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Silver ring is now copper color from soaking in ammonia

December 28, 2011

Q. I have a Coach ring that I just got for Christmas, as well as a bracelet. They both turn my finger and wrist green. I tried soaking them in ammonia and water, I did this for maybe about 8 hours. I noticed that the silver had been taken off. I took my ring and bracelet out of the ammonia and water and dried them off. They are now a copper color. Is this supposed to be part of the process? I really really need help what should I do now? I want them back to silver. Please help me!

Madeline Bailey
- Elkton, Maryland

January 30, 2012

A. The ring is silver-plated copper. The green is from the copper.

If the copper is showing through, there is no recourse except to re-plate.

Scott Miki
- Victoria BC Canada

Ultrasonic Cleaner

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March 2012

A. Hi, Madeline.

Unfortunately, Scott is right. But ammonia is neither a bio-friendly nor metal-friendly cleaner anyway. It may be used to patinate metals under some conditions, but should not be used as a jewelry cleaner. Good luck with the replating.


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

March 15, 2012

Q. I bought some possible silver from Goodwill and was melting it with an oxy-acetylene torch. An item that had International Silver Co. stamped on the bottom turned copper color after I melted a small piece of it.

James Koopman
- Yakima, Washington, USA

"All About Antique Silver with International Hallmarks"
by Diana Sanders Cinamon
from Abe Books

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March 21, 2012

A. Hi James.

"International Silver" is a brand name, not a marking implying that an item is made of "international" silver. This company is known for its silverplate, not for solid silver items. The item is question is apparently made of silver plated copper.


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

March 23, 2012

thumbs up sign Just wanted to thank you for your answer Ted. Thanks for your time. It's nice to get an answer without having to pay for it. Seems like we pay for everything now days. Our government even makes us pay them for ripping us off in the first place. Anyway, thanks again. I appreciate it.

James Koopman [returning]
Unemployed at the moment - Yakima, Washington USA

February 14, 2018

Q. So my boyfriend got me a ring that came in a bath bomb that was silver plated and started turning my finger green a few days after continuous wear. Since then it has started to turn a copper color where the ring setting is but the ring bad has only gotten rough and spotted with black. What can I do to make it not turn the copper color and stop turning black on the band?

- Laguna, California USA

February 2018

A. Hi Payten. Apparently the silver plating is not holding up to the wear situation. You can either take it to a jeweler or plating shop for replating, or you can try silverplating at home.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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