Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Flux


Hi, I am new to making jewellery and thought I'd cracked flux and soldering!  However, my last piece did not come out of the pickle with the flux removed.  How can I get rid of the white flux marks, please?  Really grateful if you can help.

Dear Pauline,

If the material is silver, the white is quite possibly a fine silver residue left on the surface after the pickle did its work. Try to buff that area and you will know right away.*  

If the residue is actually flux residue, you might try boiling the item.  A short while in boiling water will generally remove the most stubborn flux residue.

If none of that works, you need to very gently sand the area then polish as desired to remove sanding marks.  

*Jewelers will heat silver and after air cooling slightly will put it into the pickle. Repeating the process several times produces a flat(matte) and very white surface of pure silver.  This is used for decoration or as a step in the process of "reticulation".

God Bless and Peace. Best wishes in your jewelry work!  Thomas.  

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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