Oxidizing Copper with Ammonia

by dorothy
(california)

Does anyone know how to oxidize copper wire using ammonia?

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by: Niku

I'll try following your instructions, but another site said to moisten the copper with water and then to cover it with salt before using the ammonia. I may try that also.

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Oh, so that's how you do it.
by: Niku

I've been soaking a piece of copper pipe in ammonia for two days, and the copper still looks the same as when I first put it there.

Now I think I know why. I'll try with a fresh piece of copper pipe, but I'll suspend it rather than immersing it.

Thanks for the advice.

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it works
by: Marimar

hi, thanks for that tip! it works.
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Copper and Ammonia
by: Christine ~how-to-make-jewelry

Hi Dorothy,

What you're asking about is called "fuming".

If I remember correctly, this technique will turn copper a bright blue color.

Here's what you do:

Put some ammonia in a container

Suspend the copper over the ammonia (don't immerse it). You can use wire or some metal screening so the copper doesn't touch the liquid.

Cover the container so the fumes stay inside.

Check every hour or so to see if the copper is the color you like.

When the copper is how you like it, remove it and fix the patina with a clear coat of varnish.

(I'm not an expert in this - maybe someone else knows how to set the color better?)

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