Antiquing gold

by Ellen
(Bethlehem, PA)

Professional platers often use some sort of black lacquer over gold to give it an antiqued look. I know they tumble it but I wish I knew what they used on top, and what type of medium they use in the tumbler. Can you help?

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Patti!

There are several ways you can add an "antique" finish to karated gold, such as 14K.
Left in a strong, hot, liver-of-sulfur bath, karated gold will oxidize. You can also submerge hot gold in ammonia. The ammonia solution works best at room temperature, producing a black patina appearance.

Tumbling the gold afterward should remove any excess patina and give the piece a nice, high-polish finish without removing the patina. Just use stainless steel shot, water and a squirt of liquid dishsoap. If you buff the piece using a rotary buffer, the patina will be removed wherever the buffing wheel is applied to the metal.

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