Silver metal clay turns brassy after immersion in jewelry cleaner?
I got a gift from my mother-in-law, a small round “basket” bead on a
silver chain. The set was tarnished so I dropped it in some
commercial cleaner (Hannoush Jewelry Cleaner, largely ammonia), left
it in 2 minutes per the instructions on the jar, and when I removed
the items, the chain was sparkling but the bead had taken on an ugly
brassy yellow color. Soaking it in hot citirc acid solution also
I sent email to the gallery where it was purchased (in England),
explaining what had happened and asking what the bead was made of so
that I could clean it. I’m awaiting more from the person
who actually made the bead, but the gallery owners told me the bead
had been made from a silver metal clay. Which doesn’t help, since
cleaning isn’t different as far as I know. All I can wonder is
perhaps the clay was incompletely fired?
In my determination to clean the darn thing, I put some boraxo on a
toothbrush and scrubbed it, which took the brassy color off, but
also marred the shine on the surface. Oops. I think the only solution
to this now is to have it plated.
But I’m curious to hear opinions as to the reason for the brassy
Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts