"I sometimes have a tendency to walk on the dark side."
—J. K. Rowling
If you've ever tried to patina your plated metal jewelry, you've probably noticed that some pieces work better than others. Some jewelry parts have a sealant to prevent any discoloration, which is great if you want to keep your pieces shiny and bright. Unfortunately, this fact's not always disclosed in the description, so sometimes the only way to learn is through trial and error. (Some knowledgeable vendors might also be able to tell you if you ask.)
I was thrilled with how these pieces from Nunn Design worked. I wanted to share my examples in case you're looking for plated pieces that will easily patina. (Note: I'm not affiliated with them in any way, just sharing my personal experience.) For their silver, I know they use 99% sterling silver as their plating; the copper plating is pure copper. That makes a big difference in the results. I used the gel version of liver of sulfur.
I love not only the rich brown tones on this funny keychain, but also how it minimized any light scratches or marks in the original metal. It is easier to read in person than in the photograph, which looks a little darker on screen.
I wanted to see if I could make these zombie earrings darker, more Halloween-esque. You can see the hammer marks a bit more on the back now, but for this particular design, it doesn't matter too much. What kind of zombie would have perfectly smooth, intact jewelry? Wouldn't all that stumbling around with your arms outstretched cause a bit of natural wear and tear? (Note: I didn't patina the ear wires in the second pair; those are actually gunmetal.)
Quotation source: BrainyQuote.
Note: These aren't true "before and after" photos, since in both cases I sold the original "before" item before I had a chance to add the patina. They do use exactly the same materials in each before/after pair, so you can expect similar results.