DIY Oxidized Silver Jewelry

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

What is Oxidized Silver?
Oxidized silver is sterling silver that’s been purposely tarnished using a controlled method. While effective, chemical oxidation solutions like Silver Black, Black Max, Win-Ox, and Liver of Sulfur are hazardous and must be used with caution and appropriate, protective equipment.
To save your kitchen from toxic fumes, we’ll explore a safer, simpler method of silver oxidation you can do with a hard-boiled egg and a little patience.

The chain on this necklace has been oxidized. The darkness of oxidized metal may vary depending on the method and duration of the oxidation process.

Why Oxidized Silver?
Oxidizing sterling silver emphasizes the details of the design and setting. This extra step gives an organic, natural look to a piece, and depending on the style of the jewelry, an oxidized finish can make it look rustic, antique, earthy, or even edgy.

Versatile oxidized silver may be combined with shiny silver and even diamonds. This combination is at once earthy and glamorous.
(Ring set: It All Stacks Up in Silver and Diamonds by BMJ)
DIY Oxidized Silver Using Hard Boiled Eggs
This simple method is both inexpensive and effective. Because the process can take up to a few hours, you’re able to monitor and control how dark your silver becomes. (Note: this method will not work on fine silver (.999), so make sure your silver is .925 or lower. Most commercial sterling silver is .925).
You’ll Need:
1 egg (Note: old eggs work best.)
Tupperware or bowl that can be easily sealed
small piece of wire mesh or a few layers of paper towels
gentle soap
buffing cloth


  • Gently clean your silver piece. When handling silver during this process, try not to get fingerprints on it since they may contribute to uneven oxidation.
  • Boil egg and peel while it’s still hot.
  • Roughly chop the egg and place at the bottom of your container.
  • Place wire mesh (or paper towels) over egg pieces and set silver on top of mesh. Keeping the silver separate from the eggs will ensure that no part of the jewelry oxidizes too fast or unevenly. Cover container and leave on counter. (If placed in the fridge, oxidation will take a lot longer).
  • After a few hours, take a peek at your jewelry. If it’s not dark enough, leave it in for a little while longer, possibly overnight.
  • Once your silver has reached your desired level of darkness, remove from container and wash with a gentle soap. You may use a buffing cloth to polish and emphasize the raised parts of the silver—just don’t over polish and undo all of your work!
  • Wear and enjoy :)



Image of egg istock/Mau Horng Photography all others Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry


Posted in antiquing, DIY, jewelry, jewelrymaking, oxidized silver, oxidizing, silver, sterling silver



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