Oxidizing of continuum silver

Hello all,

I’ve recently fabricated a wedding band for a couple (who were on a
very small budget) out of Continuum Silver.

I had decided to try this new alloy as it is a tarnish resistant
alloy and when heat treated compares to the hardness of white gold.

I used Continuum Silver hard solder for color match when
constructing the band and once finished and cleaned up I heat
treated the metal as suggested by the manufacturer in a kiln.

Within a few weeks the ring was heavily oxidized and the couple is
returning the ring. My clients sent me a photograph of the ring and
it was nearly black.

Obviously the ring came in contact with something that caused the
oxidation. but I am unable to uncover what as my clients live in

Has anyone else encountered similar reaction to this metal? Do you
think that a person’s body chemistry could cause such a quick


Hi Jim,

Continuum Is a tarnish resistant Sterling. It will still tarnish in
the presence of sulfur. We all know there are many foods that are
high in sulfur, itis a necessary nutrient in our bodies. It is also
a common fact that all sterling silver will tarnish in the presence
of sulfur. Some other major contributors are loading gun shells
because of gunpowder. Also MSM, DMSO, Are some of the biggest
contributors in tarnishing of sterling silver. I would guess that
there is nothing wrong with the ring. Sometimes we just come in
contact with the wrong chemical at the right time. You can do it
test and compareit against other Sterlings in your shop, and it will
give you a great idea of where it stands.

Obviously the ring came in contact with something that caused the
oxidation. but I am unable to uncover what as my clients live in

Mineral hot springs here in Colorado do a number on sterling.
Especially, Hot Sulfur Springs, 17 delightful hot pools, each
guaranteed to patina sterling.

Hair care products can affect sterling.

Richard Hart G. G.
Denver, Co.

All sterling silver alloys will tarnish when exposed to sulfur
compounds some faster than others but if you can patina it with
liver of sulfur it will tarnish. Another source of aggravation is
strong chlorine compounds that will produce some silver chloride on
the surface which will darken with exposure to sunlight.

I have had people manage to do this in hot tubs and mineral baths,
or in areas where the well water is high in hydrogen sulphide or
other sulfur compounds typically from anaerobic bacteria in the
ground water or issues with hot water tank anodes or low tank
temperatures. Anyhow while not super common it does happen.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts

Chlorine in swimming pools will do it…

Obviously the ring came in contact with something that caused the
oxidation. but I am unable to uncover what as my clients live in

Jim, Many swimming pools today are salt water pools rather than
chlorine. They turn silver black. If they travelled to an ocean on
the coast, that would certainly do it too. I assume the problem is
environmental rather than a result of body chemistry since it
happened to both their rings.

Janet in Jerusalem


the perfume and cosmetic industries produce many products which do
nasty things to silver.

So do some town waters.

The best advice is to keep the ring away from all chemicals and when

How many times do you see chefs on TV make food with their jewellery

Now just toss this salad or mix the mince by hand. Revolting. Just
wonder how much crap is under that ring?

When I clean people’s jewellery now I give it a good soak in

I knew an elderly lady who re-strung pearls and would charge an
extra $10 if they were not clean and she had to clean them. And gave
the customer a “good talking too” as well.

Last thing on and first thing off is a good policy for jewellery.

I have an interesting situation at one market. When the air is damp
or it rains the sterling gets brown spots that are very hard to remove
without buffing. My JCR ionic cleaner does not remove it.

After some deduction/discussion it was concluded that being under an
airport jet flight path it was jet fuel/exhaust in the air that was
condensing on the silver in water droplets/mist.

This is the only place I have had this happen even under the same
weather conditions.

Glad I don’t live in that town.

Xtines Jewels