Oxidizing/Blackening 14k white gold?

Hi All, I recently made a 14k white gold wedding ring and I oxidized it by heating it up on a hot plate and dunking it in hot liver of sulfur many times. I built it up to a nice even black color and I buffed the higher areas of the design down to the gold. I gave the ring to the client and he went in the ocean with it a day later, and he said the black patina washed off right away. I’ve since also tried Griffith Silver Black on it and torch heated the piece before dunking it in the solution. I did this several times and it became halfway blackened but not an even finish. At this point I’m out of ideas, but if anyone has successfully oxidized 14k white gold with a long lasting finish I’d love to hear what you did!



I did blackening on two 18K yellow gold wedding bands for a client. I let Black Max (hydrochloric acid and tellurium) from Rio Grande come to a boil and placed the rings in the boiling solution. I had to touch them with my copper tongs repeatedly to get a reaction. It worked and the client loved it. Rio says to apply to gold with a steel brush. Maybe the steel would be worth a try, too.

Thank you so much for your reply Nancy! I have a client who wants me to try blackening an 18k gold wedding band soon and I’ll definitely try what you detailed. This same client was also asking about blackening platinum. Do you happen to have any experience or suggestions for this?

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Hi, Amber. I just now saw your reply! I hope you get the result you need. I don’t have any experience blackening platinum.

Platinum itself can’t be blackened.
It won’t even react with oxygen or pretty much anything else even when melted.
The notion “Platinum black” is powdered Platinum so fine it looks black.

My best bet would be to fuse a metal into the inlay that can be blackened.

Check this link out.

Regards Per-Ove

Thank you Nancy! I’m finishing the 18k ring this week and will try blackening it using your method. I’ll post the results here :slight_smile:

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. That’s a smart idea to inlay another metal that could be blackened. I’ll do some more research on it :wink:

If you dip the ring in copper-saturated pickle that has some steel in it, then the copper will plate it thinly. This is usually an annoyance, but you can turn it to your advantage, since the copper is easy to blacken with LOS or other oxidizers. Once the piece turns black, you can buff off the high spots to reveal the gold or platinum underneath.

Thank you so much for the suggestion. Have you tried this method on 18k white gold and had success? I tried this method today and the contaminated pickle didn’t plate the the 18k ring at all. I’ll definitely try it again in the future with other gold or platinum pieces I make, but for now my client will have to make do with a white gold ring with no black patina. I told them we can try copper plating it in the future and blacken it with LOS.

Amber, I’ve never had any luck with using the saturated pickle technique on karat gold, only silver. I have had some luck using the boiling acid technique I mention above. I would agree with Yggdrasil regarding platinums non reactivity and their suggestions.

The couple of manufactures that I first worked for, would use black enamel paint that one would buy from a hobby store. They would brush it on, and then remove any excess with alcohol, then they would bake it at around 200 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. I found that it would only last for 6 months up to four or five years depending on how much ware it got, and then it would need to be redone. This was something that we did for free.

Tjones ~ Goldsmith


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