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Light colour gold wash bell - does it mean the horn is overbuffed?

3426 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  dubrosa22
I recently found a nice vintage horn with satin silver plating and gold wash bell. The satin Silver plating looks beautiful but the gold wash bell is very light colour - like, close to just silver.

I'm just wondering if that necessary means the horn's plating is buffed before? I've seen some horns with very "goldish" wash bell. How can I tell if it is original?
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Some Buescher bell washes were apparently a copper solution that contained no gold at all. These fade particularly badly with time, tarnish and polishing.

Bear at said:
There are two techniques for achieving [bell wash]. A yellow gold effect is achieved simply by briefly plating a highly polished silver inner bell in 24 karat gold. The plating bath isn't maintained long enough to make the surface layer so dense in gold to be 'gold plated' - merely 'washed' over with a lovely golden tint. The second method results in a 'rose gold' effect, used primarily by Buescher on its silver plated saxes made after about 1925. 'Rose gold' is gorgeous, but really not gold at all. The 'rose gold' effect is achieved by laying on a copper wash (thin layer of copper plating) instead of a 24K gold wash.
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