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Pink Sterling Silver

  1. Sep 15, 2009 #1
    Does anyone know of any way to create sterling silver with a pink hue? Since Sterling Silver by definition must be 92.5% silver, chemically you can only adjust the remaining 7.5%. This is typically copper anyway but at that level, the alloy is not pink at all. Can this be done by altering the chemistry? If not, can it be done by heat treating?

    Any thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2009 #2


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    Doesn't it have to do with the thickness of the silver plating?
  4. Sep 15, 2009 #3
    Actually sterling silver is an alloy and has no plating. The alloy is typically 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The result is a very white body. We are looking for one with a pink hue.

  5. Sep 15, 2009 #4
  6. Sep 15, 2009 #5


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    It seems you can use a caustic solution containing sulfur and a battery to anodize silver and color it that way. Never tried it, but it looks easy enough. It happens fast, so it won't be an easy process to control unless you change the strength of the solution and/or the potential of the anodizing wires.

  7. Sep 15, 2009 #6


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    Okay, I see. I thought that you'd seen some pink silver and wanted to reproduce the effect. So.. you're trying to find a pink alloy? That sounds problematic - metals don't really come in a lot of colors, and if copper's not going to do it...

    The only really practical way I can think of would still have to be a surface thing, like anodization.
  8. Sep 15, 2009 #7


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  9. Sep 16, 2009 #8
    Thanks for the link :cool:
  10. Sep 18, 2009 #9
    Sterling silver will acquire a definite pink surface coloration if it is heated in an acidic bath ( pickling solution) which is contaminated by a piece of iron.
    This happens sometimes in jewelry fabrication when we make the error of using steel twezers instead of copper ones, in which case, the bath must be neutralized and a new one made.
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