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Staining Sterling Silver a Green Color


#1

Hello,

I have searched websites for a way to perminantly stain a silver ring
a dark or emerald green. I know it sounds strange that I would want
to do this. I have read the “liver of sulfer” article but it wasn’t
exactly what I was looking for. if anyone has any ideas on how to
accomplish this I would be very grateful.

thanks in advance!


#2

The book "Creative gold and silversmithing"
http://www.ganoksin.com/jewelry-books/us/product/0517543095.htm
by Sharr Choate gives the following formula for green silver.

  Immerse the article in a solution of 3 parts hydrochloric
  acid, 1 part iodine and 1 part water. Rinse with water when
  desired color is reached. 

I am not sure how long the color will last.

I know nothing about enamel or epoxy but that may be a way to get
the color you desire. I am sure you will get some responses from
artists that use these techniques.

Lee Epperson
Looking forward to the Orchid dinner in Tucson.


#3
I have searched websites for a way to perminantly stain a silver
ring a dark or emerald green. 

Printing ink, especially oil-based, can be applied, then partially
rubbed off, and allowed to dry. It is then, essentially, permanent.
Anything on a ring is subject to wear, of course. Short of enamel,
this is probably your best bet. There are also metal "stains"
available through Sculpt Nouveau. I have seen them used to great
advantage on copper-- not sure how well they hold up on jewelry.

HTH!
Noel


#4
I have searched websites for a way to perminantly stain a silver
ring a dark or emerald green... 

Tannim, in our workshop we regularly use ammonium polysulphide (a
yellow / orange brown stinking liquid) to tarnish fine silver leaf
to various irridescent then brown colours. I found recently that it
works very differently on sterling. You need to suspend your
sterling item in a sealed plastic pot, with some of the polysulphide
liquid (perhaps a couple of teaspoonfuls) below it, not in contact.
The copper in the sterling reacts in preference to the silver, and
you get a very adherent green / turquoise patina built up. On the
textured sculpture I tried this on, it was very resistant to removal
with a wire brush and water. The article needs to be suspended,
because the solution itself dissolves some or all components of the
patina.

Paul Jelley
London


#5

Paul -

you get a very adherent green / turquoise patina built up

I’d like to try this, and googled ammonium polysulfide (US spelling)
but didn’t come up with any places to purchase it - just lots of info
about it as a fertilizer. Where do you buy it? I mean the type of
store, altho even this may differ from the UK to the US.

Thanks
Ivy


#6

Any clue as to where one might find ammonium polysulphide in the
U.S.? Is it sold under any other names or with any other uses? I do a
lot of patination and it sounds like something I’d love to try.

Many thanks!
Karen Goeller
@Karen_Goeller


#7

I use ammonium sulfate as a fertilizer in my garden. Is this the
same as ammonium polysulfide? If so, it can be purchased at any
garden center.

Alma


#8

G’day; I very much doubt if ammonium polysulphide is available in
shops; laboratory suppliers stock it. But calcium polysulphide is
sold in garden supply shops as a mild fungicide and lichen remover;
look for it in the fungicide shelves or ask for ‘lime sulphur’. It
will blacken silver easily.

It is a yellow liquid smelling disgustingly of rotten eggs like it’s
ammonium brother. Don’t open it inside the house; keep it in a dark
bottle in the garden shed, or it will make the place stink like
blocked lavatories! Do keep it away from children. It is not
harmless, but there is no problem if it is used sensibly. Dilute it
with water as required.

Finally, sulphates such as ammonium sulphate are of no use in this
case.

Have a lovely Christmas, hannukar or whatever.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


#9

Karen and Ivy, I don’t really know how you would get ammonium
polysulphide (polysulfide) in the States. In London, the only
suppliers I am aware of are H S Walsh & Co (http://www.hswalsh.com),
and we have been using theirs for over 15 years for patinating fine
silver leaf.

However I repeated Ivy’s Google search to include 'fertilizer’
thinking there must be some mistake, to find that Kerley Chemical
indeed claims to have first developed the liquid for just that
purpose in 1951, in a product called NITRO-SUL. Prior to this
search, I had been under the impression that only ammonium sulphate
or nitrate was used in gardening products. Kerley Chemical have an
line on info-ag@tkinet.com

Even if Google doesn’t through up a specific lead for a supplier,
you might find that a general chemical supplier in your area may
stock it. It might also be worth checking sculpture suppliers, since
it is also used for patinating copper and copper alloys such as
bronze.

Paul Jelley
London


#10
I use ammonium sulfate as a fertilizer in my garden. Is this the
same as ammonium polysulfide? If so, it can be purchased at any
garden center. 

No, it is not the same. In the best case ammonium sulfate would act
as a pickle; I never tried it, so it may do worse things.

(Pardon me for my english; living in germany, this is my first post
to orchid. Until now I enjoyed orchid as a silent reader)

Matthias
www. matthiasfehlinger. de


#11
I use ammonium sulfate as a fertilizer in my garden. Is this the
same as ammonium polysulfide? If so, it can be purchased at any
garden center. 

Two totally different compounds Ammonium Sulfate is (NH4)2SO4 and
Ammonium Polysulfide (NH4)2Sx.

Ammonium Polysulfide is flammable and releases ammonia and hydrogen
sulfide gasses. Its flash point is at room temperature (22C 72F)
Depending on how concentrated a solution you find it could be very
dangerous to handle. Both ammonia and hydrogen sulfide can kill you
or cause serious lung damage. So do your due diligence and get an
MSDS sheet before you order this stuff and make sure you are set up
to handle it safely. In a quick web search I found several different
concentrations of it some mixed with ammonium hydroxide (household
ammonia) but in much higher concentrations than found in household
ammonia this stuff can really burn your lungs be careful.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#12

I have gone back and looked up several more MSDS and I can only find
one that lists it as flammable so I am wondering if this is a
misprint? However the inhallation hazards all seem to track so I
would still watch out for vapors from this. but it seems like
flammability is not an issue.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#13
I use ammonium sulfate as a fertilizer in my garden. Is this the
same as ammonium polysulfide? If so, it can be purchased at any
garden center. 

No, it is not; ammonium sulphate is sold as colourless, odourless
crystals. They are highly water soluble, and not particularly
poisonous. Ammonium polysulfide is a dark orange brown liquid,
yellow in small droplets, smelling strongly of rotten eggs and is
considerably more poisonous, requiring good ventilation if you do
not want a headache. Another name for it (though not sanctioned by
the chemists) is ammonium hydrosulfide. There is no simple method of
making the polysulfide from the sulphate, although I have read you
can make it by dissolving sulphur powder in ammonium sulphide
solution. And ammonium sulfide is made by dissolving hydrogen
sulfide gas (very poisonous!) in aqueous ammonia solution.


#14

Paul,

What concentration is the liquid you are using. I looked at several
MSDS for Ammonium Polysulfide and some listed it as non flammable
and others listed it as flammable. Also several dire warnings about
inhalation.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#15

I wanted to thank everyone for their input on this question. you all
have given me some great ideas to accomplish this project.

thank you again :slight_smile: