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Over-Pickled Silver

My sterling/fine silver filigree got left in the pickle (standard
Sparex) way too long. It’s now dark and ugly. Is there a cure, or
is this project toast?

(Way too long = long enough to get through the ER, get my gall
bladder removed, and get home again. I was a little distracted!)


I have found that “electrocleaning” the silver is the least
abrasive, especially as you are talking about a fine work that might
not enjoy being subjected to a hard polish. I am not in the US and
don’t know what “sparex” is, but I assume that the “black” is due to
some form of oxidisation process…The electrocleaning would be Quick
and worth a try before any other “harsh” processes if, for whatever
reason it doesn’t work.

As for your op… you’ll be surprised how quick it will be to
recover and just how unnecessary a gallbladder is.

Good luck.

Hi Lauren

I often forget things in the pickle. As long as pickle not hot maybe
not too much damage done. Remove, rinse, reheat pickle, and soak for a
few minutes. you might be surprised how good it looks. Items coming
out of pickle looking dark can sometimes mean dirty pickle and need
to clean muck from pickle pot.

Good luck
Phil W

can’t you just heat it and repickle?

and lost my gall bladder long time ago back when they really cut ya

Good Health and swift recovery

Silver & Cameo Heritage Jewelry

Have a good look at it and see if it is etched. Quite often the
salts accumulating on the surface oxidise in sunlight and leave the
metal looking black but a dip in a fresh pickling solution will cure
the problem. The copper from the surface may well have dissolved
leaving a pitted frosted surface, in which case it has been too long.


Lauren - gracious, what a horrible thing to have happen! I hope you
are much better now! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Beth in SC

Well, I don’t think I have left anything in the pickle that
long…but I have had some gunky pieces come out.

Usually I’m still in the process of making them. I just keep on
(denial is a happy place) working and with reheating and repickling
the piece comes out clean.

So try a little gentle reheating, put in back in clean pickle and
see what happens. You might also be able to tumble it clean.