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Cleaning gold that has been burned
Current question:December 12, 2020
Q. I repaired cluster diamond white gold ring, and black oxide formed -- even after using boric acid and borax to prevent fires scale underneath the diamonds. How do I remove black oxide before rhodium plating?Kirtikumar Devjee
- Centurion South Africa
April 23, 2021
Q. I did not receive any responses to my question which was posted on 12 December 2020. I sized a 18kt white gold diamond cluster ring protecting the ring with boric acid to prevent fire scale forming. After pickling the ring in sulphuric acid thereafter polishing the ring and ultrasonic cleaning it, I noticed dark grey fire scale behind the diamonds. I rhodiumed the ring; diamonds were sparkling but did not have the bright rhodium shine underneath the diamonds. Is there any way I can solve this problem ?!Kirtikumar Devjee
- Centurion .Gauteng South Africa [returning]
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Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:2003
Q. My friend asked me how to clean a Gold ring that has been burned. The ring was hanging over a burning candle and has become tarnished. I understand that it was probably the other metals in the ring that caused the discoloration. Jewelry cleaner did not remove the tarnish. Do you have any suggestions on how to get her ring back to normal?Valerie McCullough
student - Balmertown, Ontario, Canada
A. Very short immersion in pure nitric acid maybe can help (1-5 sec.)!Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia
Can you tell me how he tried to clean that ring? That jeweler should have to repolish that ring by buffing; it will come out brand new.
jeweler/goldsmith - Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania
A. Hello gold burn victim - I was on this site because of my own misfortune. I was cleaning my rings by boiling with just a little dish soap and water. The water boiled out of the pan while I was distracted and I found my white gold diamond earrings, white gold diamond heart shaped necklace, yellow gold and diamond ring, and my white gold and diamond hoop earrings, burned, black, and lifeless at the bottom of the sauce pan. After almost fainting, I came looking for help and found this page.
Then I remembered a friend of mine had a trick where he took the oldest darkest penny I could find in my wallet. He told me he could make it looked brand new. He took Tapatio sauce
[affil. link to info/product on Amazon] sauce and poured it on the penny. He left an outer portion of the penny without sauce for comparison. Five minutes later he rubbed the sauce off with a rag and it was restored to it's copper pink finish.
I didn't have Tapatio but I did have the Valentina sauce [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] sauce, and prayed that it might take some of the black off. I let my jewelry soak in the sauce in a plastic cup for five minutes and it started to work. I put it back in for ten minutes the next time and it has almost come completely off.
At least they are wearable. I think they have a high acidity and work well. Get out anold penny and see for yourself....
- Richardson, Texas
September 12, 2009
Chris, I did the same thing. I was cleaning my wedding band by boiling it in water. It was a lot of water in the pan. I went upstairs to eat. Kids came home from hanging out with Grandma and forgot about my ring. When I finally went to the kitchen my ring (and my pan) looked like it had been in a fire. I almost cried. So I am going to get the sauce that you mentioned and pray that it works. Thanks.Gold Burn Victim #2 [name withheld at request]
- Atlanta, Georgia
March 12, 2014
A. Take cigarette ashes and mix it with your spit. Make it in the consistency of paste. Put it on tooth brush bristles and scrub. For stubborn stains let it sit in the ashes and spit for an hour; then scrub. After rinse with clean water. It should look like new again.Sharon Spurgeon
- Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
September 20, 2018
A. The person who mentioned using ashes is talking about essentially using homemade lye, or a reaction similar to that effect. I haven;t tried it, but it might be a good option. To add to it, I seem to remember being told that white ashes are the best when making the solution. If you don't smoke, perhaps try rooting around in the fireplace. I quit smoking, and don't own a fireplace, so I guess I'd just burn some paper or something in an old coffee can. There's more to the recipe for making actual lye, but I seem to remember it being kind of essential to use only white ashes. I imagine it would be the same for this. The recipe also involves water, so I imagine you could use that instead of spit.Brian Schaaf
- Perryville Missouri United States.
May 12, 2014
A. Distilled white vinegar can help greatly … Just keep the damaged jewellery in the vinegar for 10/15 minutes and then rub lightly with soft cloth.Atim Mullick
- San jose, California,USA
July 18, 2014
Q. We try to burn gold by liter to trace if it is gold pure or not and it became black. We tried also vinegar to remove that black but it's not removed. So meaning the gold we buy is fake?remy balderas
- zambales, philippines
April 14, 2018
Q. How can I restore my burnt white gold chain? Although I have washed it with a series of things like hypo, bleach, vinegar, etc., the colour has changed to something pinkish or rose colour. Thanks.Fafure Taibat Olufunke
- Ekiti State,Nigeria
August 16, 2018
Q. I also burned a gold necklace, it quickly got black. But it was removable quickly after. Does that mean it's real gold because it didn't stain permanently, it was just black powdery?Jane urive
- Los Angeles, California
November 3, 2018
A. I had a small burned stain on my gold chai and I put half teaspoon of white vinegar and one teaspoon of baking sofa and put a thick paste on the stain for 20 minutes and the stain was gone. Hope it helps someone. Thanks.Sumera khan
- Australia Nsw Sydney
July 14, 2019
Q. I try to burn my gold ring stones. It's turned pinkish or rose gold after I washed it w/water and soap. What should I do to make it yellow gold again?giancarl hinayon
dh - jabriya.kuwait
July 16, 2019
A. Hello Giancarl,
If the piece is gold, and not plated gold, you could use a polishing wheel and buff the surface until you have the original color. If you don't have a polishing wheel a good jeweler could do it for you. If the piece is plated gold you probably enhanced migration of the underlying metal into the gold plate and there is no real fix.
Electronic Plating - Winston Salem, North Carolina USA
February 24, 2020
A. When I had purchased some gold bullion that was supposed to be 99.999% pure I had no way to know except trust the seller. Then I got a bright idea in that I had seen that gold does not really tarnish or affected by exposure to much so I fired up my propane torch and held the gold with a hemostat in the flame. The gold went many shades of blue and I took the flame away. In a few minutes the gold was cooled and back to the shiny piece it was before! No sign of heat.
Gold ore is leeched with cyanide in Colorado where I live and it settles in lined ponds. Then it is taken and put into crucibles and fired until it all melts together then shipped to wherever. It looks like gold and it is gold so any tarnish or blackening I would guess means it is not gold. Gold is very heavy as well...
- Colorado Springs,Colorado
March 9, 2020
A. I have gold with invisible set diamonds and it has been burned behind the stones. I believe it's fire scale. Can I use lye and boiling to remove it without hurting anything?Brian Joyner
- Arlington, texas, usa