Saturday, January 14, 2017

Just What is Gunmetal Jewelry and How Do You Clean It?

Have you ever wondered exactly what gunmetal jewelry is made of?   I design and make jewelry like the earrings shown here.  When I opened the drawer of my gunmetal components some had a green corrosion on them.  I started to throw them away but thought perhaps I could find out if they could be saved.  I snooped around some to see what I could find out about what gunmetal actually is and if it can be cleaned.

Gunmetal jewelry is an alloy of 90% copper and 10% tin.  Gunmetal also refers to a blue-black finish caused by electroplating a coat of iron on an item and coloring it in a chemical solution. Electroplate is a thin coating of metal applied to the outside of a base metal through an electrical process.  The item is suspended in a chemical solution and current flows from a piece of metal to the item depositing a layer of metal onto the item.

So how does one clean gunmetal jewelry you ask?  Believe it or not, it is very easy to do with an everyday object.  A pencil eraser!  Yes, it is true.  Use a pencil eraser to rub away the corrosion on your gunmetal items and it will disappear!

I hope you find this tidbit of information helpful in cleaning any of your gunmetal jewelry.