Daily Wire Tip May 19: What is Liver Sulfate?

By on May 19, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
May 19, 2010

Question:

I am new to beading.  What is liver sulfate and why is it used?

Answer:

Liver of sulphur/sulfur is a chemical made of potassium sulfides that is used to oxidize (darken or antique) metals such as silver. It is available in powder, chunk or gel forms. Most jewelry makers use it to add definition to a piece of jewelry, as this chemical can produce different colors on silver like black and steel blue, and on copper a purplish-black color can be obtained. Other colors such as brown, purple, blue and green can be obtained by experienced users. Liver of sulphur can be a dangerous chemical to work with. Be sure to wear eye and hand protection, work near running water and in an area with excellent ventilation. To read about all of the various ways to use liver of sulphur, as well as other’s experimentations, do an Internet search for: ‘using liver of sulfur’.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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4 Comments

  1. avatar

    mary

    May 19, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Liver sulfate is used mostly by those working in wire that do the wire weaving and coiling to get that “antique” looking effect to their jewelry pieces without waiting for natural oxidation to occur. Personally, I don’t like that look to my silver wire while others love it. I know it will oxidize slowly by itself it I want it to without treating the wire for the look.

  2. avatar

    Debbie

    May 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    There is a way to do that same thing with a boiled egg, but I can’t remember how it’s done. That would be the one I would opt for personally, but like Mary, I don’t care for the look.

  3. avatar

    Lisa Hunter

    May 19, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Working with a boiled egg takes longer, but is very inexpensive. I wrote a quick how to on WikiHow sometime back (and lots of helpful folks have embellished it!) Have a look: http://www.wikihow.com/Oxidize-Silver-with-Egg-Yolks

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      May 19, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks Lisa!

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