Using Liver of Sulfur to Age Silver Findings
by Katie Hacker
Sponsored by: Beadalon®
Vintage looking jewelry is so popular now and you don't have to invest in all new findings to add this effect to your jewelry designs. Create an antique finish by using liver of sulfur to age your silver findings – it's easier than you think!
Liver of Sulfur is a chemical compound that works quickly to create an evenly tarnished finish. It's widely available from jewelry supply companies and it just takes a small amount to make one batch.
Be sure to follow these safety measures when working with Liver of Sulfur:
- Use in well-ventilated area.
- Wear gloves and safety glasses.
- Dedicate containers and tools exclusively for use with Liver of Sulfur.
The recommended amount is 1 ½ cups hot water to a pea-sized piece of Liver of Sulfur. Drop the chunk of Liver of Sulfur into the hot water and stir gently with tweezers until it is dissolved. Next, place a silver component in the solution and watch as it turns to a grayish black color. Once it has satisfactorily turned color, remove it from the solution and rinse it well with cold water.
You can raise highlights from the oxidized metal by brushing it with a brass brush, polishing it with steel wool, or using a polishing cloth. This gives the raised areas a little shine, while leaving the recessed areas darker. To remove more of the oxidation, gently brush a mild solution of baking soda and water onto the components and rinse.
Store Liver of Sulfur chunks in a cool, dark place. Since the solution does not keep, it's necessary to make a new mixture each time you want to oxidize a batch of findings.
Here's an example of the difference between a necklace using standard silver findings and a necklace with antiqued findings. Take advantage of the versatility in your findings stash and expand your jewelry-making repertoire!
For more ideas and inspiration visit: www.katiehacker.com