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  • Writer's pictureVaune


Updated: Sep 1, 2022

We've all experienced our jewellery beginning to tarnish... you start off with a lovely bright piece of bling, and then somehow the shine begins to fade, sometimes dramatically all at once, your jewellery darkens up or gains a funny hue.

Other times, the tarnish is a gradual process, or can happen over time if you have not worn a piece for a while.

Tarnish is what we call it when a piece of jewellery darkens up when you don't really want it to.... but... sometimes that darker colour can add an extra layer of interest to our designs.

Then we call it: PATINA.

A work in progress shot of a landscape design in silver.
This student has used texture, shape and a patina to add drama to their deisgn.

Patina is a latin word that means "a fine layer on a surface". Tarnish, or patina, develops when the atmosphere or chemicals around us react with the surface of the metal in your jewellery. This creates an oxide or layer of oxidation on the metal, and that is what dulls or covers your jewellery in a darker layer.

That patina can be polished back off your jewellery, using a polishing cloth or a silver dip. If your jewellery is textured, the darker colour of the patina will sit in the crevices of the texture, and actually adds a layer of drama (as well as colour) to your piece! This is because the darker areas really help the highlights of your design to pop!