Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

My yellow gold turned pink

Hi Everyone,

I have a yellow 14k yellow gold casting that I soldered on to the
ring. The soldering went well but when I removed it from the pickle
the yellow gold was pink in color.

I tried pickling in in supper pickle with no luck. Can any one help?
I know I must either be doing something wrong.

Thanks for any input,


I would heat again and put it in fresh acid. I’ve had that when the
acid was overused or when metal tweezers were used to place the ring
in the acid. It should just be a surface tarnish too so polishing
should take it off. Tricky if there are recessed areas though.

Elemental Studio

I think you got copper plating from the pickle…

John Dach

Your pickle is contaminated. Pour peroxide in the pickle with the
piece in it and it will clear up instantly.

That’s probably a layer of copper caused by the pickle and a piece of
iron, If it is, try oxidising it, then pickling, and repeat until the
copper is gone. My dad dropped a bearing in the acid by mistake,
causing just this effect on a silver charm bracelet! That wasn’t fun
to repeatedly heat, because the charms really were fragile. Slow and
long seems the best way to heat them. What happens is that the copper
layer is converted into copper oxide, which is then stripped by the
pickle - this is what happens when you oxidise gold and silver alloys

  • it is the copper that goes dark, not the gold or silver.

Jamie Hall

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all your help. Making the super pickle (half water/half
peroxide) worked well. I forgot the bit about heating the piece
first and quenching hot. Three rounds and my yellow was yellow and my
white was white.


This was really helpful. I had some issues with a piece
of brass that was a mess, looked like cooked carrots and I used the
HP/Water and in about 3 min it was perfect.

Unfortunately, I then went to pickle a Sterling bracelet with hinges
brought given to me to polish that was a mess. I have no idea what
they did with it, but all the copper came to the top, and there was a
flaking on it, which made me think maybe it was plated copper, all
dusty and matte. It was in the new pickle for about 2 min, and when I
went to take it out, the pickle worked, but it came out in pieces. I
never had that happen before, so now I have to figure out what
happened, why and fix it.

This gal buys a lot of Mexican jewelry for resale in her B&M shop,
and I’m wondering if this is not really sterling and quite new and
plated. Most of the old pre-1950 Mexican jewelry I have worked on has
been amazing, well made, and this was really a shock.


people -

i can’t help with the gold turning pink (except agreeing that there
might be a copper culprit), but in my first week or so of chemistry my
sodium chloride experiment turned pink…

don’t mess with yellow snow or pink sodium chloride …