Intentionally Removing Plating from Brass Findings

I have an assortment of brass jewelry components that are plated in silver and gold. I would like to strip them down to bare brass using a vibratory tumbler if possible. Do you have any suggestions as to the most effective medium/abrasive to accomplish this?

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


Stacy's Answer:

Hi Helen!
I know gold can be chemically stripped from brass which usually uses some pretty caustic or hazardous chemicals, but it's a fairly simple procedure if you have the right materials. It is usually done in an effort to retrieve the gold - not to save the brass. I don't know how damaged the brass pieces would be after the plating is removed by using an abrasive material (no chemicals) in a vibratory tumbler or how long the process would take. I suppose that depends upon how thick the plating is. Most plating is very, very thin.

I've never attempted nor do I know of any one who has attempted to do what you are asking. I would experiment using sand (dry and wet) with a few pieces of the brass. Removing the plating in the nooks and crannies could be a challenge too. Some of the abrasives used in the initial polishing stages for stone may work also.
Once the plating is removed, tumbling with stainless steel shot/water and a bit of dish soap should polish the metal back to a nice shine.

Sorry I can't help you with your dilemma. Perhaps some of the readers here have some experience with the removal of gold plate from brass sans the chemicals.

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