,(Sleep deprivation
around the holidays can make you do dumb things)and I had
probably rinsed the tweezers in the same water. I just don’t
understand why the plating occurred in the water. Is it because
I don’t neutralize my pieces between the pickle and the water? I
really don’t ever want this to happen again. My heart can’t
take it. Any answers?

Thanks in advance.


The water you were using to rinse the pickle probably needed to
be changed. Pickle disolves some of the copper alloys in metals
and when steel comes in contact it creates a chemical reaction
charging the pickle thus the water.

Kens Gems and Jewelry

You know that bowl of water beside your pickle that you dunk
your piece in after you pickle it?? After a period of use, it
becomes rather acidic. Not as acidic as the pickle, but acidic
enough to be difficult to neutralize with baking soda. Tried it.
Along with that acidity comes dissolved copper. If you will
notice, the water that is beside your pickle has a blue hue to
it. This is copper sulfate. Now, if you had a steel implement
or some steel filings or anything steel in it, a plating reaction
would occur. There is enough copper dissolved and enough acid
there to provide a electrolytic plating bath. Weak, but enough.
Marshall T. Jones @Marshall_Jones