Patinas are films that develop on the surface of a metal, wood, or other substance over a period of time. In many instances, the development of a patina is considered desirable and may actually enhance the value of the item. Sometimes referred to as natural toning, it was once only achieved with the passing of time. Modern methods have made it possible to create the film in a very short period of time.
How is it desirable?
One of the more desirable forms of patina have to do with the gradual development of a brown or green film on metal objects. Due to exposure to open air and the natural process of oxidation, an aged metal such as copper and bronze tend to develop a patina that is often a pleasing shade of green. Domes and roofs on buildings that feature sections of copper tend to develop this green shade over a number of years. The color is often anticipated in the original design of the structure and is an effect that the owners look forward to taking place over time.
A patina also often develops with various pieces of jewelry over time. In the case of jewelry that has reached an age where the pieces are considered antique, its presence is thought to enhance the overall appearance and value of the jewelry. When this is the case, cleaning the jewelry to remove the patina is not considered desirable, as the action will actually decrease the value of the piece.
Leather goods may also develop a pleasing patina over time. Leather jackets and belts will take on a darker brown color as the material begins to age and become suppler to the touch. This is one reason that many people prefer the look of aged leather to that of a new leather garment or accessory. The patina adds an air of being a comfortable and valued item, rather than something that just arrived from the store.
Weathered wood also achieve an attractive patina over time. Like antique jewelry, older wood furnishings and accessories may develop a hue or tone that speaks of many years of use and care. The natural aging process allows this film to develop and will add even more of a sense of history and permanency to the treasured piece.
Whether the patina is present on wood, leather, jewelry or metal, there is no doubt that the presence of this colorful film is often considered very desirable. This is sometimes due to the fact that the patina enhances the look of the piece, while at the same time reminding people of the enduring nature of the item that has remained around long enough to achieve it.