I am a small metals student studying at college, and I use copper and
copper alloys for my projects primarily due to it’s cost, I am
Now I make wearable copper alloy projects, but there is a problem,
the tarnishing of the metal due to wearing and the discolouration of
the skin of the wearer.Is there any way I can prevent this, a
suitable hard laquer or process that can be applied, any ideas?
I wouldn’t encourage the use of lacquer. It’s just not durable. Here
are some suggestions assuming that you are making your own copper
*Add 4% gold to copper and play with that alloy (shakudo). Though the
gold ‘ennobles’ the copper the ratio might be too low at 4% to
prevent a black mark on the skin.
*Add 10% silver to copper and play with that.
*Heat-colour 100%Cu (cherry-red then quench in boiling water). the
burgundy colouring is quite stable.
Failing all those, try this:
*Join the ideas-only people and make unwearable jewelelry
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
There are several products, but using clear nail polish works as
well. List it by its chemical name and it sounds impressive and won’t
tarnish, if it does, recommend customers to clean it up and re-apply
or bring it in and you can reapply.
...I make wearable copper alloy projects, but there is a problem,
the tarnishing of the metal due to wearing and the discolouration
of the skin of the wearer.
Andy, can you go through the Orchid Archives? There have been
several discussions on this issue, in the past. My personal
preference is using a patina like Jax Black (and rubbing off the
excess with a slurry of pumice and water). Such a patina is “tight”
and also prevents much further oxidation. I do not like lacquers,
except possibly on the inside of a close-fitting bracelet.
All the best,
Owego, NY USA