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Silver blackening


#1

SILVER BLACKENING OR TARNISH
G’day Ruth; I am pretty sure that the “nasty yellow stuff” you
use for antiquing is potassium sulphide (liver of sulphur) In
the presence of moisture it becomes hydrolysed to hydrogen
sulphide which gives it the rotten eggs smell.This gas really
goes for all clean silver, and is what produces the blackening,
or in smaller doses, the unpleasant looking ‘browning’ of silver
sulphide. But it should be easy to remove. Make up a bowl of
fairly strong washing soda (sodium carbonate) crystals available
from most supermarkets with warm water. Drop in a few pieces of
scrap aluminium, which willl begin to fizz gently and the
hydrogen gas so produced will rapidly remove all the tarnish.
Even heating gently with sparex should remove it, or you can get
an excellent product from supermarkets called Goddards Silver Dip
into which you dip the tarnished silver for about 10 - 20 seconds
and that’s it! Then for chain, make yourself a Burgess vibrator
and leave it running with your cleaned chains whilst you go and
have a coffee - and it will be brightly polished again when
youget back to it. Cheers,

    /\
   / /    John Burgess, 
  / /
 / //\    @John_Burgess2
/ / \ \

/ (___)
(_________)


#2

Thanks John for your tips. What is a Burgess vibrator? I also
did try heating in new Sparex, and it did not work. Also, can
you tell me what happened to the silver I left in the old pickle
for too long, and what I can do for that? Ruth


#3
Thanks John for your tips.  What is a Burgess vibrator?

A Burgess vibrator is something I cobbled together from a
dust-buster motor, 4 springs a couple of pieces of wood, a kodak
slide box and some ball-bearings in mixed sizes. The speed is
controlled by a battery charger and domestic light dimmer. If
you really want to make one, I can send you the details. You
drop the chains in the slide box after pickling, together with
the miscellany of steel balls, set the thing vibrating and the
madly jiggling balls polish the chains noisily. An hour and your
chains are polished. Of course you can buy one - but as you are
aware, I make most things I can.

   I also did try heating in new Sparex, and it did not work.  

Try dipping in nitric acid - nasty, but it will remove most
things, but DONT leave for more than a few seconds. You could
also try electro de-plating, using cyanide, (amounts to the same
thing, of course) but I don’t suppose you like that idea either.

   Also, can you tell me what happened to the silver I left in
the old pickle for too long, and what I can do for that? Ruth

I can only suggest that the grey appearance is deep fire stain.
THe final suggestion is to get the chains electro plated - it
wouldn’t need to be a heavy plate. Some firms will do a bright
plate fairly cheaply.

Pickle is so cheap that you can afford to throw it away at the
end of each workshop session. The acid pool adjuster sold for
lowering the pH of swimming pools is exactly the same stuff as
sparex, sodium bisulphate, but a hell of a lot cheaper.

And that is about all I can offer. Let me know how you get on.

Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 

      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#4
 Thanks John for your tips.  What is a Burgess vibrator?  I
also did try heating in new Sparex, and it did not work.  Also,
can you tell me what happened to the silver I left in the old
pickle for too long, and what I can do for that? 

Just a thought, did your pickle turn color??? (blueish or
greenish?) If so, the chain may NOT be silver, but some other
metal, and perhaps, that is the reason that the “grey” won’t come
off?

Also wondering, have you tried tumbling the chain???