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I want to know how to oxidise silver

Q. Hi, can any one tell me how could I oxidise my old silver bracelet or my sisters old jewelry, from simple chemicals available in the market. I heard of something called liver of sulfur [on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] to tarnish silver jewelry but could not find the same in our local market. Could anyone suggest any easy but effective solution to my problem.

Hope to hear effective suggestions.



Siddhartha Sarkar
hobbyist - Cal, w.b, India

A. You can use 30 gm copper sulphate/15 gm sodium chloride/100 ml water solution.

Good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb , Croatia

Q. Is there any other way of oxidising silver, without using liver of sulfur? The smell is so bad that I have had to throw mine away (or I would have had to vacate the house!). I've heard that there are less pungent, and maybe even non-chemical alternatives, but I'm yet to find out what they are.
Many thanks for any advice!

Ellen Jones
Jewelry designer - London, UK
January 5, 2008

Liver of Sulfur

on eBay or


(affil links)

January 7, 2008

A. Hi, Ellen.

You can try Goran's idea, or try a prepackaged liquid liver of sulfur, already diluted and maybe even dilute it still more, or maybe simply putting the item is a baggie with a hard boiled egg yolk overnight.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

A. The Cheap and fast way to patina Silver is by using regular liquid Black shoe polish. Wipe on or dip. let stand a few minutes and rinse with cold water. Then let dry. This will fill in all the recessed area's and make any metal work such as etchings stand out. Smooth surface will not hold the dye as well. Hope this helps.. It works fine for me.

Dean La Bella
- Oyster Bay, New York, USA
May 25, 2008

A. The easiest, cheapest, and most readily available method of oxidizing silver is the use of ordinary household bleach [adv: bleach/sodium hypochlorite in bulk on eBay or Amazon (adv.)] . It creates a very dull, dark grey patina, and when the high places of the jewelry piece is polished, you will have the appearance of an old, antique piece of jewelry. If your piece already has a stone mounted, I suggest the bleach be repeatedly "painted" on the silver portion, since I don't know the effect of bleach on stones such as opal.

Ken Cooper
- Atlanta, Georgia
December 30, 2008

A. Try liquid gel plumber for about 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, then rub,rub rub until you reach the desired effect. You will be pleasantly surprised...

Alex Prim
- Texas City
March 10, 2018

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