Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

14K Gold solder for 18K jewelry


#1

I am about to make the transition from working with silver to
working with gold. Fortunately I have a wee bit of gold purchased
before the prices went ballistic, and have decided to use it.

My previous attempts at working with gold were a disaster, as I was
treating it as I did the silver. Since then I have done a lot of
studying and know that I should direct the flame on the area to be
soldered and that it is not necessary to heat the whole piece.

My question is, I will be working with 18 K gold. Can I use 14K as
the solder? It is the same color as the l8K, so that is not a
problem.

I have a strip of 14K bezel which I will not be using for bezels. My
first attempts found it too stiff, even though I had annealed it.
Therefore I will be using 18K and 22 K bezels. Can I use a snippet
cut from the 14K bezel as solder?

I have always been so intimidated at the thought of working with
gold, that I just have not really done much. However, a friend put
it all in proper perspective. “Just pretend you are working with
cheap brass, and forget the cost of the material. Unless you get in
there and practice, you will never learn. Even if you botch a piece
or two, the scrap will be worth more today than when you bought it,
so you have nothing to lose.”

So, back to my question. Can I use a snippet of 14k gold as solder
when working on 18K???

Alma


#2

Hi Alma,

My advice is to purchase some actual 18k solder, for two reasons: if
you will stamp your piece 18k or even tell customers that it is 18k,
it is illegal to lower the karat by adding even a small amount of
metal of a lower karat. But most importantly, solders are formulated
to work well as solders, and 14k gold is not. Especially as you say
you are inexperienced, you are more likely to achieve success
quickly with true solder.

I recommend Hoover and Strong, who have plumb (true 18k) gold solders
that flow as low as 1255 degrees F, which is lower than I’ve seen
from other suppliers (allowing you more of a margin of error).

Good luck!
Amy


#3

Thanks to everyone who replied to my question about using a piece of
14K gold to solder on 18K. I will take your advice and get some 18K
plumb solder to use.

As working with gold will be a new adventure for me, I was unaware
of the legalities involved, and will be sure that anything I stamp as
being 18K, will meet the requirements. An also, as Amy Lyons points
out, the solders are formulated so that they will work well during
soldering.

I have a lot to learn and do thank you all for your kind help.

Alma