What's The Appeal Of Oxidized Silver?
Among the many types of metal you'll find in jewelry is oxidized silver, which is a darker silver that often has what looks like some sort of corrosion. That "corrosion," in fact, is actually the result of deliberately inducing a chemical reaction on the surface of sterling silver with sulfides. The silver develops the darker patina, giving it an older, weathered look. At first you might wonder why so much jewelry has this patina and why people might actually want tarnished jewelry. When you learn the reasons behind the popularity of oxidized silver, the appeal suddenly makes sense.
Another Shade of Silver
One advantage is that it's simply another shade of silver that designers can use. You can have a shiny silver rose ring and a darker oxidized ring for better coordination with different outfits. You can use oxidized silver with more casual outfits and non-oxidized silver with more formal outfits. The oxidizing effect is all about variety, not an attempt to make the jewelry look shabby.
That being said, sometimes designers want a bit of a shabbier look because they want to create a piece that mimics an antique ring or other type of jewelry. People associate tarnish with age, so what better way to make customers think of years gone by than by using oxidized silver? Antique-style jewelry can be used with costumes or outfits for a night on the town when you want to appear a little cooler and "in the know" about unusual jewelry finds.
Note that oxidized here does not mean rusty. The patina is a dark color, almost like someone shaded in the silver with pencil graphite.
Additional Coordination With Different Gemstones
The darker color of the oxidized silver also allows designers to use different gemstones. There are some shades that simply look better with darker metal, but a designer may not want to take the step of using steel for the jewelry instead of silver. The choice between different levels of shine lets the designer create several versions of one design with different stones, all of which have different requirements for a metal that showcases their color.
If you want, talk to a designer about the types of metal they use in their jewelry to find out if they prefer oxidized, regular, or another shade of silver. You have a wider choice of gems to include in your custom jewelry piece if you add oxidized silver to the list of possible metals. Reach out to a designer jewelry store near you to learn more.