plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Can worn jewelry be dipped in silver?
February 2, 2012
Q. I have a bracelet that is silver tone and I love it so much but I wonder if it could possibly be dipped or coated in real silver because it seems to be turning copper or something where it rubs against things on the bottom. Does anyone know if that's possible?Rosemary Lopez
- Syracuse, New York, United States
February 3, 2012
Re-doing the silver plating on your bracelet should be no problem at all. You can even apply a very thin (and consequently not very durable) silver plating yourself (see our FAQ: "Silver Plating at Home"). If you wear the bracelet much though, it will be better to have it silver electroplated. Some jewelry stores can do it or arrange for it, but if you have trouble finding one, there are plating shops that specialize in jewelry.
Discuss with the jeweler or plating shop the issue of tarnishing. Silver tarnishes quickly but it can be forestalled with a thin rhodium plating or clearcoat on top of the silver. Some people want this convenience and the extra shine, and will feel that the jeweler did a poor job if he skips it; others hate the flashy look and will be angry with the jeweler if he does it :-(
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey