I need your help.
About 5 years back my boyfriend bought me a pair of earrings from Thomas Sabo for Christmas. I loved these earrings and wore them everyday. Because I loved them so much I paid a lot of attention to them. One day I noticed one earring was more cloudy than the other so I used a toothbrush to clean it. The next day I noticed it still wasn't equal in sparkle so I tried cleaning it with a toothbrush again. Repeat for a few weeks.
The back of the earrings is something that looks sort of like a cage so I though maybe that was stopping my toothbrush bristles from scrubbing the right spot. Then I had an ingenious (downright stupid) idea: I could use the same salicylic acid solution that I use for cleaning my retainers (others use it for cleaning dentures) to help me clean those hard to reach spots on my earring.
So I put my earring in acid and after 10 minutes I pulled it out and the metal looked black (not silver) and was soft so the hook part didn't hold it's shape. I've sort of (not really) bent it back into shape and after years of avoiding looking at it the black metal has now turned a splotchy dull grey.
I've had this problem for a long time but still don't know how to fix it. I think my stupidity and shame made me put fixing it off. Hoping the collective mind has some ideas to help me out.
TLDR; Put earring in salicylic acid hoping to clean it. Silver metal became black and malleable. Over time black metal became splotchy grey. How can I fix it?
Edit: Thanks for all your comments. Definitely feeling the Ozbargain love even if I haven't found a solution to my problem yet :)