Brass Jewellery Gone Pink. Have I ruined it?

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Established Member
6 Apr 2015
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I had a chain bracelet lying round that I thought was gold, but I stupidly followed some advice on the internet and used a homemade cleaning solution of vinegar, baking soda etc and it turned parts of it pink indicating it was brass.

I read this is the zinc dissolving and leaving a layer of copper behind. This can apparently be removed fairly easy with wet and dry.

What threw me was that I initially used an old tube of autosol to sand the clasp and it turned the whole thing copper coloured for some reason. 600 grit fixed this so I just assumed the chain had the same issue. By the time I realised it wasn’t working I’d made it worse. It is fiddly so it’s difficult to see if I’m making it worse until it’s too late.

I think what has happened is that the bracelet is brass plated copper, while the clasp is solid brass so while I managed to sand the copper layer off the clasp, I’ve just sanded the plating off the chain. I don’t know if brass plated copper is a thing so I’m hoping it isn’t gold. It’s only a cheap (I think) thing from M&S but I’m a bit gutted I’ve ruined it and in all honesty it was only a bit grubby beforehand so I didn’t really need to polish it at all.

Does anyone know enough about jewellery to tell me if my hunch is right? And is it worth me trying a chemical solution? I’ve read online that an ammonia solution can fix pink brass.

If it is brass plated copper it’s irritating because I can turn it pink then sand the brass off in the process of fixing it, without realising that I’ve sanded in to the copper itself.
I'd be looking at electroplating techniques on how to do brass plating. You will have to get is squeaky clean (chemically) to get good results

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