I just started working with 14K pink gold. I would like to gain a
census on the the best flux and pickle solution for pink gold.
pink/rose golds get their color from a higher copper content than
yellow golds, but are otherwise not that different. Use the same
fluxes and pickles that you’d normally use for other gold alloys.
Solders can be a problem, as most yellow gold solders tend to be
paler in color than corresponding golds, so their use with pink or
rose golds will give a distinct color difference between the gold and
the solder, so you may wish to obtain pink gold solders. However,
matching those colors mean the solders also need a higher copper
content, which raises melting points. Pink gold solders normally are
available only in higher melting grades than what one can get for
yellow or white golds. With care, this works fine, but these
"harder" solders can take some practice for beginners.
Also, unlike yellow golds, higher copper gold alloys can be prone to
what is called age hardening or precipitation hardening, meaing if
they are cooled too slowly, they can become quite hard. Really high
copper versions (red golds, which may have little if any silver) can
get not just hard, but excessively brittle, so for all these higher
copper alloys, you will find it best to quench, not air cool, after
soldering or annealing. But be sure not to quench until the metal has
lost it’s red glow (meaning it’s down around 900 F or so, but not
much cooler), and to avoid possible problems with cracking that some
rose or red gold alloys can have, quench in alcohol instead of water.
Yes, you can do this safely. In the rare event that the alcohol
catches fire (it normally doesn’t) just put the lid on the jar to
extinquish any flame. works fine so long as you’re prepared for the
possibility. Also, be sure the metal fully quenches before removing
it. It will take longer in alcohol before the liquid finally gets
through the vapor layer and actually quenches the metal (you know
via the typical quenching sound). The alcohol is a compromise,
quenching slower than a water quench, but still cooling the metal
fast enough to avoid hardening problems. This can be useful for some
white golds as well, by the way.
hope that helps
Peter W Rowe