Patinas on 18K gold

A friend of mine working almost exclusively in 18k gold. She
would like to add more color to her work and has been
dissatisfied with using liver of sulphur and iron to get a black
oxidation. Can someone recommend an alternative?


HI; You might try black lacquer paint [flat] or enameling…
Ringman John

I am an enamelist. most 18kt gold is perfect for enameling. Even
little accents in acid etched indentions around a stone looks
faboulous. Color heals people. We are naturally attracted to it.
My freinds, who are jewelers who I encourage to use color, end up
selling much more work when they start using colored stones
along in their metals. Good Luck! Purple blossoms on my wisteria
are heaven to see and smell right now. Sue Knopp

Try this. The that you need may be in this article.
Hope it will help.

Jewelers Hit Black Gold!

By Carrie Soucy
Senior Associate Editor

New York=97Fashion for the past few years has been all about
textures. It’s no surprise, therefore, to find another treatment
surfacing in the fine jewelry industry.

White metals=97silver and gold=97are showing up in highly designed
lines with a blackened finish. Either plated or treated, the
metals offer a trend-forward, blackened look.

These black metals are led by several leading trends in fashion
and fine jewelry. White metals, for example, are hot in every
category and have extended beyond the fashion-forward and are
hitting home even in rural areas. As this happens, it’s only the
natural progression of fashion that prompts leading
manufacturers to launch innovative outtakes on the white look.
Also, as mentioned, are textures and treatments. In fashion,
apparel for several seasons has been increasingly embellished or
created from textured materials. Fabrics such as fleece and
clothes enhanced with beading or embroidery have become
commonplace from both cutting-edge designers and mass-appeal
retail collections.

In fine jewelry, gold that is hammered or woven and platinum or
white gold that offers a brushed finish has been more and more
popular. The blackened look of these new metals offers yet
another treatment to alter the look of the metals.

Accessorizing clothes with the black gold or silver is easy for
women. While color is the buzzword in fashion circles right now,
it is black that remains the strongest look. From the classic
little black dress to evening-wear to clothes for the office,
the easy pairing and slimming color black=97the perfect complement
to these blackened metals=97is today considered “in” season

Another fashion trend, that toward utilitarianism, also lends
itself to jewelry with these metal treatments. It offers the
laissez-faire look that works well with sports-inspired dress
and casual clothes. Similar to the naturally occurring tarnished
silver=97once a faux pas in fine jewelry=97blackened metals show an
acceptance of the natural look.

Following the call for two-tone jewelry, manufacturers are often
complementing blackened white metals with yellow gold=97either the
fine look of 18-karat yellow gold with 18-karat rhodium-plated
white, as shown by Aaura, Chicago, or the lower-price point
black sterling silver with 14-karat by Stahl Design, Pforzheim,

Michael -

You asked about patinas for 18K gold, alternatives to liver of
sulfer. I have only tried the following technique on 14K gold, so
I don’t know whether it would work on 18K. An alternative to
patinas (which is only a “plated” surface on gold anyway) is to
heat the metal until it is a dark color from oxidation. (The
copper is what oxidizes.) The oxidation will be very uneven,
that’s OK. Then gently remove the surface oxidation with
something like one of the 3M microfinishing cloths. Reheat and
again use the cloth. Repeat this process several times. The color
will even out. If you have a file finish or something other than
a high polish, you will get more color. On 14K I have achieved a
deep straw-bronze color. Since higher karats have less copper, I
don’t know whether this technique will work on them. Hope this
helps; good luck.

Ren=E9 Roberts

To “oxidize” gold, I use a product from Swest called
"Silver/Gold Oxidizer". You can get shades of gray to deep
black. It contains hydrochloric acid and tellurium oxide,
according the the catalog description. It says the color can be
removed in a pickling solution. It works on silver without any
"help". Doesn’t need to be heated. But with gold you must make
contact with the gold and the liquid solution using a bit of
steel. Rio sells the same sort of product called Black Max that
has the same chemical makeup. Rio advises applying the solution
with a steel-end brush. Something about the steel makes the
solution interact with the gold. It’s worked very well for me.
I’ve had the same small bottle for a couple of years and it
doesn’t lose strength like liver of sulfur. I bought a bottle
of liquid liver of sulfur a while ago, and it worked the first
time I used it. I stoppered the bottle tightly, but when the
next time came to use it (freshly poured, not recycled), it did
absolutely nothing! Back to the old chunk version, keeping it
bone dry!

Judith Marsh

Here’s a tip for all you liver of sulfer users out there.
Instead of using water for your mix, use household amonia.
(Please always vent when applying any of these antiquing
compounds.)Apply like you always do and you have a more durable
antique. Another old and I mean old antique for gold is iodine
crystals and alcohol. Apply like you apply the liver of sulfer.
The only thing I don’t like about any of these techniques is that
they can be spotty when you do your final cleaning and not stick
uniformly to the surface.I don’t want anyone coming back even ten
years later and complaining about the antiquing coming off. The
stuff I use almost exclusively is the paint on lacqure antique
Swest sells. I fire it on at about 200 degrees F and it never
comes off and gives me a black and I mean black background

Best regards
TR the teacher