Oxidized Silver is sterling silver that has been intentionally exposed to a chemical process in order to give it a matte black finish which is called a patina. So how are we able to do this to silver? Since pure silver (99.9% silver) is too soft to make any functional objects with, copper is added to it to and the result is sterling silver (92.5% silver, hence the 925 stamp on sterling silver jewelry). Copper is what allows us to change the patina of a silver piece of jewelry to black.
Oxidizing silver is done by jewelry designers, like Raven & Stone, for aesthetic purposes. Designers opt for oxidizing their pieces for a variety of reasons. It may be to accentuate the design of the piece or to make it more interesting and different by turning it black. A lot of our design feature oxidized silver and we love how it looks!
What is really interesting about oxidizing a piece of silver jewelry is that the patina will start of matte black and eventually it will develop a gun metal lustre. It will change over time as a piece comes in contact with skin and rubs against clothing. Rings and bangles usually change colour faster than earrings do, for example, since we touch them more while wearing them and they come into contact with clothing and other materials much more often. The black colour will not transfer to your skin or clothing so that is not something you will need to worry about.
Do keep in mind that you should store your oxidized pieces properly. They should be in a jewelry bag. If you find that they become dull after a time of not wearing them gently rub them with a polishing cloth to get some shine back. You do not want to do this vigorously as it can remove more of the patina than you want.
Here are some of Raven & Stone pieces that are sterling silver that has been fully or partially oxidized.
Raven & Stone