What happens if something that's not metal goes in Liver of Sulphur?

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Original Post

Odd question... I've read the other threads on oxidizing silver and using LoS in general, but I haven't found any reference to this.

I'm wondering what would happen if I put a finished product into a LoS mixture rather than doing the pieces of silver beforehand?

For example, a necklace that has all silver components EXCEPT the centerpiece is a chunk of agate.

Does Liver of Sulpher hurt things like gemstones, glass beads, etc? Or is it safe to dump an entire piece in there to oxidize and just rinse it after the fact?

Any advice from a 'pro' would be much appreciated :)

Posted at 11:30am Oct 9, 2007 EDT

Highlighted Responses What is this?

Leslie from SabiKat says
Highlighted Post


You may get more replies if you posted this question in one of the Jewelry Teams here, www.etsy.com/teams. Just do a search for Jewelry.

Good luck!


Posted at 3:41pm Sep 28, 2012 EDT



Posted at 11:25pm Oct 10, 2007 EDT

Ive put glass in LOS without anything bad happening to it...white topaz too...I would assume harder stones would be fine, but dont take my word for it and ruin your piece O_o

Posted at 11:28pm Oct 10, 2007 EDT

That doesn't help you at all, sorry!

Posted at 11:28pm Oct 10, 2007 EDT

"Most stones will withstand the oxidation process — be cautious with polymer clay and porous stones, such as opals and pearls. Test first if you are not sure how it will affect your stones. If you are making jewelry with pieces that you do not want oxidized, or with components that will not hold up well to the process, oxidize prior to assembly. "


Posted at 11:29pm Oct 10, 2007 EDT

Like LittleLoveable said about opals and pearls...be careful. With other stones however, I always set my stones before I do any type of patina. LoS is a natural plant fertilizer so it's not like some strange acid chemical that is going to eat the stones. I've even put it on labradorite, moonstone and sunstone with no problem.

Posted at 12:24pm Aug 10, 2008 EDT

I put sardonyx and black onyx in, and they were fine. They are also hard and black........ I wouldn't do anything below a mosh hardness of 6- no turquoise, opal, pearl, etc...

Oxidation does hold up well to being worked. I oxidized all of the metal on a pair of earrings, prior to assembly. None of the oxidation came off.

Posted at 12:27pm Aug 10, 2008 EDT

It's best to oxidize the metals first. Sometimes the oxidation will leave a residue inside the beads on the head pin making it look rather messy!!

Posted at 12:31pm Aug 10, 2008 EDT

starless says

I believe that you can also "paint" LOS directly onto an item rather than dip it, so maybe you can try just applying it where you need it and avoiding the stone. Of course the stone would still be exposed to it a little when you dipped the piece in the cold water, but not nearly as much as dunking the whole thing in a hot LOS bath!

Posted at 3:51pm Aug 10, 2008 EDT

Peggy says

Is there a place to find many stones and their place on the Mohs' Scale of Hardness? I'm trying to find what I can and cannot oxidize without having to cut all the metal pieces, oxidize that and then put the oxidized pieces together with the stones. I'm not finding a lot of help. I feel lost.

Posted at 8:26pm Sep 12, 2012 EDT