Here's a ist of what you'll learn in this post:


  • What is black silver?
  • What is the difference between oxidized silver and blackened silver?
  • Does oxidized silver fade?
  • Can oxidized silver be reversed?



WHAT IS OXIDIZED SILVER VS. BLACKENED SILVER?



Blackened silver has quickly become an attractive force in the jewelry industry. Its mysterious depth adds a touch of intrigue to any look, and its contrasting color draws attention to diamonds and gemstones. But what exactly is oxidized sterling silver? Here's everything you need to know about this hot jewelry trend.



WHAT IS BLACK SILVER?


Blackened or oxidized silver is real sterling silver that has gone through a chemical process to darken its outer layer. This process speeds up the natural tarnishing process to create an alluring dark patina. The patina is created by a layer of silver sulfide applied to the exterior of the metal.


The term "oxidized sterling silver," which refers to blackened silver, is incorrect since sulfides, not oxygen, are added throughout the darkening process. Despite not being the correct language, the industry has largely accepted this terminology even though it's not technically correct.


To darken the exterior surface of silver jewelry, jewelers often employ a chemical potassium sulfide compound, such as liver of sulfur. The method can produce an exceptionally wide variety of hues. When the formula is at its strongest, you will receive an enticing matte gunmetal black. However, with careful application, a jeweler may obtain every color in the rainbow, including purples, reds, and yellows.


Oxidized silver, like every other patina, is only a surface treatment and has no impact on the metal's interior characteristics or color.



WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OXIDIZED SILVER AND BLACKENED SILVER?


There are many ways to finish silver, but two of the most popular are oxidized silver and blackened silver. Both give the metal a dark finish, but there are some important differences between the two.


Oxidized silver is achieved by exposing the metal to oxygen, which causes it to tarnish. This can be done artificially or naturally, depending on the desired effect. On the other hand, blackened silver is created by applying sulfides to develop a black patina on the surface of the metal.



DOES OXIDIZED SILVER FADE?


Oxidized silver only has a thin layer of metal that has taken on a dark hue. Even with the finest maintenance, the oxidized appearance will eventually fade, revealing the silver's natural tone.


Your blackened silver piece will gradually change color over time, so it's best to have it touched up (reblackened) from time to time.



CAN OXIDIZED SILVER BE REVERSED?



Silver-sulfide is removed with abrasive jewelry polishes, which also restore the silver's natural luster. Some polishes dissolve the material while also removing some of the precious metal. Generally, all polishes convert silver sulfide back into regular, bright silver by undoing the initial chemical reaction.



WRAPPING UP


Now that you know the difference between oxidized silver and blackened silver, you can decide which finish is right for your jewelry. So if you're looking for a dark, mysterious look, blackened silver is a great option. If you want something a little more natural, consider oxidized silver. No matter what you choose, you're sure to love your new jewelry!