Silver Plating: some practical tips

Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Mon Feb 19 09:18:42 CST 2007

The following practical tips were prepared by Linn Morrow, N0LXO, and 
forwarded to me by AMRAD Member Frank Pratt N2FOE:
André N4ICK


        Your friend can silver plate at home by doing this:

      First he must get "Silver Plating Solution" -- can be bought at a 
jewelry supply.  There should be one in Dayton.  It will come in about a 
quart bottle.  This can be diluted -- Instructions will be on the 
bottle.  (I think there is also a solution that can be used without DC 
current.  Don't know how useful it is. ) 

      He will also need a power supply that can output about 2 volts DC 

       The article to be plated is to be connected to the plus (+) side 
and the coin to be used as a source of silver is connected to the minus 
(-) side.  

       A higher voltage will deposit too much silver too quickly and 
will not do the job properly.  Another thing to consider -- what he 
wants to plate, for the silver to attach itself to the article.  If it 
is a lead or pewter base then it has to be first copper plated, which 
will require a copper plating solution. (also available from a jewelry 
supply company)  

         As it is plated it will take on a dull appearance  -  then it 
must be very lightly buffed  and replated.  May take several platings to 
get a proper deposit.  He must remember that silver tarnishes.  The 
silver color can be preserved by spraying with clear spray

            It is necessary to have the article sterile clean, plating 
will not stick if it has finger prints or is not completely clean.  
There is another bottle that can be bought,  that is "Electro Cleaner", 
Not too necessary if the article is clean. 

         If it is desired to remove any kind of plating, there is 
"Electro Stripper"  It is used with the opposite connections and takes 
off any metal off the article and plates the other connection.  If, in 
plating, the wrong connections are used it will "unplate" the article 
you want plated.  

         If it is desired to have something that doesn't tarnish, he can 
plate with rhodium.  This, of course, needs rhodium plating solution, 
and a stainless steel anode.  This is expensive stuff.  Could probably 
cost $20.00 or $30.00 for a 5 ounce bottle.  It also has its own 
requirements to plate.  It is a hard, bright, silver colored metal and 
will not tarnish. The rhodium is held in suspension in the solution and 
will deplete with use.  It is an acid  base and will tarnish silver in 
trying to plate silver.  This would require a copper plate first. 
         Further instructions are available from the solution bottles.   
A beaker or something similar will be needed, as the solution often 
needs heat and pyrex glass would have to be used. 

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