A bit of a thread bump, but still better than starting a new thread.
I finally got around to trying patina as suggested on the Shapeways forums. It will need a bit of practice to do it repeatably with a nice finish, but so does everything else worth while.
The other thing that will need some practice is using my Macro Bellows. Took a little while just to figure out how to get a decent focus with it, but loving it once I got that sorted.
I tried the patina (ie, darkening or colouring the metal) option with the boiled egg, which worked on the smaller rings I used as test pieces, but I couldn’t get any sort of even patina on the pendant. So I heated the pendant up to more or less remove that patina and tried some Liver of Sulphur which worked much nicer.
Note - while this post is mostly to do with the real world, there is a fair bit that can relate to Blender and CG in general here. Is silver a simple shade of grey with almost perfect reflections? Can be. I usually think metal comes out more interestingly (CG mostly, but real metals too) when there is ageing, dents, bumps, scratches and discolouration involved. If you pick up this pendant or look at it from a reasonable distance it is still mostly a reflective grey, but texture artists would still be able to add in a whole lot of history with the little surface markings and reflectivity/colour changes.
That being said, I did quite like the pendant being super shiny when I got it, so it took a while to take the plunge and decorate/age it with chemicals.