Intentionally Yellowing Silver

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Joshua M Gray
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Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 5:10 pm

Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Joshua M Gray » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:08 am

I am wondering if there is a way to intentionally yellow chemical silver. I have a client who has an old gambling wheel that needs a replacement panel. The original panels have yellowed somewhat and they want the new one to match as close as possible. From what I gather, yellowing is the first step of tarnishing. All of the antiquing solutions I have found focus on more dramatic levels of tarnishing.

I have a couple of leads to try Palmolive dishwashing detergent and also to try Tarn-X. I read in other forums that Jewelers who use tumbling machines have had their sterling silver yellow if they add Palmolive to the tumbling solution, and Tarn-X will yellow or darken sterling if left on more than 2 minutes.

So far, I have tried Dawn detergent but that only clouded the backside and took the silver off in a couple of spots. I have a feeling Tarn-X will peel the silver off, but don't know for sure until I try it.

I'm not very confident about this one ... I have a feeling even if I find something to turn the silver yellow, it will most likely change colors in a month, maybe less.

Wanted to check here and see if anyone else knows anything.

Joshua M Gray
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 5:10 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Joshua M Gray » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:35 am

I'm also looking into tinting the glass with paint (Pebeo Vitrail) rather than messing with the silver. I think this may be the best solution. The paint is waterproof and can be silvered over as usual.

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:13 pm

I am a little bit suspicious on this yellowing you speak of. I guess it depends on just how yellow this mirroring appears.
I have never seen silvering become yellow in tarnishing. Especially if the mirroring has an even tone of yellow on all of the pieces.
Generally speaking all of the gambling wheels I have come across were mostly bright silver, and maybe speckled with dark to black tarnishing in varying degrees.
The yellowing you see on this wheel could actually be in the glass itself, as much of the earlier glass had a more yellow/green cast than later glass into which iron was added making it even greener in color.
Also, if the maker of this gambling wheel wanted to make his device stand out from other manufacturers wheels, he may have purposely tinted the glass to a slight yellow tone by spraying on a light coating of silver stain and firing the glass in a kiln prior to silvering. Mirroring over that fired silver stain would result in a yellow tinted mirror.
It is oft times a challenge to reverse engineer what was done a hundred years earlier, and records or information on practiced techniques are not always handed down through the ages.
A good test to see if the yellow you see in this mirroring is only a surface effect and is the result of adding silver stain, would be to take a broken glass section and strip everything off the silvered side down to bare glass. Then either place a reduced drop of HF acid onto it, or run it on a felt glass polishing wheel with some cerium oxide and see if any yellow tinting is removed from the glass.

Joshua M Gray
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 5:10 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Joshua M Gray » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:05 am

Thanks for your insight, Pat! I am not familiar with 'silver stain' ... what is it?

This is a mail-order job, so I am relying on what the customer tells me they see. The yellowing is apparently very faint and more noticeable when placed next to a new commercial mirror or when brought outside into the sunshine. The wheel is an Evans.

If I had a sample piece to go by, then I might try to tint the glass yellow ... but I don't, so I will go with what my gut thinks is right. I have a small test piece that has been sitting bare without back-up paint for three days, and it is now a slight yellow. I think I will just treat this panel the same way... hand pour the silver, let it sit bare a few days, wash it off again to clean any residue that might have settled on it, dry and then back it up.

pat mackle
Posts: 156
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Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:56 am

Sounds to me like the yellow cast IS in fact that earlier glass which was more yellow green AND I might bet that the original Rawson Evans glass is 5/16" in thickness as well.
So it is different in color and thickness, over the common 1/4" green glass made today with more iron in it.
I'm not certain that allowing your silver to set out and begin to yellow(or tarnish) will be the solution, because it may continue to tarnish after you back
it up, because the oxidation process is already acting on the thin silver deposit.
It will be interesting to see what develops with it in time.
On the other hand, there are still many old store fronts that still hold that old 5/16" inch yellow/green glass(referred to in those days as "boiler plate glass") and if you were to contact a glass company who has saved some for repairs, or may change some out in the future, you could get yourself some to keep around.

Kevin W Betz
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:17 am

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Kevin W Betz » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:54 pm

I am wondering if you could tint a Varnish with a little Yellow, apply, and
allow it to dry then Water Guild with 10 k White Gold ?

kb

pat mackle
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Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:39 pm

You might actually be better off if you could find a small piece of heavily leaded glass sheet like those used in X Ray rooms. The heavy lead content give that glass a light yellow tint.
Other than that it is trial and error to get it to match well, like in Kevin's suggestion of tinting with varnish. If you are lucky your attempts will pay sooner than later.

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:45 pm

You might actually be better off if you could find a small piece of heavily leaded glass sheet like those used in X Ray rooms. The heavy lead content give that glass a light yellow tint.
Other than that it is trial and error to get it to match well, like in Kevin's suggestion of tinting with varnish. If you are lucky your attempts will pay sooner than later.
One attempt I would do is to use the NazDar 59000 series translucent yellow enamel and thin it way down(maybe add some 59000 clear as well to keep some body to it) and to spray a light coat on the glass. Let dry well and then mirror spray it.

Kevin W Betz
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:17 am

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Kevin W Betz » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:03 pm

What is the advantage of mirroring the Glass?

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:13 am

Hi Kevin, hope every thing good with you.
I mentioned mirroring because the beginning post described a yellowing mirror that he wanted to match.
And because many of these old gambling wheels employed decorated mirror shapes mounted in ornate metal castings as the center point of the colorful hand painted pictorials placed around the outer diameter.

Just the other day while cleaning up an area of my shop, I came across a 1/4 center section of a mirror that Rick Glawson had reproduced of a Rawson and Evans gambling wheel mirror section. It is sand blasted, glue chipped, silver mirrored with those classic R&E leaf elements, accented with black painted copy that states: H.C.EVANS & CO. MAKERS-CHICAGO. Apparently this gambling wheel mirror given to me by Rick was copied from an original that was made prior to Mr. Rawson and Mr. Evans joining forces.

Robare M. Novou
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Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Robare M. Novou » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:51 am

FYI Alert....Rawson & Evans is a separate company from H.C. Evans. They are not related. Both companies were in the Chicago area around the same time. The mystery is whether Rawson & Evans made those decorative panels for the H.C. Evans company, or if some other company such as Western Sand Blast did. The possibility also exists that H.C. Evans made their own decorative glass panels for their gambling wheels.

Put some yellow food dye in your chemical silver solution and see if that works.

RMN
What's On Your Book Shelf ?

http://www.milwaukeesignworks.com

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:21 am

Hi Robare,
Thank you for exacting out the true information on the distinction between H.C. Evans as opposed to Rawson and Evans.
I must admit that I did not do some simple research to see if "this" H.C. Evans joined up with Mr. Rawson. I think I have simply taken it for granted since the
many years ago when Rick Glawson gave me this chipped and silvered piece marked with "E.C. Evans & Co.". Thank you for pointing this out, certainly much appreciated.

Kevin W Betz
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:17 am

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Kevin W Betz » Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:40 pm

Hi Pat.

Any chance you could post a picture of the Panel
you have from Rick ?

kevin

pat mackle
Posts: 156
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Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:43 pm

Hi Kevin,
I can post a photo if I can buy an AV cord or a card adapter for my little cheapie camera. My good camera died and I don't own an IPhone.
Other than that I could try to scan part of the piece, but scanner mirror could be a trick.

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:11 pm

Hi Kevin,
Here is a photo of the H.C. Evans mirror section I mentioned in the above post.
Attachments
H.C.EVANS & CO..jpg
H.C.EVANS & CO..jpg (280.8 KiB) Viewed 3845 times

Kevin W Betz
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:17 am

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Kevin W Betz » Tue Jun 30, 2015 3:10 pm

Nice piece Pat.
Thanks for showing it.
Any clue as to the year it was made ?

kb

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by pat mackle » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:14 pm

I don't know the exact time when Rick was making these. It seems to me he was making these center mirrored sections and also the painted horse pictorials bordering the wheels several years before he began the Esoteric Supply section in his shop.
And I seem to recall him giving me this piece only a few years before his end.

Roderick Treece
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Re: Intentionally Yellowing Silver

Post by Roderick Treece » Tue Jul 07, 2015 4:47 pm

That is the same art as the last ones I did for a prop house in Burbank,That to John Studden. Tedius little things they are.

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