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patina(păt`ənə), coating of carbonate of copper on articles of copper or bronze, formed after long exposure to a moist atmosphere or burial in the earth. Although commonly green, patina varies in color and consistency; it may be red, brown, black, blue, or gray, or it may be smooth, glossy, or crusty. It may be imitated by a number of oxidation processes. The term has been extended to include the film formed on metals, pottery, marble, and other materials by exposure and to the mellow surface acquired by furniture with time and waxing.
a film ranging from green to cinnamon in color that forms on the surface of copper, bronze, and brass articles. A patina results from the natural corrosion of the metal or from patination—that is, heating or processing with oxidizing agents. A patina formed by the latter method is used to protect works of art and for decorative purposes. Roman artists were the first to recognize patina as a sign of beauty through aging. The term “patination” is also used to designate the process whereby articles not made from copper alloys, for example, plaster-of-paris sculptures, are tinted bronze.