Sterling Silver Chains – how to oxidize and relieve
Sterling silver chains are quite versatile, and unlike plated brass chains, they can be oxidized and brushed without worry about the plating coming off. Oxidized chains, once relieved through brushing, can provide a rich feel, with depth.
The easiest way to oxidize, or blacken, sterling silver chain is by using a silver blackener. Jax makes one for about $20. Some of the tools you’ll need are: 2 plastic dishes, plastic fork or disposable chopsticks or brush, some rubber gloves, plenty of paper towel.
Pour water into one of the dishes, and set aside in the sink. Have this dish of water ready for rinsing. If you are blackening more than 1 sterling silver chain, tie them together by looping a wire through the locks. Put the sterling silver chains into the other plastic dish. Pour silver blackener into dish with the sterling silver chains slowly to avoid splashing. Pour just enough to cover the metal entirely. Swish around until the silver becomes entirely black. Use the plastic utensil to scoop the sterling silver chain and drop into the dish of water. Turn on the tap and let water run through for a while, rinsing out the chains. Use rubber gloves at all times. Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
To brush the oxidized sterling silver chain, put the bundle on the side of a board, and use long strokes to brush using steel wool. Flip over and brush the other side, until the lightness is even.