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Oxidisation

Posted on October 22 2019

Oxidisation of Metal
Jewellers use oxidisation to highlight texture or to add a contrast to their pieces. Oxidisation is a surface treatment of metal.
A piece of oxidised silver is true sterling silver but its surface has been intentionally darkened by introducing it to a chemical process. A layer of silver sulfide forms on the exterior of the metal giving it a blackened look. The contrasting colour makes gemstones and diamonds pop. Oxidisation is used by a variety of our jewellers to bring out the colour of the laminated wood or resin. It's also used by jewellers working with stones to add contrast and depth to the piece. Like other patinas, oxidised silver is just a surface treatment and does not change the internal colour or properties of the metal.
As oxidisation is a surface treatment, over time this surface will wear away and the true colour of the silver will shine through. The oxidised finish of jewellery can be restored at anytime. It is best to remove your oxidised silver jewellery before showering or swimming. Oxidised silver should not be cleaned with jewellery dips or cloths as these will strip the blackened surface.
Emily Kidson uses oxidised silver to add a contrast to the laminated wood within her jewellery
Claire Lowe uses the oxidisation of the silver to create a bold surrounding for the resin in her pieces of jewellery
Caroline Finlay oxidises the silver around her enamel, the darkness of the silver once oxidised enables to colour of the enamel to really stand out

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