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Jewelry Making/Brown patina on silver


Hello Chris,

I'd like to get a brown patina on sterling silver. I know there are some sulfur based products that will result in a grey/black finish, but I'm looking for something in the brown family. Any recommendations? Thank you for your time!

A lot depends on the percentage of Silver in your item.
Bleach works as does Sulfur Dioxide
The Exposure concentration and time are the real art to getting the right shade you are after.

To darken, mix enough bleach and water into your container depending on what you want your piece to look like,
If you want a dark contrast to your item, use 100% bleach. It will take about an hour and your item will turn completely black.

If you want a nice brown patina, use about 50% bleach, 50% water. Within a few minutes, or sometimes seconds, it will start darkening.

If you want a slight patina, use very little bleach and lots of water. It may take a while, but you can pull them out at any time
This is up to you. You can use any combination of bleach and water and get the look you want.

Just Remember to use gloves and a well ventilated area. Also use Eye protection your eyes don't like fumes or spatter.

You might also like to read this article on toning coins even though they are 80-90% instead of 92.5% sterling, they act very similar.

I hope this helps.

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Chris Eilertsen


I have been in the Jewelry Industry 20 years and Apprenticed as a silver smith took classes in Casting sculpting repair and trained under master gold and silver smiths as well as some experience in Faceting and diamond cutting and polishing for repair. Plating, Wax work, Diamond Setting, Engraving, Carving, Mold Making, design, some watch repair, tool making, enamel work, refining, mining, sales, sand blasting, casting. Have worked in Platinum, Gold, Silver, Pewter, Brass, Bronze, Aluminum,Steel,Titanium,Wood, Plastic, and Stone. 10 years Appraisal work in Jewelry.


20 years commercial experience in Repair Manufacturing and sales of Jewelry 3 years school 4 year apprentice. Worked on the duplication of the treasure found on the Spanish Galleon Maravalla by Dr. Cecil Humphreys. Traveled with and manufactured the souvenirs and miscellaneous replicas from the King Tut Exhibit when it visited the US.

Former member AGTA and GIA and a ten year member of Memphis Jewelers association. 17 years experience in Tuscon Jewelry shows buying and selling.

JCK Tuscon Show Gude

Classes at MSU and The Memphis art academy in Jewelry sculpting, Specialized Repair school, and 2 apprenticeships in Silversmithing from Juelius Astor, and Goldsmithing from Katchic Yacubian both masters for over 35 years each.Studied with Dr. Richard Prilliman, and several others.

Awards and Honors
JCK Tuscon Show honorable mention in design.

Past/Present Clients
Dr. Cecil Humphreys Finder of the Spanish Galleon Maravalla, The Vanderbilts, Miscellaneous repair antique estate pieces. Elvis Presley Repair and Appraise 2 pieces of jewelry. Rifat Hassan and Nihall Mumtaz With the King Tut Exhibit. Trade work for over 36 Major Chains from Zales to Sams.

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