How to Oxidize Sterling Silver with JAX Silver Blackener
Oxidizing sterling silver is far easier than it sounds, and it offers a wide range of design opportunities. There are many articles and videos on the web which praise alternative methods to oxidize sterling silver. However, the most effective method, and one which is most often used by jewellery professionals is JAX Silver Blackener.
It’s fast, clean, blackens evenly, and is cost effective; a small amount goes a long way. You can search online for a local supplier near you, or one who can ship to you cost effectively. Whatever the price, it’s great value because a pint can last you for years. For more information, here’s a link to our article “Using Jax to Antique Sterling Silver”. At the bottom of this post we’ve also included an Amoracast video which demonstrates just how easy it is to oxidize sterling silver components with JAX Silver Blackener.
Some great tips for using JAX Silver Blackener:
- Pour a small amount of the JAX Silver Blackener into a plastic container; enough to submerge the sterling components, a snack size Tupperware works well but avoid any container with a metal lid. You can continue using the amount you’ve poured as long as you keep the container airtight, this will help stretch your pint bottle for years of usage and retain its potency. And, believe us, it is potent! However, with repeated usage and exposure to air the liquid will eventually weaken. You’ll know your current batch has weakened when the sterling silver you’ve submerged takes longer and longer to oxidize to a thorough blackness, that’s when it’s time to pour out a new dose.
- Only use JAX Silver Blackener on sterling silver, avoid using it on plated jewellery and other metals. The chemical reaction with other metals could potentially ruin the piece of jewellery and render the silver blackener useless for continued use. If you want to oxidize something other than sterling silver, they make products for this purpose, click the link to have a look, JAX Chemical Company.
- Only use plastic, plastic coated or wooden utensils to handle the sterling silver components in the JAX Silver Blackener. We use the extra forks and chopsticks from take out meals, they work perfectly for oxidizing sterling silver.
- Oxidize your sterling in small batches. Unlike laundry, you don’t have to save for a big load. Oxidizing in small batches allows you to monitor the process closely and the components will darken thoroughly if they’re not packed too closely together. All surfaces must be exposed to the JAX Silver Blackener for it to work properly.
- Rinse quickly. Have a bowl of water under a running tap ready. It should only take 3-5 seconds to oxidize sterling silver using JAX Silver Blackener. Other methods could take minutes, even hours. As soon as the silver is black, transfer the components into the waiting water and keep the tap running.