Will Silver Plating Oxidize?

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Original Post

excely says

I made a pair of earrings with silver-toned findings of an unknown origin. I assumed they were silver plate, but thought there was a chance they could be sterling. I also thought they'd look neat oxidized, so I decided to give it a try! They oxidized just fine... so now I wonder if silver plate will even oxidize, meaning that maybe they are sterling.

Anyone know the answer to this? Thanks for your help!!

Posted at 6:34pm Oct 12, 2007 EDT

Responses

silver plate might oxidize if it isn't rhodium plated, but the oxidization easily rubs off, in my experience. immediately ruined a chain that I *thought* was solid sterling!

Posted at 6:36pm Oct 12, 2007 EDT

They will oxidize. Sometimes faster than sterling!
I have it on good authority that I can oxidize some silver plated clasps, but I need to remove the external varnish first...

Posted at 6:36pm Oct 12, 2007 EDT

I have heard people say silver plate will oxidize. I do not know first hand though....

Posted at 6:37pm Oct 12, 2007 EDT

I have old SP ear wires that have turned black...
Store in zippy bags with a piece of chalk or one of those little silica bags that come in shoes and other items...

Posted at 6:48pm Oct 12, 2007 EDT

There are some products you can use to oxidize plated items. Most of them are hazardous liquids. If it's sterling plate you can use the same things you use to oxidize sterling. The majority of findings are not sterling plate though. When commercial findings are plated they are usually done with a much less expensive plating process and is called white plate or in the case of gold colored is called yellow plate. These tarnish pretty quickly on their own.

Posted at 6:57pm Oct 12, 2007 EDT

they tarnish and don't polish up too well, since it is just a thin layer of plating. then eventually, it all wears off and you're left with the darker base metal anyway.

Posted at 2:15am Oct 13, 2007 EDT

catiesblue says

they do oxidize. i just did a silver plated ring yesterday. it was my first time doing it, though, so i'm not sure how it'll wear.

Posted at 2:21am Oct 13, 2007 EDT

blackcoral says

I don't see the draw in intentionally oxidized silver personally. Sterling or silver plate will oxidize but are you just trying to make it look "old" or something? It is nice if there is a patina to silver that has a lot of dimension to it, but in the case of silver plate, the crappy thing you're left with is once the silver's been scrubbed bare, you get the ugly base metal.

Posted at 2:33am Oct 13, 2007 EDT

excely says

Actually, I'm just trying to make it look oxidized, not old. Why? 'Cause I think it looks neat and so do some other people. Thanks for totally poo-pooing my earrings though, especially since I wasn't even seeking opinions, just knowledge. It's always good to know some hate things too! :)

Update: The earrings came out great, just how I wanted, and the oxidation does not rub right off at all. So, whatever they are- plated or sterling- they did what I hoped they'd do and look how I wanted them to look!

Posted at 2:20pm Oct 13, 2007 EDT