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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Gemstones and liver of silver


Tomas, I recently had a jeweler change the post on a set of sterling silver earings that match a necklace. My mother bought the set in Mexico in the 50s and they have roughy cut amethysts with a lovely patina that was partly age but mostly an original design feature from liver of silver.  When I got the earrings back they had been polished, rather than having been only "cleaned" as I thought I had asked for. Now the earrings look new and don't match the necklace. I know how to use liver of silver to restore the patina, but my concern is how to protect the amethysts in the processing. What would you suggest?

Thanks I really want them to match again.

Dear Letitia,

Crystalline gems such as amethysts will not be affected at all by liver of sulfur. A porous stone or a silver ore cabochon could be discolored either from soaking up some of the chemical or direct chemical action and in the silver ore.  Otherwise, feel totally comfortable with application of liver of sulfur to the silver. Clean the metal well to start so no skin oils, etc. might interfere with good contact of the liquid with the metal.  Rinse well, finish off as desired and you are done.  NO harm will come to amethysts.  

Best wishes! Get back if more info is needed. God Bless and Peace.  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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