Oxidising silver earrings – an experiment

I read about oxidising silver by using a humble hard-boiled egg some time ago, and today, I decided to try it out to see if it really worked. I read up on technique – there was much debate about peeled versus unpeeled eggs, whole, quartered or ‘smooshed’ eggs, ziploc bags versus Tupperware containers. Here’s what I did.

Meet the stars of the experiment, a newly-made pair of earrings:

I have had these beads for a-a-ages, I can’t remember where I got them from, but I thought they suited something a bit more ‘vintage, dahling’ than lovely shiny sterling silver. So, I grabbed the earrings, some Sellotape, thread, and my camera, and headed down to the kitchen. I told The Husband that A Very Exciting Experiment was about to take place. He looked suitably unimpressed.

I attached a piece of thread using Sellotape so that it ran across the top of my chosen plastic tub , and I suspended the earrings from the thread. Note: If you want, you can sing, whistle or hum some suitable ‘circus act’ music to accompany this part – it’s not essential.

I chopped up my newly hard-boiled egg into quarters and put it into the bottom of the plastic tub:

Note: the egg should be very hot. If you do not let out at least one minor swear when you pick up the egg quarters, you are doing it wrong. Or, you have asbestos fingers.

I quickly put the lid on the tub and placed the tub on the table so I could watch the progress. Except of course, the sides of the tub steamed up, so it was difficult to see. *sigh*

After about half an hour, I sneaked a quick peek and the silver was changing colour – yay! The eggs were still warm too, and there was a very pungent aroma wafting out from the tub. Nice.

I left the earrings to their own devices for the rest of the afternoon, and after dinner, I opened the tub up to release the earrings from the Chamber of Egginess. And here’s what they look like now:

At first I thought it wasn’t dark enough, but it’s grown on me a little. The chain has a blue tinge to it, which is rather nice. This last pic was taken in artificial light, so I will get another pic in daylight which will hopefully show the results better.

I think this could become very, very addictive. Apart from the burnt fingers and the revolting eggy smell when you lift the lid on the plastic tub. It’s got to be better than using a load of icky chemicals though, eh?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *