home | glossary of terms

It is best to carry out the annealing process in a dark environment so that you can properly see both the colour of the flame and the colour of the silver.

To help minimize oxidation and assist with subsequent cleaning, a good practice is to brush boric acid and alcohol onto the silver prior to annealing.

silver sheet on a charcoal block

Before using the silver for jewellery you will have to move onto the next process which is quenching.

For certain items of silver jewellery you need only anneal areas or joints that require soldering and not the whole item. For example just the bale when making pendants or chains.

heating siver with a torch

Softening Silver by Heat

Annealing is basically making the silver softer by the application of heat. It is a crucial step towards silver jewellery manufacture. The annealing temperature of silver is between 1110-1200°F unlike its melting point which is 1635°F. (890°C)

The easiest method of annealing is with a torch. The portion of the flame you should concentrate on is the area where orange meets blue as generally this is the hottest part of the flame.silver heated until it is dull red

The silver should be heated until it is a dull pink colour. Since annealing should be held at the correct temperature for about 30 seconds it is important to maintain that colour for 30 seconds. To do so, slightly draw the flame into and away from the metal making sure you do not overheat the silver i.e. turn it bright orange/white.

When using a torch the colour of the metal in a dark environment is approximately:

If you are annealing silver for the first time always try a scrap piece first - test your skills before advancing onto jewellery or other valuable items.