Oxidation & Antiquing

“Antiquing” or “oxidizing” silver is fairly common in the jewelry industry. It results in a patina finish, which darkens details and engraved areas on jewelry so that they’re more visible.

There are several methods to achieve this process, but the most common uses a solution known as Liver of Sulfur (LOS). LOS is a mixture of two chemicals, 25% potassium trisulfide and 75% hydrated potassium thiosulfate. It reacts with the copper in sterling silver and leaves a blackened coating on the surface called silver sulfide.

LOS itself is moderately toxic, mostly because of the gas it releases during use. The actual solution of LOS does not remain on the surface of the jewelry after use; part of the process of using LOS is submerging the jewelry in a neutralization bath to, well, neutralize any remaining solution. After the neutralization bath, only the resulting silver sulfides (the blackened coating) remain. Antiqued or oxidized jewelry is completely safe for skin contact.

After jewelry is antiqued or oxidized, the piece goes through extensive polishing and cleaning so that the darkened coating only remains in the engraved areas and details of a piece. The darkened silver sulfides are generally not toxic in the small traces left on your jewelry. However, we still recommend that you not put any antiqued/oxidized jewelry in your mouth, as it may cause minor stomach irritation – not to mention, it’s just weird to put your jewelry in your mouth.

You can read the msds here for ingestion of larger quantities/higher concentrations.

We’re here to answer any questions you may have about the safety of ShineOn jewelry. Email us at helpme@shineon.com.

“Why is my jewelry leaving marks on my skin?”

Almost everyone can relate to the shock of removing a ring and finding a black or green stain encircling your finger. While this can be blamed on an inexpensive base metal used in jewelry, you might be surprised to find out that even fine jewelry (such as Sterling Silver or Gold) can react with certain chemicals and oils to produce similar effects.

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June Blog Roundup

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They say “time flies when you’re having fun” and it couldn’t be more true for the month of June! The Summer is in full swing, the sun is glinting off of your new jewelry, and we’re looking forward to a long weekend! On our end, the ShineOn blog has covered everything from pricey gems to DIY projects and more. Let’s take a second to recap what we’ve been up to this month. Continue reading “June Blog Roundup”

Where NOT to Wear Your Jewelry

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Nothing can make your day brighter than someone giving you a compliment on your favorite piece of jewelry, and it’s definitely hard to pass on the opportunity to show it off when you’re out and about. Sometimes it feels like you never want to take it off, while other times you grow so accustomed to have it on, you might forget you’re wearing it! We’re big fans of wearing jewelry that means something special to you, but we also know there are some occasions when jewelry is better kept in your jewelry box. Continue reading “Where NOT to Wear Your Jewelry”

5 DIY Jewelry Organization Projects to Try at Home

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Necklaces in a tangle? Bracelets piled on on your dresser? Rings scattered across your home, devoid of logic or order? These DIY projects could be the fix you need to finally organize your jewelry and make sorting a breeze. Continue reading “5 DIY Jewelry Organization Projects to Try at Home”

Jewelry Making: The Gilded Heart of Providence

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Arguably, the centuries long reign of Providence, RI as the jewelry capital of the country began with two men: Seril and Nehemiah Dodge. In 1784, Seril Dodge opened a jewelry store on North Main Street, selling handmade watches, clocks and gold and silver jewelry. His business flourished, and within a few years, others followed his lead hoping to make a place for themselves in the highly profitable industry.

Continue reading “Jewelry Making: The Gilded Heart of Providence”