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Two recent experiences

I just wanted to share two recent experiences in case they might be
helpful to someone else.

First, I soldered 14k wire with medium solder around that natural
pink sapphire from an earlier post, and maybe I just got lucky, but
the stone turned a dark greyish black color when hot but cooled
slowly in air, it returned to its rosy color. Still matched its unset
brothers. Perhaps because it was a natural color in the first place?

Second, I made some sterling pieces with karat gold accents - 14, 18
& 22K - using a boric acid coating. They consistently turned the
devilish faint pink in my nearly fresh pickle, so I tried the
hydrogen peroxide boosted solution so often recommended. On all-gold
pieces, it removed the pink tint. On the combined metal pieces, it
not only did not remove the pink from the gold, but it etched the
heck out of the silver, turning it a dead, matte black. When I
re-pickled it in the plain stuff & brass brushed, much but not all of
the black came off, but the surface texture was really rough and
dull. The pieces were in the peroxide solution for about 30 minutes
(yes, I know, too long) and now I have a new ‘design element’ to deal
with. So for me, it’s super pickle for gold-only pieces in the
future. I would switch to citric acid except I can’t find a health
food store that carries it in suburban Maryland. Plenty of
McDonald’s, even horses, but no citric acid. Go figure.

Cheers,
Linda

To your second situation, Citric Acid can be normally found in Asian
or Middle Eastern (Arab/Islamic) Food specialty stores or Departments
of big Grociers. Also, places that sell materials for fancy soaps and
other cosmetics often use Citric in “Bath Bombs” or “Fizzes”. Bakery
supply sources also carry Citric acid, though they may call it ‘sour
flower’? Or if really desperate, or late at night, go to a grocery
store find unsweetened “Kool-Aid” or like generic products, on the
back of the package see if Citric Acid the first ingredient, get 10
or so in a pint of water and warm it up. Some diet sodas also are
high in Citric acid, yes, it will work! But not the other acids, they
don’t.

L-O-Luck :< ),
Ed

Linda,

Yes, it sounds like it was in there too long, and it also sounds
like the solution may have been too strong. Did you use regular
"drugstore" hydrogen peroxide? (NOT the beauty-salon strength?)
I’ve used that cut 50/50 with pickle and left pieces in for almost
as long as you’ve cited, without any etching in sterling, which is
why I suspect that.

Karen Goeller
@Karen_Goeller

it also sounds like the solution may have been too strong.  Did you
use regular "drugstore" hydrogen peroxide?  (NOT the beauty-salon
strength?) I've used that cut 50/50 with pickle and left pieces in
for almost as long as you've cited, without any etching in
sterling, which is why I suspect that.

Karen-

I used regular 3% peroxide (i’m a brunette, after all), but heated
it and added a few teaspoons of very concentrated fresh pickle. I
think you’re right, though - the mix was just too strong. It seems I
can buy citric acid crystals online for about $3/lb so I’ll do that
as soon as I use up my sparex.

BTW, I think the pink tint was more due to overheating than plating
because it occurred unevenly - primarily on the gold that had been
through the most soldering operations.

Thanks folks for your tips on- and off-line.

Linda