To see whether or not jeweler’s lacquer is effective in protecting gold plating over the copper in our pink sapphire pendant, we experimented to see what would happen when we placed an uncoated pendant and one coated with jeweler’s lacquer in a bath of silver blackener. The silver blackener, used to achieve the effect of extreme tarnish, creates a black/antique finish to the metals it touches. The results are immediate, the one coated with the lacquer remains gold and shiny while the uncoated one turned black and tarnished.
Here is a Youtube video that shows the dramatic results.
I showed how quickly the gold plated pendant, not coated with any protective jeweller’s lacquer, turned black while the coated pendant remained gold when submerged in the same silver blackener bath. It is worth noting that I had painted only one quick coating of the lacquer and I was not very careful to ensure the entire metal surface was covered. Upon inspection, there is a small area that was left exposed and turned black. It is advisable to do this with better lighting and to make sure that the entire surface is covered. If your eyesight isn’t as good, best to do two coats! Because of the smell and possible fumes, best to do this outdoors.
Here is the Youtube video and closeup:
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