June 17, 2011


We had a pasta salad the other night - nothing fancy but it makes a fast and easy dinner and everyone likes it here. I boiled a couple of eggs for the occasion and had one left. I put it in the fridge and as I did I remembered something I read a long time ago, in my jewelry making days: you can oxidize sterling silver using a hard-boiled egg. I love silver with an antiqued look, however, scared of all the chemicals used to get the result, I never came around doing it myself. And eggs were a big no as little H. still suffered from a severe egg allergy back then. But not anymore!
So off I went to find some jewelry that could use a little boost.

Turns out the technique works like a charm! It's easy, fast, cheap and more importantly absolutely safe (unless you're allergic to eggs that is). Here's how I did it goes:

Oxidizing silver

1. Take a hard boiled egg and put it in a Ziploc bag. Close the bag.
2. Smash it (this is fun! - no need to peel the egg).
3. Open the bag and add your jewelry (yes, this may seem gross). Close the bag. And let it sit for awhile. The sulfur from the egg yolk will take care of the oxidizing process. Shake the bag from time to time - don't worry about getting the egg everywhere on your jewelry, this will be taken care of later. Check from time to time to see how the darkening is going.
4. When satisfied with the result take out the jewelry and discard the bag with the egg (make sure not to leave any precious jewelry behind before throwing it out!).  Gently wash your jewelry with a mild soap (dish washing liquid works fine) and rinse well. Dry with a soft towel.
5. Finish off by buffing the silver here and there with a silver cleaning cloth. And done!

I have no idea how long the antiqued look will last - I tend not to take off jewelry when taking a bath or shower - but given the simplicity of the process I don't mind repeating it once in a while. Writing down everything actually took me longer than taking care of the silver.

Do you have any Aha-uses sitting in your fridge or on your shelves? Feel free to add them in the comment section to this post!


" me " said...

thank's for the tip ! i never heard of it before !

Rocio said...

Interesting, very, vey interesting!

Petra said...

Gek, eigenlijk wist ik dit wel. Zo moet je nooit een ei eten met een zilveren lepel. Behalve als je wilt dat het een beetje kleurt natuurlijk. Worden de gaatjes in je oren er niet een beetje zwart van?

Erica said...

Very interesting! Thanks for the tip!

Silver MLM

Heidi B said...

I've had success doing this with ammonia. Just fill a jar about 1/4 full of ammonia, then put your jewelry in some type of mesh baggie or similar (using tulle, old panty hose, or cheese cloth), then put your bag in the jar (not so deep that it is touching the ammonia) and screw the lid on while catching part of the bag so that it will hold it up. Let it sit (you may need to wait 5-10 minutes, rearrange the jewelry then let it sit again so that all parts get exposed evenly) and there you go!

nicole/brussels said...

zeer interessant, puur natuur en geslaagd, de oorbellen zijn prachtig!Ik bedoel the smoke quartz en dan het ge-oxideerde haakje!

MAUDE said...

i am stealing this idea! i even asked a jeweler how much he would charge, but this is nearly free!

thank you!

virginia, colorinformal

bicocacolors said...

I always learn many things here, thanks for that Pascale and happy weekend!


joanie said...

What a brilliant tip, love things that are nasty chemical free. thanks for sharing!

I'm thinking I'll try this on findings and chains and things before making jewelry.

Jenny said...

crazy! how did you ever figure that out?

Terri said...

Wow! I never realized you could do that! Thanks for the great tip!

Dalila said...

That's great!
I have a ring where the copper came "patina-ed" but it quickly reverted to pink - I think after just wearing it while washing my hands. I looked into how to re-green it and the directions I found were to use liver of sulphur. I wonder if this technique would work (although I'm not sure I'm going to try - the ring also has silver in it).

Chrissy Gemmill Jewels said...

Thank you for sharing this tutorial! I'm so excited because I teach jewelry making classes & a student told me about this egg experiment, it sounded so cool but I have never done it! I am going to post a link to your tutorial on my FB page!
I recently wrote a post about how I oxidize my jewelry, if you are curious here it is:


Jamie said...

This works on copper too, because of the sulfur i think

Jessica said...

Toothpaste and water works as well!

Jessica said...

Great tip! I love how your jewelry turned out.

Is that a herkimer diamond on your necklace?

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